How to Make Money in College
Managing your finances is one of the biggest challenges for college students. Tuition fees are expensive, and there are additional costs to consider, including buying books and study aids, accommodation, food, and travel.
The average college student in the US has debts in the tens of thousands of US dollars, and the total student loan debt in the US is almost $1.75 trillion. The good news is that there are ways to make money in college.
In this helpful guide, we’ll explore how to make money in college and offer advice for students to ease financial pressures and make college life more enjoyable and less stressful.
How Do College Students Make Money in 2024?
Studying can be full-on, and the last thing students want is to miss valuable classroom time or skip lectures to stay afloat. This article will focus on the best ways for college students to make money without compromising their education. Here is a list of ideas for those looking to earn extra income in college:
Fill In Online Questionnaires and Surveys
One of the simplest and most accessible ways to boost your balance at college is to devote a few hours a week to filling in surveys and online questionnaires. You can earn money by answering questions and sharing your views, ideas, and opinions.
If you like the sound of this option, there are various sites you can register with to get started. Examples include Survey Junkie and InboxDollars. This is a great way to make money in college for those who are looking for a flexible income stream that won’t impact study time or put any extra stress on schedules and timetables.
Make sure to choose reputable sites and read user reviews. Filling in surveys is unlikely to make you a millionaire, but it can provide extra funds that will come in handy if you need to buy new books or cover your monthly grocery bill.
Become a Delivery Driver
If you can drive or have a bike, you could make some extra money as a college student by joining a delivery service. On-demand deliveries have surged in popularity, and many companies are expanding and taking on new staff members.
You could explore options like Postmasters or DoorDash, which provide flexible opportunities to increase your income and earn outside college hours. You can work around your schedule and study commitments, taking on as many hours as you like.
The beauty of on-demand delivery driver jobs is that they don’t tie you down. You have control of your schedule and can increase or decrease your hours in line with how much time you want to commit to your studies. You may decide to cut back in the run-up to exams, for example, and increase your hours during the holidays when you’re not at college.
If you are considering becoming a delivery driver, it’s wise to research companies and read reviews from employees and team members before applying. Look for businesses that have positive review scores and a track record of looking after their drivers.
Use Your Skills To Teach Others
College students, especially those in academic professions, often have skills well-suited to teaching others. Tutoring is a great way to make money in college as it allows you to use your skills and the time you’ve spent studying and learning to benefit others.
There are various options to choose from for advertising your services and finding jobs. You can use websites like FlexJobs, advertise online or look for clients through people you know. For example, if you’re studying French, you could ask around and see if any of your friends or relatives know people who want to learn.
You could advertise your services on social media, set up a website, or put flyers through doors and post adverts in local stores and community centers. You could also contact local schools and see if they are interested in extra-curricular classes or workshops.
If you’re looking for ways you can make money as a student and you like the idea of tutoring, you could also investigate online options. Online tutoring has become incredibly popular during the pandemic, as it’s safe and allows people to learn no matter where they are in the world.
If you’re in Los Angeles, you can teach students in Alabama, New York, or Seattle from the comfort of your dorm. Online teaching is more flexible than face-to-face tutoring, and it may also be easier to find clients as the pool will be larger.
Become a Research Assistant
Most colleges are centers for research and development. Becoming a research assistant is an excellent way to make money on campus while honing your skills and expanding your knowledge base. Ask your tutors and professors about opportunities to join research teams and look for posts advertised in college newspapers and websites.
Research assistants play a crucial role in helping academics, experts, and research fellows conduct experiments, trials, and projects efficiently. This is an exciting avenue to explore, and it can also enhance your resume and career prospects, particularly if you are looking to pursue a path that involves data collection and analysis.
Turn Your Interests Into Income
More and more people are using their skills, talents, and passions to boost their income. Setting up a side hustle is a fantastic way to earn money while attending school. Whether you love to paint, design your own clothing or jewelry, or bake incredible cakes, you can turn your interest into an income stream.
Take inspiration from your hobbies and research ways to monetize your new venture. You could sell baked goods at local fairs or markets or set up an Etsy or eBay store for jewelry, paintings, custom-designed clothing, or handmade decorative items, for example.
