How to earn money while studying in college

Content of the material

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. 1. Start A Blog Or Website
  3. Video
  4. 17. Flip items on Craigslist
  5. Other Great Part-TimeJobs for College Students
  6. Bartending or Waiting Tables
  7. Painting Houses
  8. Lifeguarding
  9. Landscaping
  10. Shoveling Snow
  11. Babysitting
  12. Side Gigs You Can Do Online
  13. Take Surveys
  14. Perform Tasks for Amazon Mechanical Turk
  15. Turn Audio into Text
  16. Turn Text into Audio
  17. Consider Freelance Writing
  18. Become a Virtual Assistant
  19. Sell Your Stuff on eBay
  20. Babysitting
  21. 15. Sell Designs on T-Shirts and Prints
  22. Earn Money Shopping Online
  23. On-Campus Jobs to Consider
  24. 21. Apply for work study.
  25. 22. Work as a teaching assistant (TA).
  26. 23. Become a resident assistant (RA).
  27. 24. Work at a dining hall.
  28. 25. Apply at the recreation or fitness center.
  29. 26. Work at an on-campus bookstore or library.
  30. 27. Become a brand ambassador.
  31. 28. Give campus tours.
  32. 12. Start a small business with your friends and classmates
  33. Loan Forgiveness
  34. 3. Become a Professional Organizer
  35. Gain New Skills
  36. 92. Skillshare
  37. 93. Your Local Library
  38. Covering college costs with grants
  39. Where Do Colleges Get Their Money?
  40. Off-Campus Jobs for College Students
  41. 10. Work in a cafe or restaurant.
  42. 11. Become a driver for a rideshare company.
  43. 12. Deliver food and groceries.
  44. 13. Work as a store associate.
  45. 14. Tutor in your native language.
  46. 15. Get an internship.
  47. 16. Get a temp job.
  48. Sports and College Funding
  49. Which Type of Loan Should You Take Out?
  50. Types of college grants
  51. Grants for college can be need-based or merit-based.
  52. Fun Things
  53. 99. Share Your Opinion with Survey Junkie
  54. 100. Earn Cash Rewards with Drop
  55. 101. Panel App
  56. Join Us
  57. Negotiating more merit money


Being your own entrepreneur is extremely rewarding, and it can be extremely lucrative for college students and recent graduates. These next money making ideas are bucketed in this category because your earnings are only limited by your own internal drive.

1. Start A Blog Or Website

If you really want to make money online, you need to start a blog or website. This is your home-base for everything that you do online, and it, by itself, can turn into a hugely profitable venture. has turned into a 6 figure business that started in college. It’s really easy to get started.Simply get a domain and webhosting for cheap (usually $2.95 per month) at Bluehost. We started this blog on Bluehost because it was cheap, easy, and simple to get started. If you sign up through this link you’ll save and get the special price of $2.95 per month.

Then, check out our tutorial on how to start a blog or website to make money. With time and effort, you can be on your way to six figures per year.


17. Flip items on Craigslist

College campuses are filled with free things. Othe

College campuses are filled with free things. Other students (and professors) are usually looking to get rid of old stuff. With a little bit of time, effort, and know-how, you can make some extra cash by flipping these items on Craigslist and similar platforms.

At its most simple, this means finding free or cheap items, enhancing or refurbishing them, and then selling them for a higher price. Other ways to flip used items and give them a second life include reupholstering couches and chairs, repainting old furniture, and fixing broken electronics.

Other Great Part-TimeJobs for College Students

In addition to the above, there is a slew of tried-and-true side gigs you can always turn to, including:

Bartending or Waiting Tables

There’s no shame in the part-time service job. Depending on where you’re located, there can be serious cash (and fun) to be had with these jobs, and most offer flexible scheduling so you can make it to classes with no problem.

Painting Houses

A little fresh air, some good old-fashioned manual labor, and a decent wage. Many house-painting companies, such as College Pro House Painters, make a point of hiring students who need extra cash and have no previous experience.


Many high school students earn their first paychecks working as lifeguards in the summer months. It’s still a great option for students in college who are, of course, proficient swimmers and enjoy sitting poolside ensuring everybody stays safe.


