How to Make Money in College (25 Ways to Earn Money as a Student)

Being a university student can be very stressful, especially if you are constantly broke or living paycheck to paycheck. Read on to learn how to make money in college.

College comes with a lot of financial responsibilities, so finding creative ways to make a little extra money on the side can be helpful.

You can chip away at tuition and housing costs to reduce your expenses.

And, if you’re really smart with your time, you even can sock away some money into a savings account.

But what should you do to generate a little more income — or maybe a lot of income?

Keep reading to learn how to make money in college! 


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1. Sell Things Online

An easy way to earn extra income is to sell things online. Take that sweater you don’t like anymore and sell it on eBay or another online marketplace. When you make the transaction, you can gain enough cash to cover the cost of textbooks — or new clothes.

To go a step further, head to the local reuse shops or flea markets to find old furniture and other retro items. Slap on a coat of paint or some embellishments to upcycle them. And then sell them at a higher price through online marketplaces.

2. Help People Move

If you like hands-on work and don’t mind a little sweat, helping people move is a great option for college students. Even better, if you have a like-minded friend, you can sell your moving service together.

You’ll be able to undercut professional movers but still make a tidy profit. You may have to sacrifice some weekend mornings or afternoons, but it will be worth it to put more cash in your pockets.

3. Drive for a Rideshare Company

If you have a car, use it to make money. Sign up with a company like Uber or Lyft, and clock some hours each week driving people to their destinations. You can set your own schedule and score some great tips!

4. Take Surveys

Did you know that you can sit in front of your computer and take surveys to earn extra income? Try sites like Swagbucks, InboxDollars, or Survey Junkie. All you need to do is set up an account and see which surveys you qualify for!

Related Read: Brag Sheet: What Are College Brag Sheets and How to Make One

5. Sell Your Textbooks to College Students

Maybe Victorian literature and astronomy weren’t your favorite classes. Don’t worry — you can earn back some of the money you spent to take those classes. After all, it’s highly likely that someone else will take those classes and need the right books. 

Use sites like eBay or Facebook’s marketplace to sell your books. Students who want to save money by getting used books will jump at the chance to buy them! While selling old textbooks won’t make you rich, it will produce some money and declutter your dorm room.

6. Tutor Your Peers

When it comes to classic college jobs, tutoring is a big one. The only catch is that you have to know your subject matter well — and how to explain it clearly. And if you have a good grade point average, that will make you a more marketable tutor. 

You may be able to do this process formally through a part-time job at your college’s peer learning center. As an alternative, you can offer your expertise via a flyer on a community bulletin board. Word will get around if you can translate tutoring sessions into better grades!

7. Wondering How to Make Money in College? Try House Sitting

In many house-sitting gigs, you get paid to move into a house for the duration of the gig. This often is true if part of your job is managing pets or plants on the premises. With house sitting, you can enjoy access to a living room and kitchen — and get a break from dorm life. 

Related Read: Greek Life 101: A Full Introduction Into College Fraternities & Sororities

8. Sell Art Online

Are you always crafting things or painting in your spare time? Make money off of your creative creations! Set up a shop on a site like Etsy and start listing your products.

Just be sure to take good product pics and clarify your shipping terms. Share your shop with friends and family — and on social media sites. Being passionate about what you make will set you up for business success.

9. Become a Wedding Officiant

Even if marriage isn’t in your immediate future, you could help make someone else’s special day a little more seamless. By becoming a wedding officiant, you can lead the ceremony and sign the marriage license. You’ll need to go through the licensure requirements in your state and work with the happy couple to plan the ceremony.

10. Rent Your Car

Is your car spending most of its time sitting in a lot on campus? If you’re able to walk to classes, you might not need to use your car very much. That downtime could turn into a little extra cash if you rent out your car.

Try renting your car to classmates who don’t have one, or other people who need a car to get to work. You can ask the drivers to cover gas. Charge by the mile, or go with a flat hourly fee.

11. Mow Lawns in the Neighborhood

You may be able to snag a cheap mower on Craig’s List and use that to make some money in the summer. Distribute business cards at houses in the neighborhood you can access easily.

You can offer a better price than larger lawncare companies. And you might be surprised by how many homeowners would prefer to support college students rather than a bigger company. Just pop in your earbuds and turn on some music to make the time pass quickly!

Related Read: How to Get Startup Funding: Best Ways to Get Money for Startups & Ideas

12. Walk Dogs to Earn Extra Income

Do you love dogs? If you’re missing your pets at home, dog walking is a great way to interact with animals — and make money.

Whether you’re walking a dachshund or golden retriever, you can earn extra income for a walk around the block. And if you feel comfortable handling more than one dog at a time, you could take on more clients.