Make New Canine Companions
If you’re an animal lover, why not earn money in college by making some new canine companions? Statistics suggest that 69 million households in the US have at least one dog. Dogs are lovable and make wonderful pets, but they require a lot of affection and attention. They are sociable creatures and can’t be left for long periods.
This means that many dog owners are looking for reliable people they can hire to take their dogs for walks or look after their pets if they go away for a weekend. Dog walking and dog sitting can be lucrative jobs, and if you love dogs, there’s no better way to give your bank balance a boost.
Local social media groups are an excellent source of information for people looking for jobs, as American spending on dog walking services amounted to $979.2 million in 2021. You could also post flyers in the neighborhood and advertise in local papers and magazines.
On-campus jobs are sought-after because they provide students with the opportunity to earn extra money in college without worrying about paying travel expenses or making their way to different locations. If you can get a job on campus, you can combine studying with working and enhance your resume.
Look for positions on notice boards and internal web pages and follow college social media accounts. Examples of roles that may interest you include working in student stores, restaurants, and shops, campus security, and IT support.
Cafe, Restaurant, and Bar Work
Many students earn an income at college by taking jobs in cafes, restaurants, and bars. These jobs are often ideal for college students because they offer flexible hours and work during evenings and weekends.
Most companies don’t require a huge amount of experience, training is provided for new employees, and there are opportunities to climb the ladder and increase earnings.
For students, working in a bar or restaurant is also a great way to make new friends and enjoy a social life outside of college. You can choose to work on campus or at a bar, cafe, or restaurant somewhere in your area, ideally close to your college or home.
Selling Your Things
Selling stuff you don’t need or want anymore is one of the best ways you can make money in college without getting a job. If you’ve finished with textbooks or you’ve got clothes you know you’ll never wear again, sell them.
You could see if your campus bookstore will buy books back from you or use online sites to sell those books, clothes, or whatever else you don’t need.
You can also use auction sites. If you have friends who have got stuff they don’t want, and their books are gathering dust, you could also offer to sell their possessions for them for a small fee.
Working at events is very popular with students because it tends to involve working during evenings and weekends and there are often opportunities to earn money during the holidays. From bar work and security to waiting tables and escorting guests to their table, many different roles are available.
Examples of events include galas and charity balls, sporting events, music gigs, weddings, and large corporate and private parties.
Do you love to write, or do you enjoy connecting with people online and discussing your interests? Blogging is a popular hobby, but it can also be very lucrative. You can monetize your blog and earn extra money in college through paid advertising, affiliate content, and membership schemes.
There is potential to make huge sums if your blog takes off and you have a large audience.
Read articles about setting up a blog, growing your audience, and making money from blogging. Look at successful blogs and think about what you want to focus on and which topics you know a lot about. You might choose something related to your college degree, or you may want to use your blog to get creative outside of study hours.
Popular genres and topics include lifestyle, fashion, technology, business, finance, beauty, and travel.
More and more people, particularly residents in big cities, use rideshare companies to get around. Driving jobs provide a simple way to make money in your spare time. If you join a company like Uber or Lyft, you can use your free time to increase your earnings by taking customers to their chosen destination.
If you have a license, a reliable vehicle, and valid car insurance, you can pick up jobs when you’re not working and increase your hours when you have some free time. This is a flexible option for college students, and it can help you earn a lot of money, especially during evenings, weekends, and during the breaks between semesters.
Working in retail is a great way to make extra cash while in college. Most stores are open seven days a week, many are open in the evenings, and there are often both part-time and full-time positions available. You can find a job that fits in with your schedule easily. Your employer might offer more work during busy periods, or you can work longer hours during college breaks if you need the cash.
If you like the idea of working in retail but you can’t commit to a part-time job during the semester, it may be possible to take advantage of temporary jobs, such as seasonal gigs during the holidays. Many companies hire extra staff to cope with increased demand in the run-up to the festive season.
Working in a shop enables you to meet new people, and it could also provide access to staff discounts and incentives. If you work in a bookstore or a clothes shop to earn money in college, for example, you could save a lot of money on updating your wardrobe and buying textbooks.
