Last Updated on August 16, 2021
Every student knows how good life can be costly to maintain while in college. Financial struggles can keep you from fully enjoying your time there. Luckily, this article is going to give you some of the best ideas on how to make money in college.
Aside from covering your needs, the extra money enables you to start saving, investing and even paying off your student debt early. You’ll be in a much better financial situation by the time you graduate. In short, earning money on the side improves your life in and after college.
27 Realistic Ways to Make Money in College
One perfect time for creating income streams is when you’re in college. You can be one among the many young people who are already doing it.
Most of the money-making ideas listed here can be executed during your free time. And some even give you a chance to work from anywhere, whether it’s your room or somewhere else on-campus.
Here are 27 ways to earn money while studying in college:
1. Take paid surveys online
You may have seen this being suggested several times. That’s because it’s a popular way of earning money on the Internet using your phone.
While taking surveys online won’t make you rich, it’s an easy option that you shouldn’t write off yet. Survey sites like Swagbucks have members earning hundreds and even more than a thousand dollars a year.
You only have to register using your details, take any surveys you’re qualified for, and get your rewards. Most of them take a few minutes. Setting aside some time for surveys is essential for boosting your earnings.
And that’s not all. Swagbucks has several other activities that you can complete in a day and earn more SB. They include daily polls, discovering offers, and inviting friends. Join Swagbucks today and start earning!
Here’s a related article on how to earn money through the best-paying survey sites.
2. Get paid for grocery shopping
Want to generate extra income using your car? Shopping for others is the best way to make it happen.
If you sign up as a shopper on Instacart, you earn money by picking and delivering items that customers want. All you have to do is visit the grocery store like in regular shopping, except that you’re doing it for someone else.
You’ll undergo a quick background check before being approved. After that, choose any of the orders available on the app for shopping. You pay for groceries using a payment card you get upon signing up.
Instacart allows you to chat with the customer if you have questions or updates. And you get to work at the time of your choice.
3. Create a YouTube Channel
Having a YouTube channel when in college is both fun and profitable. It’s a sure way to engage with other students and the rest of the world. Or even gain some popularity and have lots of friends!
The best part is that creating a YouTube channel is free. If your phone or camera can take good videos and you’re good at editing, you won’t have to pay for anything. YouTube itself has lots of information about how to set everything up.
However, if you desire to boost your progress, purchasing one or two resources can go a long way. It could be an e-book about creating the best thumbnails or an e-course about making viral YouTube videos.
Once your videos start getting views, monetize them. YouTube Partner Program requires 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours within the past 12 months. But you can still earn money through affiliate programs and brand deals.
4. Become a freelance writer
Freelance writing is a perfect way to make money with your writing skills. As a college student, you ought to be knowledgeable in something. Maybe you know all the tech stuff or science is your thing.
If you don’t want to specialize in writing about a subject, there’s an option to become a general writer. This way, you cover a variety of topics by simply researching online.
The best places to find such gigs are freelance sites like Fiverr, job boards, and social media. Whatever online platform you choose for finding clients, be sure to stick with it for a while. This approach is great for establishing yourself as a freelance writer.
After you land any writing jobs, give your best work and let it speak for itself. You get better reviews and more opportunities when your clients are happily satisfied.
5. Proofread other’s work
This is another way to earn money as a college student if you have a good understanding of written language. While being an English student or graduate can be helpful, many employers only require you to take a proofreading test that shows your skill.
You don’t even have to look far. Your peers in college are a great source of proofreading jobs. You’ll mostly be dealing with academic essays in this case.
Also, there are lots of these gigs in the same places you’ll find writing jobs. The approach is similar: offer good work, get paid, and earn more opportunities.
On top of it all, Proofread Anywhere is one of the best e-courses you need to start a thriving proofreading business. If you want to get everything right from the start, check out their free 76-minute workshop.
6. Find a transcription job
Maybe you want to earn money typing but not as a writer. If that’s the case, you just need to become a transcriptionist online.
