How to Make Money in College 💸

In the past, there were only a few ways to make money in college. The most typical being on-campus jobs, working as a dishwasher, and working in retail.
Allan T
20
min read
Apr 14, 2021

Now there are dozens of ways of making money as a student. Maybe you want to reduce your student debt, maybe you just want some extra spending money, maybe you want to get a head start on investing, whatever the reason, this article will tell you 80 ways to make money including how to make money online as a college student.

How to Make Money in College - Entrepreneurship

Launch An Online Course

If you’re an expert at something, there’s always a chance people will want to learn from you. Your online course could be about your particular major, whether it be finance, marketing, or graphic design, or a hobby you’re passionate about like gaming, dancing, or photo editing. 

Write a Blog

Blog writing has evolved from the early days of the internet when it was more like an online diary with few monetization options. If you can rack up a few hundred hits every day, you could make money through affiliate marketing and banner ads. You might not make a lot at the start, but there’s the potential to make thousands of dollars. 

Start a YouTube Channel

Everybody has an idea for a YouTube channel, and streaming services are only going to get more lucrative. If you have a particular skill or talent, YouTube could be a great place to showcase it and make some money. If you have a specific interest, you could start a niche channel catering to it, for example, skateboarding, obscure video games, dinosaurs, or carpentry.

Start Writing Resumes

Crafting a great resume is a skill that not everyone has, but is vitally important to landing a good job. Many people who didn’t attend a higher education institution never really learned how to write a resume, which means there are millions of people who could be potential clients. 

Do Freelance Writing

Every company needs content, and if you have strong writing skills, finding a freelance writing gig is pretty easy. You can find jobs through websites like Fiverr or Upwork, but building a portfolio and pitching to online publications is a more lucrative way to make money. 

Work as a Graphic Designer

Even if you don’t study graphic design, if you have some skills with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, you can easily make money online. Companies need everything from logos, pamphlets, business cards, web illustrations, characters, packaging, and more, so the options are limitless!

Become a Virtual Assistant

If you have a wide variety of skills that could be useful to a business you could get a job as a virtual assistant. You’d be in charge of a variety of small tasks like writing emails, designing small logos, setting up travel arrangements, handling social media, etc. Think of it as being a part-time secretary, but you can work from the comfort of your own home.

Design T-Shirts 

It’s gotten easier than ever to get T-shirts printed with whatever design you want on them. You could design and sell clothing with graphics or words, or even sell custom-made clothing with unique art. It’s a great way to make some side money, and there’s always the chance you end up with a clothing empire!

Design Websites 

Every company needs a website and many of them are realizing that their old websites from 2007 aren’t going to cut it anymore. You can easily learn how to design websites from free online courses and use platforms like Wix and Squarespace to build beautiful websites. 

Make an App

You don’t need to have programming skills to get an app into the world. If you have an idea and do some research, it’s easy to hire freelance programmers who can make your app idea come to life. If you think you have an amazing idea, you can source initial investment from places like Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites.

Drive for a Ride-Share Company 

If you have a car, driving for Uber, Lyft, or a local rideshare company is a great way to make some extra cash. You can set your own hours, and sure, you might come across the occasional unpleasant customer, but you’ll meet tons of interesting people while making money.

Work at Front Desk

If you have an outgoing personality and love talking, companies are always looking for young people to work at the front desk. Look at restaurants, businesses, museums, and hotels, for a great opportunity just waiting for you. 

Start a Catering Business

Thousands of people around the world started catering businesses during the lockdown. If you enjoy cooking and your friends or family always rave about your food, look into starting a catering business. There are lots of ways to get your food delivered, and you can start advertising for free through social media. 

Flip Things

If you like searching for great deals, there’s always the chance you could sell them for a profit. You can sell almost anything! You may start making just a little money, but it also has the potential to get you thousands of dollars.

Organize Events

College students are always looking for fun things to do, so organizing interesting events is one of the best ways to make money as a student. Organizing events will also help develop a wide social circle and looks great on a resume.

Organize Trips

Similar to organizing events, you could organize special trips ranging from activities like hiking, all the way to travel in foreign countries. By offering travel companies and hotels many customers, you can get large discounts and offer a great value trip, while making a tidy profit. 

Do Voice-Over Work

There are tons of opportunities to do voice-over work. If you have a good speaking voice, all you need is a decent microphone and you could start voicing over presentations, short animations, dub YouTube videos and find other interesting options. 

Work as an SEO Specialist 

If you have an analytical mind and some experience with Search Engine Optimization, then becoming an SEO specialist could make you a ton of money. If you don’t know anything about SEO, there are free online courses that can get you started on the basics. 