Lawns need to be mowed and trees need to be trimmed. Why can’t you be the one to do the mowing and the trimming? If you like working outside with your hands and love the smell of freshly cut grass, find the nearest landscaping company on the hunt for good workers.

Shoveling Snow

Students in northern states don’t need to be reminded that opportunities abound to shovel sidewalks and front steps in the winter months. You could volunteer to do your neighbor’s walk for free (which is a nice thing), or you could offer up your services to anyone on the block for a small fee.


Although many college campuses offer daycare to staff and administration, some do not. See if your professors ever need a hand watching the kids while they’re in class or target local families by posting an ad online.

Side Gigs You Can Do Online

Don’t have a car? No problem. There are countless ways to make more money from the comfort of your dorm room:

Take Surveys

Although they won’t earn you a massive income, surveys are a great option for busy students with a few extra minutes to spare throughout the day. Survey sites like MyPoints, Swagbucks, and others offer small remuneration or gift cards in exchange for your opinions on various topics, whereas Nielsen Mobile Panel lets you participate in market research panels for decent chunks of change.

Perform Tasks for Amazon Mechanical Turk

Utilize your human skills and spend spare time on Amazon Mechanical Turk, which pays workers small sums for completing tasks that AI can’t yet execute. As with surveys, these tasks won’t cover all of your monthly expenses, but any money is good money.

Turn Audio into Text

For those who type quickly and accurately and enjoy doing so, transcribing can be a great source of extra money. All sorts of industries are looking for people to transfer their audio files to text, so the work is never in short supply.

Turn Text into Audio

On the flip side, that impressive voice of yours could also score you some much-needed pocket change. You can narrate audiobooks, do voiceover work, or read text articles for various publications.

Consider Freelance Writing

Companies know content is king. Most pay a decent rate for blog posts on varying topics. If you’re interested in a specific subject, try to find websites that publish content similar to what you’d want to write about and reach out to them directly. Alternately, you can create profiles on sites like Upwork and Fiverr. 

Become a Virtual Assistant

Leverage your organizational and communication skills by helping busy people take care of the little things. Virtual assistants do everything from answering emails and managing social media accounts to scheduling appointments and booking travel. The best part? You guessed it — tasks can usually be done online.

Sell Your Stuff on eBay

Making money on eBay on your own schedule has never been easier. By selling your unused items (think clothing, video games, etc.) online at a fair price, you can earn cash with very little out-of-pocket costs.


Parents will feel very comfortable with a responsible college student watching their child while they go out on a Saturday night. You could make 10-20 dollars an hour! Start by asking your professors and teaching assistants if they need help with their children. They may also have friends who need your services.

15. Sell Designs on T-Shirts and Prints

Average Monthly Income: $464 (LymanCreativeGroup)

Average Monthly Income: $464 (LymanCreativeGroup)

If you have a keen eye for design or can easily think of some fun catchphrases and words that people would want on things they own: this could be a great source of income for you.

Starting your printing press can cost thousands and isn’t a great option for most, but you can sell t-shirts and prints through sites that are ‘made on demand’ styled!

Sites like Redbubble, StoreEnvy, and a few others give you the chance to design unique pieces and then upload them so that they can be sold on everything from canvas prints to leggings.

It’s vital that you only sell shirts online that are original ideas so that you don’t have to fear getting sued, but once you decide on your niche, it’s far easier to make an income.

Earn Money Shopping Online

From clothes to toiletries and gifts, we buy lots of things online. There are websites where you can earn cash and coupons while buying the things you need. Some popular sites you may have heard of are Rakuten, Swagbucks, and Mr. Rebates, but there are many more. Just remember to buy things you’re already planning to purchase and don’t waste money on things you don’t need.

On-Campus Jobs to Consider

There are plenty of opportunities to make money in college without leaving campus. You can typically find these jobs online through your school’s student job portal. If you don’t know where to find it, Google “[YOUR SCHOOL NAME] student jobs”.

21. Apply for work study

Work-study is a federal program that provides jobs for students with a financial need.

To apply for it, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA and select the box that states you’re interested in a work-study position. If you land one, your college will include it as part of your financial aid package. Whether or not you qualify will depend on the number of available positions, your financial need, and other financial aid you qualify for.