Transcription is all about typing what you hear from an audio or video file. It especially works when you’re good at understanding different accents. Good grammar matters a lot.
While some transcribers prefer specializing in a field, you’re free to become a general one. Most clients use freelance sites to post transcription jobs in a wide variety of subjects.
Check out a service like Scribie to find audio and video transcription jobs. There’s a test file you need to pass to prove your skills. You get paid per audio minute.
If you need some training to get started, here’s a free transcription mini-course.
7. Start a blog for business
Blogging for business is the best approach when it comes to making money as a blogger. While passion is a factor some consider when starting a blog, sometimes it’s not what people are searching for.
It’s best to do some niche research and write about things that will attract a significant amount of readers. Also, you should be knowledgeable about the topics you choose for your blog.
After deciding on your blog’s niche, buy your desired domain plus hosting using a site like Bluehost. The next step is to install WordPress through the hosting provider in a few clicks. Finally, you only need to publish some posts to your new blog.
Affiliate marketing, creating sponsored posts, and displaying ads are the common ways of monetizing your blog. You’ll need some traffic before earning anything. That’s why you should optimize your posts for search engines and promote them on social media.
In case you need to learn more, read this guide on blogging for beginners.
8. Become a social media manager
Most college students spend a lot of time on the Internet. If you’re one of them, getting a social media manager role will ensure that your time online is well spent.
You get paid while enjoying the fun of the Web. But that’s not entirely. You have to perform activities such as creating high-quality posts, interacting with users, and increasing brand awareness.
Because of the tasks involved, you need a proper social media strategy and some good communication skills. Taking one or two short courses on the same can improve your competency and easily get you such gigs.
As a beginner, it’s good to try your luck with small businesses and busy individuals. It could be a local company or a businessman you know. Work on improving their social media presence and you may get bigger gigs as time goes.
For more information about earning money through social media, check out the surefire ways to make money on Facebook.
9. Become a website tester
Becoming a website tester doesn’t require any special skills like programming or anything related. If you have a computer that can connect to the Internet, you’re good to go. A microphone is also necessary in some cases.
Website testing requires you to go to a client’s site and provide feedback. The information you give back is related to user experience, along with some suggestions for improvement.
One site to get a paid website testing opportunity is Usertesting. They have a quick test that you have to do before being accepted.
The earnings start from $10 for every 20-minute task. You earn more if matched with more companies that need insights like yours.
10. Dog sit
Dog sitting involves looking after dogs on behalf of their owners. Most dog owners prefer having someone else to care for their dogs when they’re not around.
If you’re a dog lover who has enough free time each day, this is a perfect opportunity for you. It’s all about feeding, playing with, and walking the four-legged friends. You do this at your home or at the owner’s place.
Depending on your location, you might need a license or background check to become a pet sitter. Confirm if there are such requirements in your area to stay on the right side of the law.
Rover is one of the best platforms for starting a profitable dog sitting business. You just have to create a profile, choose the types of dogs you want to look after plus the working dates, and get paid two days upon service completion.
Click here to join Rover and get connected with local dog owners today!
11. Tutor other students
Whatever degree you’re pursuing, there are one or more subjects you do quite well at. If you enjoy a particular subject, you might as well make money in college by tutoring it.
Your first step should be to check out your college website and see whether they offer any tutoring roles. If there aren’t any, inquire with your professor or an administrator.
Other than that, you’re free to set up off-campus tutoring sessions with other students. Be sure to follow any local rules and regulations. Aside from your fellow students, you can also tutor high schoolers and middle schoolers in the area.
An easy way to find tutoring jobs is by joining an online tutoring marketplace such as Tutors.com. The site offers plenty of jobs to tutor students of different levels. Earnings start from $25 per hour.
12. Share your car
Car-sharing is another way to earn more money if you have a car. You no longer have to let it lie around when not in use.
A perfect online option is to rent out your car on Turo. It’s a leading car-sharing marketplace that allows users to list their vehicles for free. And the process just takes a few minutes!
