As a college student, you often find yourself strapped for cash. Chances are you have some spare time to earn a few extra dollars in between managing classes and a social life. Thankfully, there are many possibilities to make money as a college student. It’s even possible to earn an income without having to leave your dorm room!
Make Money From Anywhere
These following work ideas are where the true income potential is! This is because you can partake in any of these income streams from anywhere with an internet connection. Even better, you can use your technical skills and these projects to build your portfolio and potentially turn into a long-term income stream that lasts well beyond your college years.
- Get Paid to Exercise
Employer wellness programs in recent years have begun paying employees for healthy behaviors. If you use a fitness app to record your steps or other physical activity, AchieveMint connects with 40+ Android and iPhone apps to pay you money for your healthy behaviors like exercise, counting calories, sleeping, and even for participating health research surveys.
- Take Online Surveys
If you have been wanting to give your two-cents on current issues and trends, you are an ideal candidate for taking surveys! Two of the best companies are Survey Junkie and Opinion Outpost that pay you cash. Online surveys are not as lucrative as working a typical part-time job, however, they can be completed when you have a few spare minutes in between classes or during a meal break and can serve as a secondary income stream.
- Become a Graphic Designer
Graphic design isn’t just for making website graphics and logos. While there is a strong demand for website design, it’s also possible to earn a tidy income by designing eBook covers, t-shirts, business cards, wall art, personalized gifts, and product packaging.
If you have an eye for design, put your talents to use with 99 Designs or Cafe Press. Either of these services will help you meet individual clients and large businesses looking for a quality designer.
- Freelance Write
Getting paid to write isn’t just for professional newspaper & magazine journalists. You might be surprised how many websites, blogs, and periodicals pay average people to write articles and eBooks for them. While being a journalism or writing major can lend you a competitive advantage, you don’t have to be the next Shakespeare or Stephen King to make money writing.
Anybody can make a steady income from freelance writing in their area of expertise such as personal finance, health & lifestyle, entertainment, marketing, etc. You already have experience writing research papers and college essays so the transition will be smaller than you expect.
Launching your freelance writing career might feel daunting at first. One of the best ways to get started is by taking the online course Earn More Writing that will show you how to build your personal brand and locate the best writing gigs in any niche.
- Start a Blog
If you want to pursue the previous idea of freelance writing, starting a blog is an excellent way to create a portfolio that prospective clients can use and earn passive income from affiliate marketing.
If you are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, here’s a quick review. On your blog or YouTube channel, you place an affiliate link to a product you recommend that visitors can click on. When the visitors clicks on the link, they will be taken to the merchant website to buy the product. If they make a purchase, you get a percentage of the proceeds.
Think of it as a “referral fee” your landlord pays you when a friend signs an apartment lease and mentions your name. The beauty of affiliate links is that they can continue to be a source of income as long as people continue to visit your site and have the opportunity click on the links. It’s entirely possible to earn affiliate income from articles you wrote 3 or 4 years ago.
While it’s easy to add affiliate links to any post on your blog, there’s a smart way to monetize your blog. Michelle, a successful affiliate marketer, shares her secrets of how show earns over $100,000 a month in affiliate links with her Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
- Start a YouTube Channel
If writing isn’t exactly your cup of tea, videos are another avenue to earn online income. In some ways, video channels like YouTube are more relevant than blogs with 1,000 words posts since you can visually see the person changing a car battery, performing a skateboard trick, or beating the final boss in a video game.
Similar to blogs, you can add affiliate links for products and services you recommend in the video. And, as long as the video is on YouTube and people continue to watch it, you have the opportunity to gain affiliate income when they make a purchase.
- Sell Something Online
If you have dreams of building the next eBay or Amazon e-commerce site, college is a great time to unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and create an online store. By using a platform like Shopify, you can start drop-shipping. This means you don’t have to kick your roommate out of your dorm to make room for all the inventory.
With Shopify, you create the sales pages and when the customer places an order, the manufacturer directly ships to the product from their warehouse to the customer’s front door. Or, you can always sell an online product like spreadsheets or eBooks that you have written. Another benefit of selling with Shopify is that they have twice as many templates as other online shopping carts, and, they offer a 14-day free trial.
- Sell Your Video Game Accounts
Maybe you were a video game addict in high school and no longer have time to play them & still get good grades in college. If that’s the case, you might be able to sell your video game accounts online at sites like eBay to the highest bidder. You worked hard to make all that process and it can be a quick way to make some extra cash.
- Earn Stock Dividends
While your disposable income might be very small as a college student, it’s never too early to start investing in stocks that pay regular dividends. With historically low bank interest rates, the stock market is one of the few avenues to earn passive income. Investing as a college student can also be a great learning experience as you can learn the ins & outs of investing with a small amount money to prepare you for when you earn a “real” paycheck and will be managing larger investments in your retirement & taxable brokerage accounts.