22. Work as a teaching assistant (TA)

As a TA, you’ll perform many of the same tasks professors do. You may help students in labs, grade papers, perform research, and even teach lower-level classes.

Your school and the professors will determine the requirements necessary to become a TA. In most cases, however, you’ll be asked to submit copies of your transcripts and letters of recommendation.

While some colleges only offer TA positions to graduate students, others make them available to undergraduates in their junior or senior years as well.

23. Become a resident assistant (RA)

An RA is an upperclassman who serves as a resource to college students who live in dorms and residence halls.

If you become an RA, you’ll be responsible for enforcing the rules and policies of the resident life department, conducting regular room checks, holding meetings with residents, and checking in visitors. In exchange for your services, you may receive free or discounted room and board and/or stipends or hourly pay.

24. Work at a dining hall

There are a variety of jobs available in college dining halls. You could work as a cashier, caterer, dishwasher, or food preparer.

It’s not the most glamorous job, but it could save money on food costs if you’re able to enjoy the occasional free meals or snacks. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your on-campus living expenses, a dining hall position may make sense.

25. Apply at the recreation or fitness center

If your college has a large recreation or fitness center on campus, it likely has openings for jobs like a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or recreation assistant. These are some of the most fun and rewarding on-campus jobs, especially if you get to be involved with a sport or activity you love.

If you’re not interested in physical activities, there may also be opportunities in areas like member services, marketing, and event planning.

26. Work at an on-campus bookstore or library

On-campus libraries or shops can be a good option if you’re looking for a job that allows you to study during downtime. You’ll probably earn minimum wage, or close to it, but these positions are fairly low-key.

You may need to help other students find books, check people out, and restock shelves, but when things get quiet, you can work on assignments and get paid to do homework.

27. Become a brand ambassador

Big brands often hire students to promote them on college campuses. If you’re passionate about a particular product or brand, you could make an extra income as a brand ambassador.

Check out this awesome step-by-step guide by @thisonlineworld, showing how he was able to make money with paid advertising in college. Definitely a worthy read!

— Wallet Wise Guy (@WalletWiseGuy) November 19, 2019

Some brands require their ambassadors to perform college outreach where they try to convince students to purchase a certain product. Others ask them to hand out free merchandise at football games and other on-campus events.

As a brand ambassador, you’ll gain valuable marketing experience that looks great on a resume, especially if you want to work in marketing in the future.

28. Give campus tours

If you have an outgoing personality and love your college, a campus tour guide job can be a good option.

Your main responsibility will be to show prospective students and their families around campus. You’ll get to share your experience with up-and-coming freshmen and help them decide if your school is a good fit. This may be a seasonal job with more opportunities to work during the warmer seasons. If you need a consistent income throughout the semester, you may want to combine it with another part-time gig.

Related: 25 Online Jobs That Are Legitimate, Easy, and Flexible

12. Start a small business with your friends and classmates

Have a business idea that you’ve always wanted to try? College is a great time to start a business, especially if you’re starting a joint venture with friends or classmates. While the options are endless when it comes to business ideas, popular business options include tech, marketing, eCommerce, and services like landscaping and shoveling.

Starting a business requires a lot of work upfront, and your business isn’t guaranteed to make money, especially not at first. Because of this, starting a business may not be the best option for students who need funds fast. That said, it’s a great option for students who want to grow their skills with a side hustle. For some college grads, the businesses they started while in school developed into full-time careers!

Loan Forgiveness

Certain occupations will “forgive” student loans. If you take on a certain job after graduation, you will not have to repay some, or any portion, of your loan. Graduates who go into public service or teaching may be eligible for forgiveness of their Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans, and Perkins Loans. Also included are jobs in the nonprofit sector and federal, state, and local government. And those who serve full-time in the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps qualify for student loan forgiveness. To apply for student loan forgiveness, complete the Employment Certification form.

In other cases, your loan may be cancelled or discharged. For instance, if your college should shut down or if it is determined that your school was in violation of any state laws, you may be eligible to become discharged from your student loan. If your loan is discharged, then you will not have to repay anything. Bankruptcy in rare cases is grounds for discharge. Also, if you should become permanently disabled, you could be discharged from your student loans.

Remember that loan forgiveness is only applicable to federal loans, not private loans. To be considered for loan forgiveness, or to see if your loan is eligible to be cancelled or discharged, contact your loan servicer. Remember, during the process of review, you will still have to make loan payments.