On Turo, you can either set your price or let the company determine the best pricing strategy for you. They offer car protection. But you’re free to give some conditions that ensure your car is used as you desire.
Once someone books your car, you only have to provide the keys at a confirmed location. You earn 60-85 percent of the trip’s price within 3 days after it’s over.
13. Drive passengers
Driving is a fun activity that can also put extra cash into your pocket. If you’re a car owner in college, this is an opportunity to utilize your free hours each day.
For instance, you could become a Lyft driver to find people who need rides in your location. The requirements include a driver’s license, background check, and insurance.
After signing up, turn on driver mode, accept a ride request, and pick your passenger. You get your earnings after the ride is done. The best part is that all the tips you earn remain with you.
When it comes to protection, Lyft offers additional insurance policies. So, there isn’t much to worry about.
14. Create an online course
Is there a field you’re an expert in and want the world to learn from you? Creating an online course gives you an opportunity to share knowledge with others while getting paid.
If you already have a topic in mind, you need to ensure it’s something people would pay to learn about. One way to do this is by gathering some information from your target audience through online polls and forms.
Aside from that, you can set up a landing page where users sign-up for your e-course before you create it. If the number of sign-ups is fine by you, go ahead with the course creation.
Go to Teachable if you need an online course builder that spares you from all the tech stuff. Their training program has lots of details on how to get started.
15. Develop an app
There are already several useful applications that came from the creative technological ideas of college students. If you have an app idea in mind, it’s high time you execute it.
Having the skills and tools to develop an app could go a long way. But you’re always free to partner with someone to help you with the development process.
Any useful mobile app will attract a number of users when properly promoted online. The next step is to monetize the app through ads, sponsorships, or in-app subscriptions and purchases.
Another way to generate revenue from an app is by selling it to someone else. This approach is necessary when you don’t have the means to grow it yourself.
Flippa is one marketplace for developers to sell mobile apps. As long as your app stands out, you’ll have several potential buyers.
16. Sell products with your designs
This is a perfect way to put your graphic design skill to use. You can do it through print-on-demand, where printing occurs after a customer order.
The designs range from simple texts to digital art about a specific topic. For instance, your target customers can be people in professional occupations.
Teespring is an example of an e-commerce platform where users can upload and sell their designs. Some products to put your designs on are clothes like t-shirts and accessories like phone cases.
Creating numerous designs and using them on a variety of items is essential for boosting your sales. It’s also possible to buy ready-made ones or hire someone to do the job for you.
Check out Placeit.net if you need ready-to-use templates to create designs and product mockups that attract buyers.
17. Sell your used books
If your old books are cluttering your space, it makes sense to sell the ones you no longer use. You generate some cash while giving others a chance to also educate themselves.
There are lots of buyers on Amazon and other e-commerce sites to buy or rent any of your books. These can be nonfiction books such as textbooks or fiction ones.
Remember to only list books that are in good condition. Check out for any missing or torn pages. The last thing you want is an unsatisfied customer leaving negative reviews about your stuff.
18. Sell your course notes
Did you know that you can turn your study notes and guides into money? You might be surprised by the number of students looking for extra study materials on the Internet.
Any good notes you’ve ever taken in class or as a coursebook summary can fetch a good price on a website like Stuvia. You only need to create a free selling account, set prices, and upload your documents on the site.
Using catchy titles and descriptions increases the chances of buyers finding your notes while searching online. Also, more positive reviews make it easy for more people to trust your work.
19. Work as a web designer
It’s possible to earn money from your web designing skills while studying in college. As a web designer, your work is to create websites and web pages for clients.
Nowadays, there are many tools that have made the process much easier. This means that you no longer have to sweat over it!
Most clients only need to see a few of your projects before hiring you. So, it’s good to set up a portfolio that shows the websites you’ve ever worked on. While starting out, you may need one or two sample sites to get a gig that pays well.
The best places to quickly find web designing gigs online are freelance sites. Social media groups are also helpful.