Start a Gardening Business

If you like working outdoors and especially if you like plants, working as a gardener pays a lot more than just doing odd jobs. It’s a great way to spend time with nature and can make you a few extra bucks as well. 

Become a Busker

Playing or performing on the streets is no easy thing. It takes a lot of courage, but it is intensely rewarding. If you play an instrument, dance, paint, or have a hobby that can hold people’s attention, busking is a great way to get more practice, build confidence, and make some money. 

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How to Make Money in College - On-Campus Jobs

Assist a Professor

You might come across the kind of professor that’s inspiring or a class that you just love. If that’s the case, then apply to be a teacher’s assistant for the professor or course. You’ll get a chance to learn a lot and make some extra money. 

Work at the Library 

Working at your campus library might not be the most glamorous job, but it’s peaceful and easy. If you like books or enjoy having time to yourself, then this could be the perfect job for you!

Give Campus Tours

Do you love your school and have an outgoing personality? If so, giving campus tours to prospective students and their families is the perfect way to make some money. Not only do you get to talk about your school, but you can help new students get comfortable in new surroundings. 

Be a Research Assistant 

Most universities require professors to do research as well as teach. Working as a research assistant gives you more exposure to a subject that you want to know about, looks great on a resume, and is one of the best ways to make money in college.

Work in Campus Security

Not every university offers this position to students, but if yours does, it’s a way to make money without going off-campus. You would also be doing a good deed by keeping your fellow students safe. 

Work as IT Support

If you’ve always been the person that family and friends go to for computer help, then working in the IT support department at your school can be an easy way to make extra money. Most students don’t know how to troubleshoot computer issues, and you’ll always have experts around to help you with a problem. 

Be a Resident Advisor

Becoming a resident advisor (RA) comes with a lot of responsibility, but it also looks great on a resume. You will also get a chance to get to know a lot of people and help them when needed while making some money.  

Be a Campus Ambassador

Many colleges and universities send their students to high schools and community colleges to tell those students why they should attend their university. It’s usually pretty prestigious, you get to travel, the pay is pretty good, and it looks great on a resume.

Work in the Dining Hall

Again, this might not be the most glamorous job on this list, but scoring a job in the dining hall comes with a bunch of perks (including getting an extra helping of your favorite food). The work is straightforward, and it gives you some extra pocket money. 

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How to Make Money in College - Off-Campus Jobs

Babysitting

Any middle schooler with a thriving babysitting business can tell you that you can make some serious cash babysitting. If there’s a college town close by, look for babysitting opportunities there, otherwise, see if you can babysit for professors. 

Be a Barista

Working as a Barista is one of those rites of passage things that is always a good story later in life. You learn how to make one of the most important beverages in the world, you get to talk to hundreds of people, and the money’s not bad either. 

Be a Bartender

Getting a bartender job is ever cooler than being a barista. It’s a skill that is going to be useful your entire life, and it’s probably one of the best ways to meet new people, not to mention make serious money if you work at the right place or get a lot of tips. 

Deliver Things

As long as you have a method of transportation, you can make money delivering things. Websites like Doordash specialize in food delivery, whereas companies like Postmates are an on-demand delivery service. It’s one of the easiest ways to make money in college. 

Be a Private Tutor

If you love a certain subject and enjoy teaching, working as a private tutor can be the perfect gig. You could teach other college students or find high schools in a town close by. Based on how good you are, how complicated the subject you’re teaching is, and how many students you can get, you could make hundreds of dollars a week. 

Be a User Tester

New websites need people to go through them to check that links work, the language is correct, and there are no bugs. You can sign up to a platform like UserTesting.com and make some quick money as a user tester. 

Do Transcription 

Algorithms have gotten pretty good at understanding human voices, but they still make mistakes at times. There are many companies that hire real-life humans to listen to audio or video and then transcribe it into words. Check out companies like GoTranscript or TranscribeAnywhere and start making money. 

Do Data Entry

Data Entry is an easy job to do that requires no prerequisites. You can find work on sites like Fiverr and Upwork, or look at a specific job posting from companies. 

Do Translation

If you speak multiple languages, then working as a translator can be very lucrative. There are many jobs for casual language translation, but if you can translate more technical documents, you can make some serious money. 

Work as a Social Media Manager

Companies are realizing that no matter what they do, they need a social media presence. If you love social media, a quick course in SMM can land you well-paying jobs. Once you have some experience, you can look for more lucrative opportunities as a social media manager. 

Use Micro Freelance Websites 

Micro Freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork are a great place to find thousands of random jobs that you might be able to do. They are easy to sign up to, and though you might start slow, you can make thousands of dollars on sites like these 

Walk Dogs

Do you love Doggos? If you do, and especially if you miss your furry friend who’s far away at home, walking dogs is a great way to get some dog time, as well as make money. Not to mention meet other dog lovers!