3. Become a Professional Organizer

Average Monthly Income: $3,933 (

Becoming a professional organizer allows you to help people rid their lives of clutter.

This could mean creating an organizational layout for a closet or breaking down a home office and building it into a truly productive space.

Your customer base can range from students who need more than their dorm room offers to empty nesters deciding what to do with all of their extra room.

The great thing about this job is that it’s most commonly done on weekends, which means you can devote your weekdays to class.

Gain New Skills

If you don’t have a way to make money on your own,

If you don’t have a way to make money on your own, you need to learn some new skills. Here are a few of our favorite resources for doing so. All are free or cheap.

92. Skillshare

Once again, this isn’t exactly a way to make money directly. But to make money, you need to have the right skills. Skillshare is our favorite place to learn them. You can learn pretty much anything you can imagine, from drawing to design to woodworking. Check it out here to get 2 weeks free.

93. Your Local Library

Want to get a great education for free? The library is the place. You can get books that will teach you about any subject you want to learn, as well as access online learning databases like And the librarians really would love to help you—just ask.

Covering college costs with grants

Generally, your school will pay out your grant money in at least two payments called disbursements. Typically, the college applies your grant money toward your tuition, fees, and (if you live on campus) room and board. Any money left over is paid to you for other expenses.2

Most college grants are not guaranteed for all years of college. For example, you may become ineligible for a need-based grant if your family’s financial situation changes dramatically from one year to the next. Similarly, merit-based grants may not be guaranteed every year either. You might be required to maintain a certain GPA or meet other criteria to qualify for the grant.

If you’re offered grants for school, make sure you understand all the requirements and how you can qualify in the future—and remember to fill out your FAFSA every year.

Where Do Colleges Get Their Money?

Colleges and universities can make money from a number of sources, including endowments, gifts, tuition and fees, athletics, and grants. Schools can also make money by charging fees for international enrollment.

Off-Campus Jobs for College Students

10. Work in a cafe or restaurant

There might be a lot of cafes or restaurants near campus that hire part-time employees for positions like chefs or servers. These jobs can hourly wages, tip-based, or a combination of both.

11. Become a driver for a rideshare company

If you have a reliable car, it’s easy to pick up driving jobs through sites like Uber and Lyft to make extra money in college. Typically, you’ll work as an independent contractor and have the freedom to set your schedule. Plus, you can pick up extra hours on evenings and weekends when you’re not in class.

Tip: You will likely need proof of car insurance to get started. You’ll also need to report your earnings during annual tax time.

12. Deliver food and groceries

Food delivery is another job that’s gained popularity with the appearance of apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and grocery delivery services with Instacart and Amazon. You can easily sign up to work for these services online and choose your schedule as you go.

13. Work as a store associate

Stores selling goods and clothing usually will hire part-time store associates to keep the store clean, stocked, and cashiers readily available. If you have a brand that you are passionate about, consider applying for positions there.

14. Tutor in your native language

Ever thought about tutoring in your native language? You can easily turn this talent into a part-time job. Many language learners are looking for native speakers who can tutor the language and the culture. Don’t speak another language other than English? You can tutor English, too.

15. Get an internship

Consider doing an internship while you are still in school. Depending on the company that you work for, you can get paid for during internship. An internship is also a great way for you to build up your resume and gain work experience, which will enable you to have a competitive advantage when graduating from college and entering the workforce. Internships sometimes can also lead to permanent positions post-graduation.

16. Get a temp job

Check with local employment agencies for temp jobs. Agencies will help you find temporary part-time jobs like administrative work (such as answering phones or data entry) or customer service tasks. You can also pick up freelance work as a writer to make extra cash while in college.

Tip: Ask if the staffing agency takes out taxes from your check or if that’s something you need to pay to the state and federal government yourself during tax season. Some agencies also offer benefits if you work over a certain number of hours per week.

Sports and College Funding

Sports can be a big moneymaker for public and private colleges and universities. The typical revenue for athletic departments at public schools, for example, reached $125 million in 2018. Collectively, college sports bring in some $14 billion in revenue for schools annually.