20. Join bug bounty programs
Bug bounties are great money-making opportunities open to everyone. That’s because more programs continue to offer bounties for high-quality reports on security risks in their websites and applications.
Big companies like Apple, Facebook, and Dropbox have bug bounty programs where users can earn several hundred to thousands of dollars for submitting critical bugs.
As a beginner, it may be challenging to spot such vulnerabilities because there are many bug bounty hunters out there. Putting some effort into researching matters about web security can get you somewhere.
Also, it helps if you know how to craft a good report with details that your target company will actually look into.
21. Be a door-to-door seller
This isn’t everyone’s favorite way of generating extra cash. But it can help the few that carry it out achieve some of their daily financial goals.
As you know, college students are also customers who require different products and services to make their days better. These needs vary by institution and location.
If you don’t have any ideas, ask some of your friends and interact with a few random students. Come up with a list and prioritize offering something that most students need but isn’t available or is limited. The whole concept is similar to the things you do before starting a business.
After that, get a supply for the product and start selling. Ensure that the institution allows it. If it’s a service, the process is much easier.
22. Offer campus tour
Campus tours educate visitors on the daily life, history, and achievements of a college. Prospective students and their families, alumni, and other guests are a few of the people who might require someone to show them around.
As a campus tour guide, you get a chance to leave a positive and lasting impression of your college on visitors. Some of the requirements include great public speaking and customer service skills.
Most colleges have an application process on their website. If you’re qualified, you only need to fill out the application form and wait to be selected.
Your institution might call you for auditions, interviews, or training. Once you’re in, all that remains is being available when visitors need you.
23. Serve as a research assistant
A research assistant position in college involves helping the professor or other professionals in a specific field. Your responsibilities will mostly depend on the field you’re in. The role gives you a chance to enhance your research experience and improve your organizational skills along the way.
Some institutions post research assistant jobs at a section on their websites. Check out your college website to see whether such roles are up for grabs.
The other way to get a research assistant job is by reaching out to your professor. Your chances are better if you’ve ever been a good student in one of the professor’s classes.
24. Apply for a campus dining job
Working in an on-campus restaurant or dining hall can be full of experiences. You get social with others while improving your culinary skills. Also, you get paid and even have free meals.
Similar to the other campus jobs, this position is likely to be advertised online on the campus job board. But it doesn’t hurt to ask when no information is available.
You may be required to take a quick training when your application is approved. If you’re one who enjoys offering dining services, nothing can stop you from doing everything as required.
25. Become a DJ
Many college students like to attend parties. If you have basic DJ skills, it’s time to get the crowd moving with good mixes and earn extra bucks while at it.
You don’t even have to buy any expensive DJ equipment. A lot of venues usually have a DJ set up. And you only need to carry a laptop containing music mixing software.
There are many tutorials online to help you learn how to use specific software. All you have to do is practice and get the hang of it. The party crowd will thank you for it!
26. Do event planning
Event planning is an interesting activity for anyone that likes creating experiences and meeting new people. It involves choosing meeting locations, transportation, and other details.
As an event planner, you need skills such as good communication, networking, and being organized. If you’re taking a hospitality course, chances are you’ve learned about some of these skills. It’s still possible to acquire them if you’re determined enough.
You also need to know the latest trends in various things related to planning events. These can be anything from fashion to music that people like.
27. Attend to people at a bar
It’s likely that there are one or many bars near your college. If there’s a chance of you getting hired to serve drinks there, go for it.
Depending on what part of the world you are in, there even might be an on-campus bar for students. However, that’s quite rare in countries like the US because 21 is the legal age to drink and most students are under that.
The requirements to bartend vary by location. Sometimes, but not always, a license is needed. Skills in mixology may come in handy too. The best way to learn everything you need is by starting out as another bartender’s helper.
Start Earning Money While Studying
There you have it – some of the best ways to make money in college starting today. You only need to choose one or a few of the listed ideas to get started.
Putting some effort into them is essential for boosting your earnings. But don’t forget your studies!
In case you need another favorite list, read this article on how to make 100 dollars a day.