13. Compete for Scholarship Money

Did you know that you can apply for scholarships while in college? It’s not just high school seniors who stand to gain access to money. Even when you’re chipping away at your degree, you may gain eligibility for new scholarship opportunities. 

14. Try Pet Sitting

Especially if you’re spending your college years away from your beloved family pets, consider pet sitting for other people. This can include checking in to feed cats while owners are away. 

Create some flyers or business cards and distribute them in the neighborhoods around campus. List your contact information and hourly rate. Offering this convenient service will be an easy way to make a few bucks while cuddling with cats.

15. Create an Online Course

If you’ve worked as a tutor or have a passion outside the classroom, consider turning that knowledge base into an online course. With so many people taking online courses to build their skill sets, you can earn extra income.

Show people how to paint a landscape setting. Or offer a window into topics like U.S. history or economics. Incorporate some good graphics and music to create a course people want to take.

Related Read: How to Turn Your Passion Into a Career in 5 Easy Steps

16. Be a Digital Marketer as a Part-Time Job

Are you skilled with social media? If you have a special gift for crafting witty Facebook posts or memorable Instagram photos, you could become a digital marketer. You’ll be able to help small businesses with regular social media posts, SEO, and analysis of marketing trends.

Research local businesses that may need some help. Or post your services to an online board. If you start with lower prices, you may be able to secure more clients and build your reputation.

17. Recycle Cans and Bottles

Start collecting soda cans and old ink cartridges. When you recycle them or take them to a scrap metal yard, you may just be able to profit off of recycling! Not only will you earn some money from recycling, but you’ll also help reduce your carbon footprint. 

18. Clean Houses 

House cleaning services are a sought-after way to earn extra income. Best of all, you may not need too many supplies to get started. You can use a homeowner’s vacuum and broom, so you may only need some cleaning chemicals.

Hand out your business cards and charge a flat rate for a basic cleaning job. If you can be flexible enough to work around clients’ schedules, you’ll be able to gain more reliable business. 

19. Offer Computer Help

When it comes to college jobs, consider putting your academic expertise to use. Whether you’re a computer science major or not, you may have the know-how to offer students or community members your help for a fee.

Offer general computer repair, or consider expanding to services like web development. You can design websites for small businesses at a fraction of the price. And you can turn this lucrative side hustle into a full-time career down the road!

Related Read: 25 Inspiring Quotes and Business Tips from Successful Female Entrepreneurs

20. Shovel Snow in the Winter

If you live in a snowy climate, you can turn a messy winter into a profit. Head to the hardware store to purchase a shovel. Then distribute business cards advertising your willingness to shovel driveways and sidewalks.

You might have to put in some early mornings doing this so people can get to work. But you could make a cool $100 for a little physical labor!

21. Sign Up for an Academic Study

If you’re at a college with a robust social sciences program, you may have some opportunities to earn cash. Undergrads and especially grad students may be recruiting participants for their studies.

You could earn $20 or more per study. Keep your eyes peeled for posters around campus, or reach out to some professors to see if they know of opportunities on the horizon.

22. Build an App

If you have a good idea for an app, why not make it? Even if you’re not a software engineer, you can teach yourself the process to build an app — or consult with a tech-savvy friend. 

Make sure you know how your app could generate money. Follow online tutorials and check for bugs in the app design. Then present your product to the world!

Related Read: 10+ Best Business Books to Read for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

23. Start Blogging

Wondering how to make money in college? Think of a good topic and start blogging about it. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to set up a website to do this, either.

By promoting affiliate products or selling services through the blog, you can generate money. You’ll just need to spend time advertising your blog to build its readership. 

24. Do Freelance Graphic Design

If you know your way around Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and have a knack for good design, you can be a freelance graphic designer. From logos to branding campaigns, graphic design is an in-demand area for business owners.

Make a few mock designs for a portfolio. Then share them with community organizations or design sites. Start with lower prices to win your first few clients. 

25. Edit Papers

Are you a good writer? Profit off your mastery of grammar and language. Start a service where you proofread your peers’ papers for language, style, and clarity. 

Consider charging by a paper’s word count. As another service, you could charge for sit-down meetings with clients to provide more thorough feedback.

Learn How to Make Extra Money

Knowing how to make money in college can translate into less debt when you graduate. Trimming even a little bit of the costs or starting to build savings can help you down the road when you’re trying to score a new car or house. Be savvy with marketing your skills and budget your time wisely.

You’ll be a step ahead of your peers when you can earn extra income. When you’re ready to discover the right opportunities for success, check with us!

Related Read: 50+ Best Entrepreneur Quotes & Sayings to Inspire, Motivate & Encourage

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Goodwall Contributor
Written By Goodwall Contributor
This article was written by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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