Be a Test Subject

Don’t worry, they still have to follow basic safety standards. New drugs and products need test subjects, and college students have traditionally been a recruiting ground, so be on the lookout for opportunities. You can choose which trials you want to be a part of and make excellent money.

Work as an Extra 

Depending on the city you live in, you might be able to find work as an extra on a television show or movie. The money can range from peanuts to a hundred dollars a day, but regardless, the work is fascinating and you’ll always have an interesting story to tell. 

Work in Retail

Malls and shops always need salespeople, and if you have an outgoing personality and like talking to people, this can be a great job. The pay might not be spectacular, but it looks great on a resume, and it requires no prerequisites. 

Edit or Proofread

If you’re an English major, or just super intense about grammar, you could get a job as an editor of a proofreader through education websites like Studyfy, or sites like Fiverr, and Upwork. Once you have a little experience, you can make upwards of $25 an hour. 

Become a Brand Ambassador

If you have a lot of followers or subscribers, you can get sponsored by a brand, but you could also become a brand ambassador for a company and promote their products in person on campus. Based on how well you do, it’s one of the best ways how to earn money in college. 

Work as a Server

Another classic job, working as a server can be brutal or incredibly rewarding. It gives you a chance to work on your people skills, and if you can land a job at a fancy restaurant, can be quite lucrative. 

Be a Tour Guide 

If your college is in an interesting city, working as a tour guide can be a fun way to earn some money. An abundance of tourists means many opportunities, especially if you tell them you’re a poor college student trying to make some extra cash.

Work at a Call Center

Sites like LiveOps let you sign up to be a virtual call center operator from the comfort of your own home. You have to go through a verification process, but it’s simple to get started and can make you some good money. 

Work as a Model

Maybe it’s been a dream of yours since you were a child. Modeling agencies often send scouts to college and university campuses, so there is a chance you could start a career as a model just walking around!

Rent Out Your Stuff

Rent Out Your Car

If you live close to campus or live at home, then renting your car to fellow college students can be a great way to make some extra money. You can rent it by the hour, or rent it for days if people want to take it for a road trip. Just be careful who you rent it to! You don’t want your car to get damaged. 

Rent Out Your TextBooks

You can rent your textbooks to people by the hour, by the day, or by the week and make some extra money just by smartly scheduling your study time. If you have old textbooks for courses you’ve already completed, then you could start your own mini-library!

Rent Out Extra Storage Space

There are always college students that need a place to store something over the summer, or during exchange programs and gap years. Even if you have just a little bit of extra space, you could make a few bucks by renting it out.

Rent Out a Room

If you’re renting your own place close to the university or live at home, renting a room can bring you hundreds of dollars a month and is a way how to make money in college without a job.

Rent Out Your Stuff

College students need all kinds of small appliances and furniture, so if you live at home and have lots of extra odds and ends, you could easily rent them out to new college students. It’s an interesting way of making a few extra dollars.

Rent Out Your Clothes

If you have nice clothes, or an eccentric collection of clothing items, renting them out for events and parties can turn into a lucrative business. This could bring in just a few dollars, or if you have a vast collection, could bring you hundreds of dollars a week.

Sell Your Old Stuff

Sell College Papers

Old college papers are worth a lot of money to people who want to get a head start on studying for university and tutoring companies. Websites like Gradesaver will pay you for old college papers that they use to develop teaching methods for their students.

Sell Your Old Textbooks

Selling your old textbooks is a time-honored way of making a little extra money in college. Textbooks are expensive, so there’s a thriving secondhand market. You can easily make a hundred dollars every semester by selling textbooks to new students taking the classes you’ve completed. 

Sell Old Textbooks

If you have an entrepreneurial streak, buying old textbooks at a low price and selling them for a profit can be a worthwhile business. If you can buy and sell 20 books for a 15 dollar profit per book, you can make $300 a semester, making it a great way how to make money while in college. 

Sell Your Photos

There’s a way to monetize the thousands of photos you’ve taken over the years. It’s easy to open an account on stock photo sites like Shutterstock and start uploading photos. It may not pay well at the beginning, but if you upload a few thousand photos, you could make over $300 a month. 

Sell Notes

Everyone needs good notes, but few people are good at taking and organizing them. If you are a meticulous note-taker, there are three ways to make money off them. Sell them to your classmates when final exams are coming up, sell them to a new batch of incoming students, or sell them to websites that offer tutoring help. It’s a great way how to make a lot of money in college.

