Are you a college student who wants to make money as you learn?
College can seem like a giant contradiction at times. On one hand you are trying to get good grades and study for what feels like more hours than you have in a day.
But university life costs money. And that means that tuition, rent, food, and other bills that have got to get paid.
Luckily, you can do both: find time for schoolwork and make cash. Check out these 12 interesting ways to make money in college.
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Great Ways to Make Money in College
Unless you grew up in an entrepreneurial household, this might be your first real-life lesson as to what making income on the side is all about!
Side hustle income – income on the side – is a powerful tool. Those little (and sometimes big) bits of income you pick up here and there can change your life.
In fact, some of the side hustle income opportunities you try may wind up being big passive income sources that make you very wealthy some day.
But that’s for later on. Here and now, you’re at college and you need some cash!
Note: The main thing to keep in mind while you’re trying to make money at college is to find work you can do that is flexible.
Your studies are the most important thing because they are what will lead to your degree and ultimately earning a lot more income. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer or starve.
The money-making ideas mentioned here aren’t passive income ideas, but they will help you bring in some cash while you’re in school.
If you’re looking for passive income ideas, check out one of these posts
- 5 Ways to Make Passive Income with Real Estate
- Great Passive (and Residual) Income Ideas
- 7 Passive Income Ideas (That aren’t Stocks)
- How to Make Passive Income with Stock Photography
There are still plenty of ways to make money in college that don’t involve your full attention or every ounce of energy.
Here are a few you can start on right away.
1. Get a Part-Time Job
A part time job is the classic way to earn money while you’re college. But where you can make this work for you is to make it as easy or beneficial to you as possible.
Get something on campus or within walking distance to where you live. If you’re especially strategic, you’ll pick something that meshes well with your major and will look good on your resume later when you graduate.
Here are some ideas
- You can do jobs such as delivering pizza or working as a server (cash in hand every day via tips!!!)
- Work in retail sales as a cashier or stock person
- Get a job with a cleaning company doing office cleaning on nights, weekends or early mornings
- Work as a host person, bus person or cook at a restaurant
- Get an online customer service job you can work from your PC
Search local want ads and job posting sites for opportunities. Or, stop into local pizza places, restaurants or retail stores and put in an application.
2. Become a Mystery Shopper
Do you like to shop? Believe it or not you could get paid for it. Market research companies need people to shop at certain locations and evaluate the performance of the establishment. That way they will know how to improve their service.
Bestmark is one legit mystery shopping company that’s been in business for over 30 years.
3. Give Blood or Plasma
Although it’s not a lot of money, giving blood (or plasma) is always one of the easiest ways to make money in college. Your body is always making more! Plus not only will you be potentially helping others, but it is always in high demand.
4. Sell Things on the Internet
When you’re done with your books, notes, or even your lab supplies, sell them over the internet. Use well known sites like Amazon, eBay, or Craig’s List.
Or, learn how to sell other people’s products with Clickbank.
5. Become a Tutor
Who doesn’t need help with math or physics every now and again? If you know a subject well enough to explain it and have a good sense of patience, then you could earn some good money helping others with their studies.
You can start your own business by advertising on the college bulletin board, or sign up with a tutoring site such as:
Each of these companies has different tutoring subjects and responsibilities, so you’re sure to find one that fits your skills.
6. Play Music
College towns are full of good places to go and listen to music. But for that to happen, they need talented people who can perform well.
If you know how to play and/or sing, then you could make upwards of a few hundred dollars per show. That’s not bad for only a few hours worth of work.
Another option would be to create music pieces and sell them on sites like Getty Images. Getty Images pays you true passive income when they sell your music pieces to companies to use.
7. Sell Stock Photography
Have you ever searched the net for good photos to use in your projects? Well, there are professionals doing the same thing for their own pursuits.
Upload your photos to a site like iStockPhoto.com and make a little money off your photography skills by licensing them as stock images. Each time someone does, your revenue will add up.
8. Sell Your Tickets
Almost all universities offer a discount to their students for sporting events. So even if you don’t plan to go (or don’t even care about sports), you could still buy the tickets only to sell them later on a website like Stubhub.com.
Depending on the demand, you could make as much as 10x what you paid for them!
9. Help People Move
Who wouldn’t want a couple of young, spry gentlemen to help them move around heavy furniture and boxes.
The popular TV show Shark Tank featured a business called College Hunks that was built around the business model of young, strong college men helping people to move.
Check Craigslist or Indeed to help you find moving jobs near you.
10. Cash Back Programs
Just starting to use a credit card? Make sure it’s one that rewards you for every purchase you make.
Even if you get 5% cash back, just think of how much you’d make for simply using it to purchase your books or even your tuition. Here are 3 rewards credits cards that I personally use for just about every purchase.
Flying somewhere for spring break? Make sure you sign-up for a great airlines loyalty program so you can start earning some valuable points. Check out our top 5 suggestions here.
NOTE: It’s vitally important when using credit cards to earn cash back that you don’t pay any interest on your charges. Your paid interest will negate the cash you earn.
Therefore, you need to be sure not to spend more than you’d planned on, and pay your card balances in full every single month without fail.
Believe it or not, a lot of profitable bloggers and website builders are nothing more than young adults in college. Don’t believe me? Check out the story of young Tung Tran who built a niche website and sold it 6 months later making $12,000!
In fact, I built my own blog and sold it four years later for $11,000. Plenty of other people have figured out how to easily publish their thoughts, build an audience, and then attract advertisers who will be willing to pay them real money for placing ads on their site.
Not only can you start a free site using WordPress or Blogger, but you can also sign up for free advertising using services like Google Adsense or Amazon Affiliates.
Check out our How to Start a Blog and Make Money from it post and get your blog up and running in just 15 minutes.
You’ve already got to write for essays and reports. So why not make some money while you’re at it?
Freelance writing has become one of the most popular ways to make money in college because it’s very easy to acquire jobs. All you need to do is simply log on to a site like Upwork and apply for several jobs at a time.
In no time you could be earning a few hundred dollars per week depending on how many projects you have time for.
I’ve been earning money with freelance writing for over five years now. In fact, I earned nearly $30,000 last year writing part-time.
Luckily, there are lots of ways you can earn some extra cash while going to college. And every extra dollar you make means less student loan debt you’ll be saddled with after graduation.
And thankfully, the side hustle choices you have come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That means you can customize the hours you work to your individual college schedule.
Who knows: You may just graduate debt-free if you find the right combination of side jobs in college.