Some of the most popular—and most profitable—sports for colleges and universities are men's football and men's basketball, followed by other men's sports and women's sports, respectively. In terms of how this money is spent, it's primarily distributed among student aid packages, facility and equipment upgrades, and coaches' salaries.

How much revenue a school can generate from sports can depend on how popular its teams are in the competitive landscape. An NCAA Division I school that has a sizable student body, thousands of alumni, and a long-standing rivalry with another Division I school, for example, may reap bigger revenues than a smaller private school that competes in a lower division.

Athletic revenues also depend on forces beyond a school’s control. The cancellation of the 2020 March Madness tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, meant that the NCAA distributed just $246 million to Division I schools and conferences in 2020 compared to the $611 million distributed in 2019.

A 2021 rule change allows NCAA athletes to earn money from their names, images, and likenesses, though they're still prohibited from earning a salary to play while in school.

Which Type of Loan Should You Take Out?

If you learn anything about financial aid for college, let it be this: There is a significant difference between federal and private loans. Before you apply for a private loan from a bank or credit union, use all possible federal aid available to you, including subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Federal loans, which are provided through the federal government, have certain protections for student borrowers. First, they offer fixed and low interest rates that private loans typically do not. Second, federal loans include income-driven repayment plans, which set your monthly repayment fees to match your income. That means if you lose work, you can adjust your repayment plan to reduce your monthly fees. Third, with federal loans, you generally do not have to start making payments until you graduate; and with subsidized loans, the federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are in school. An added bonus, when you file taxes, the interest on your federal loan may be tax deductible. Federal loans, include Perkins Loans, Direct Plus Loans, Direct Subsidized Loans, and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Private loans, available through banks and credit unions (or sometimes schools), have higher interest rates than federal loans. The interest on your loan is dependent on your or your co-signer’s credit score. That interest rate is often variable, with rates that can increase up to 19% or more over a period of time. Generally, you have to start making payments toward that loan while you are in school. And to make matters worse, if you lose your job or have a hard time making payments, private loans may not let you file for deferment or forbearance. The bottom line is, if you must take out a private loan make sure you are aware of the interest rates and repayment options.

Types of college grants

Grants for college can be need-based or merit-based

  • Many grants for college are need-based. Need-based grants are awarded based on your family’s economic situation. To figure out your financial need, most schools consider your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is a number used by your school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Fun Things

To finish this guide out, we wanted to include a f

To finish this guide out, we wanted to include a few fun random things you can do to make money. You won’t get rich doing them, but if you have a bit of time to kill while waiting in line for something, they’re a way to monetize that time.

99. Share Your Opinion with Survey Junkie

Your high school English teacher may have told you that your opinion doesn’t matter without evidence to back it up. While that’s true for essays, it’s not the case at Survey Junkie. On this site, you can get paid to share what you think about a range of topics. Survey Junkie uses this information to help brands deliver better products and services.

In exchange for taking the time to share your response, you can earn points to redeem for gift cards to stores like Amazon or Target  (or even cash payouts via PayPal). Start getting paid to share your opinion.

100. Earn Cash Rewards with Drop

Link your credit or debit card to Drop, and you can start earning points for shopping at your favorite retailers or merchants. Examples include grocery shopping, restaurant spending, and using Uber.

101. Panel App

Panel is a way to earn rewards in exchange for taking surveys. Consider it a more convenient version of the online surveys we mentioned earlier. Rewards are typically gift cards or entrance into sweepstakes to win other prizes.

Join Us

Receive full access to our market insights, commentary, newsletters, breaking news alerts, and more.Already have an account? Login here

Negotiating more merit money

Ariel Skelley | DigitalVision | Getty

In addition to any financial aid, merit-based scholarships can help cover costs. Check with the college, or ask your high school counselor about opportunities. You can also search websites like and the College Board.

Even if you receive a scholarship, always try to negotiate more money, Vasconcelos advises.

"You probably wouldn't think about buying a car or house or another big purchase without negotiating," she said. "You should think about college the same way."

Send a personalized email to the school's admission office that conveys your desire to attend the school but that finances may hold you back. Ideally, if you have an offer from another school, use it as leverage but be sure to send the admissions office supporting documentation.

"The worse they'll do is say no," Vasconcelos said. "Families are surprised how often they say yes."