To maximize your earning potential you will want to use an online broker with the lowest trading fees. Ally Invest allows you to trade stocks as low as $3.95 per trade which is very affordable.
You can also trade ETFs and Mutual Funds to increase your investment diversification by reducing market risk without sacrificing your earning potential.
In addition to having some of the lowest fees in the industry, Ally Invest has excellent customer service and some pretty good research tools as well.
Making Money On Campus
Let’s start with some of the classic ways to make money in college. These might include some of the ways your parents or older siblings worked as college students.
At part of your financial aid package, although some positions are non-needs based, you might be able to find a work study job that allows you to get paid to study. Each semester, your school has paid work study positions to fill allowing you to potentially be a computer lab assistant, work behind the desk at the college library, or become a clerical assistant for an academic department.
Make Some Extra Cash by Taking Surveys
Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast. Check out Survey Junkie which will pay you instantly with cash via Paypal. They have over 6,000,000 members and they have an 8.9/10 rating on Trust Pilot.
There is an element of “work” to these jobs, but, when you don’t have to replace paper in the printers or help a student or professor with a task, you can use the time to study.
- Give Campus Tours
Many colleges often have groups of visitors that come to view the historic buildings or historical sites on the campus grounds and offer a 1-hour tour several times each day. If you meeting new people and have school pride, being a tour guide is an easy way to earn a few extra dollars without a huge time commitment.
- Be a Cashier at the School Museum or Campus Gift Shop
Many historic colleges also have a school museum that tells about the history of the college and might include special collections donated by alumni for current students and visitors to enjoy. Included in every museum or campus is a gift shop and a cash register manned by a student cashier. Being a cashier means you might not have as much free time to study compared to being a computer lab or library assistant, however, being able to remain on-campus might mean you can walk to work and save on driving expenses.
- Work at the Cafeteria
You can also work in your school cafeteria or one of the restaurants within the student center food court. These jobs might be more time intensive although it can be possible to have flexible hours as you can work breakfast, lunch, or dinner, compared to only in the afternoons with other types of employment.
- Sell Used Textbooks
Selling back your used textbooks to the campus bookstore has one of the lowest cash redemption values. Instead, selling your books using BookScouter will immediately check the price from 35 buyback vendors to show you the highest price.
When you sell your books, you only have to package them and can mail them for free.
It’s also possible to work off-campus and potentially earn more money as on-campus jobs don’t always pay the highest.
- Drive for Uber
If you have a car and are comfortable with using it as a taxi around town, driving for Uber is a unique way to make money. You can set your driving hours and only accept the trips that appeal to you.
Keep in mind there are some minimal qualifications you must meet such as being at least 21 years old, have at least 3 years of driving experience, and own a 4-door vehicle.
- Deliver Pizzas
While we are on the topic of driving, delivering pizzas isn’t just for the 16-year-old high school student that just earned their driver’s license. Many fast-food and pizza joints are happy to employ college students as cashiers or cooks, but, you have the potential to earn a few extra dollars if you can deliver because you earn tips along with a base hourly wage.
- Work at the Public Library
The local public library might also have hourly positions available allowing you to shelf books & movies that have been checked in. This can be a good option if you only need to work one or two afternoons a week as these positions are often part-time.
Tutoring is a great way to help high school students gain an understanding of courses like Chemistry, Foreign Language, Math, etc. There are websites that allow you to advertise your services online and you can earn at least $10 per hour.
- Teach Music Lessons
Parents are always looking for affordable music lessons. If you have a musical gift, teaching music lessons in college can be a great way to gain teaching experience and use your skills. You should be prepared to drive to the student’s house if you do not have a public meeting space available.
- Donate Plasma
If you aren’t afraid of needles, donating plasma for cash can earn up to $400 per month & you help somebody with a medical need in the process.
- Participate in Medical Experiments
There might be paid medical experiments and psychology experiments offered on-campus or your local hospital might be conducting a legal trial as well. Depending on the experiment, you could earn up to $20 per hour!
- Become a Handyman
If you have hands-on experience mowing lawns, fixing leaky faucets, painting bedrooms, moving, etc., using a site like TaskRabbit can help you earn money by completing tasks in the local community where somebody needs an extra hand. This can be another good income stream if only need one-time tasks and don’t mind exerting a little physical energy in the process.
- Take Care of Pets
Petsitting is a big business across the country and some people make a six-figure income from it. By connecting with professionals and pet owners that need somebody to walk the dog or spend an hour playing with their pets while they are away at work or traveling the globe, can be good money.
You may need to gain some certifications before you can start pet sitting and you can also find leads at your local pet stores and veterinarian offices.