Look for Paid Internships
Internships provide valuable opportunities for college students to develop their skills and get an insight into the world of work, but they can also help you earn money while you’re at college. Many businesses offer unpaid internships, but paid jobs are also available.
A paid internship will provide you with an income, and it could also help you learn about your future career more and see what everyday work will look like. If you impress the boss, they may even offer you a permanent job or consider you for a graduate scheme.
Use Your Tech Skills
If you’ve grown up with social media, know how to use apps or create websites, or are well-versed in coding, you could utilize your skills and knowledge to earn extra income in college. Create an app, offer web design or development services or even create your own online course - your skills and imagination are the only limits.
Do you love to shop? If so, what could be better than earning money for indulging your love of retail therapy? Mystery shopping involves going to stores or visiting cafes and restaurants, for example, and providing feedback about the service, the quality of products, and the aesthetic and ambiance of the store.
You will be given a task and then visit the store undercover, after which you’ll give the company your report. Mystery shopping is flexible, and it can also be really fun. If you enjoy shopping and you don’t want to get a permanent job, this is one of the best ways to make money in college.
Renting Your Car
If you own a car and don’t use it much, you could consider renting it out to earn some extra cash. Many students find that they don’t really need a car because they spend most of their time on campus and they use public transport to get to local towns and cities.
You can use sites like HyreCar and Turo to find people looking for rental vehicles. This is an easy way to earn money without doing anything.
If you go on vacation or travel for work, you’ll often leave your house empty and potentially in danger from burglars. House sitting is an excellent way for college students to make money.
All you have to do is look after the person’s house while they’re away and make sure you complete any tasks they ask you to undertake, such as watering the plants and collecting the mail.
Rates for this kind of job vary and will usually depend on the duration, the location of the home, and the jobs the house sitter is required to do.
The best places to look for house-sitting jobs are neighborhood Facebook groups and local newspapers. You can also ask people you know if they have friends or relatives who might be interested in this service.
Babysitting and Nannying
If you love kids, babysitting is a brilliant way to make some extra money as a college student. Many parents are looking for reliable, trustworthy people they can call if they have work commitments or want a weekend away. Babysitting tends to be a flexible and sporadic job, which works for many students.
Another option to consider if you have experience looking after children is nannying. It usually involves working more hours than babysitting, and, in some cases, there may be additional jobs, such as cooking, cleaning, and taking kids to and from school.
If you want to find a nannying job, look for a role that will fit in with your studies. For example, some families may be looking for a nanny after school, and if you have classes in the morning, this could work for you.
Most homeowners could write a list of odd jobs they need doing. The trouble is that it’s difficult to find the time or muster up the enthusiasm to actually work through the list and cross tasks off it. This is why there is potential to earn money by offering to take on the jobs that people either don’t want to do or don’t have the time to tackle.
From weeding the garden and painting fences to putting shelves up, washing the car, or doing the weekly grocery store run, college students can make money by providing local residents with basic maintenance services and help around the house.
You could advertise your services on local websites and community social media groups and post flyers around your neighborhood.
With casual jobs like this, word of mouth is hugely powerful. You may find that if you have a couple of clients, your list grows very quickly when they recommend you to their neighbors, colleagues, and friends.
How can I make a lot of money in college?
If you have ambitions to earn a lot of cash while studying, you could explore options like becoming a delivery driver, online tutoring, setting up a side hustle, blogging, etc. Depending on the job and the hours you have available, you could make quite a bit of money.
How can I earn money as a student?
Check out our guide above, where we list 20 good ways to make some extra cash as a student. There are numerous options, from active jobs like nannying and tutoring to more passive income streams such as renting your car or selling unneeded items.
Can you make six figures out of college?
If you followed our advice on how to make money in college, you should have a good idea of what to expect.
The best way to start earning six figures out of college is to either get a good internship (leading to a well-paid position straight out of college) or come up with a novel idea you could sell for a whole lot of money (write a book, invent a cryptocurrency, solve a problem with a unique product, etc.) It’s not easy, but it’s doable!
I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.