Sell Furniture

Students move around, and new students come in every year. This means that there is a ready market for secondhand furniture. Rather than junking your old couch, put out ads on social media to see if anyone is willing to buy it. It’s one of the easy ways to make money in college.

Sell Craft on Etsy

If you enjoy working with your hands, Etsy is the perfect platform to sell your creations. Homemade jewelry, decorative pieces, custom clothing, there could be people who will pay you for whatever you make. 

Recycle Aluminum and Plastic

Collecting cans and bottles for recycling is another well-known way of making a little extra cash. Not only does it give you some spending money, but it’s also great for the environment. 

Sell Blood

Blood banks and hospitals are always in need of blood plasma for transfusions, and you can make up to $300 a month selling your blood while staying healthy. Blood is often in short supply, so you’d be doing a good deed and its a way how to make money fast in college

Sell Sperm

There are more and more people in the market for sperm nowadays. Single women who want to have children and couples that can’t conceive are the biggest buyers through sperm banks. You can make up to $50 per deposit if you’re healthy!

Sell Hair

You may not want to say goodbye to your luscious locks, but if you are getting a haircut, consider selling your hair. The highest quality wigs and extensions are made with human hair, so there’s always a market. If you have the right kind of hair, you could make thousands of dollars!

Sell Art

Who said you have to wait to be an established artist out of university to sell your art? Whether you’re in an arts program or it’s a hobby, you never know if people will buy your work if you don’t try to sell it. Use social media to see if there are people interested in buying your art, and make some money!

How to Make Money as a College Student by Doing Tasks

Fill Out Online Surveys

Websites like Swagbucks, Toluna, and LifePoints all pay you to take surveys. These surveys can be as short as a couple of minutes or last an hour, but you get paid based on how long and complicated the survey is. Make sure you read the rules and understand the system for each company. 

Do Tasks Online

You can get paid for watching videos, writing reviews, watching movie previews, and a host of other things you probably do anyway. Swagbucks is the best site for making money just doing things online and how to make extra money as a college student.

Watch Videos

Why would companies pay you to just watch videos online? Well, essentially the more views a video gets, the higher the chance that it will go viral. This means that companies like Swagbucks, iRazoo, and Inboxpounds will pay you to watch all kinds of videos!

Work in Market Research

Taking part in focus groups for market research companies is fun and interesting. You get the satisfaction of knowing that your opinion might have had an impact, and the pay can be really good. Companies often advertise opportunities to college students, so be on the lookout!

Build Passive Income

Start Investing

The goal should be to create an investment portfolio that will allow you to generate enough passive income that you can retire at an early age. This doesn’t mean you have to start big though! You can start investing with whatever amount you have, and slowly build your empire. There are apps like RobinHood and Acorn that let you get started for free.

Invest In Yourself

Use any extra money you have to start your own business and then use profits to expand. Remember, the more your business grows, whatever it is, the higher your chances of building a substantial passive income.

Invest in Real Estate

New rules and laws have made it possible to start investing in real estate with as little as $500. Crowd-funded real estate platforms like CrowdStreet and Fundrise let you buy a portion of real estate and start building a passive income stream.

Top-5 Ideas on How to Make Money Online in College

Become a Professional Cuddler

Do you love cuddling? Of course you do, you monster! This may come as a surprise, but a professional cuddler is actually a job. Websites like CuddleComfort and Cuddlist will set you up with clients who will pay you for a good cuddle.  

Become a Professional Friend

You can get paid to hang out with people and make friends! Sounds too good to be true, but websites like Rentafriend do exactly that. It’s a great way to make a little extra cash in college. 

Become a Wedding Officiator

Different states have different regulations about this, but many let anybody sign up to officially become a wedding officiant. If you’re an interesting person, speak well, or have a niche interest like hiking or StarTrek, you could officiate weddings for money.

Become a Human Billboard

This is a trend that’s been growing over the past few years. Brands will try anything to get noticed, so you can be a human billboard. This doesn’t mean wearing some ugly sign, you could wear a shirt, get a logo cut into your hair, or get a temporary tattoo. After that, all you need to do is walk around to get paid. 

Follow a Passion

Whatever you’re passionate about can become a way of making money. Platforms like Twitch, TikTok, Instagram, Fiverr, Etsy, YouTube, Blogs, Shutterstock, and many more let you find ways of following your hobbies while answering how to earn money as a college student.


Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean that you can’t make money. Most students leave college with debt that takes decades to pay off. By working one or several jobs in college, you can ensure a better life in the future. Not only do you get money, but you’ll develop new skills, meet interesting people, and have tons to put on your resume. College can get really busy though, so if you need any help with your academics while working a side job, Studyfy is the perfect place to get help with whatever you need.