17 ways to make money while you're in college

About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

9. Become an RA

If you live on campus and don’t mind the res

If you live on campus and don’t mind the responsibility that comes with the position, consider applying to work as a resident assistant, or RA. RAs are typically responsible for ensuring that younger students are safe, happy, and healthy while at school. 

As an RA, you may be in charge of supervising students, providing assistance if any medical or interpersonal issues arise, and being a point of contact in case of emergencies.

While specific policies vary from school to school, most RAs receive free student housing as part of their compensation, along with an additional stipend. Being an RA involves a significant amount of responsibility and may require you to spend most of your evenings on campus. So you should think carefully about the job requirements before applying.

Video

Get Paid to Watch Videos and Take Surveys Online

You’ve probably heard about taking online surveys in exchange for cash or gift cards. Some online marketers have other ways you can make extra money in college, and you can do it right from your dorm room or apartment. Sites such as InboxDollars will pay for your feedback to watch movie trailers, play video games, read marketing emails, and more.  

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!

Medical

A more accurate title for this section would be “s

A more accurate title for this section would be “selling your body,” since not all of these cases are strictly related to medicine. But that seemed like it would give the wrong idea.

Here are some ways to make money selling parts or byproducts of something everybody has (unless you’re a ghost reading this, in which case I apologize).

94. Sell Plasma

This is the classic college kid gig, but it’s perfectly legitimate. You go to a local center (research it online first to make sure it’s not sketchy) and spend anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours as your blood is drawn from your body.

The blood is filtered to remove red blood cells and other cellular components. The company keeps the plasma, and they return what they’ve filtered out to your body along with a sterile saline solution.

You won’t get rich doing it, but as long as you’re in good health, you’re probably eligible.

95. Sell Hair

If selling your blood plasma seems too painful and creepy, then you can sell your hair (okay, it’s still a bit creepy, but no needles involved). Companies that make wigs out of human hair will pay for your locks, though the requirements are often pretty strict (no dyed hair and certain hair colors are preferred).

Don’t have any experience with this, but HairSellOn looks like a good place to start.

96. Sell Sperm or Eggs

Yes, you really can make money doing this. Sperm and eggs are needed for research purposes, as well as for fertility clinics. Selling either will be uncomfortable or even painful, but you can make serious money in certain cases (especially for egg donations). Note that requirements tend to be pretty strict (you can’t be infertile, for example). Learn more about sperm donation here and egg donation here.

(Note that we don’t have any experience or affiliation with these companies. Always do your own diligent research before selling parts of your body).

97. Sell Your Poop

Yep, we went there. I know it sounds hard to believe, but some people will pay for your poop. The uses include research on the human microbiome and treatment of C. diff infections, which can be cured using a stool transplant in extreme cases. To learn more, visit .

98. Be a Standardized Patient

If your university has a medical school, you could have the chance to make money portraying medical conditions for med students to practice identifying. Essentially, you’re a human practice patient. Don’t worry, no one is going to be performing surgery on you.

Generally, you just have to sit in a room and describe symptoms you have while a succession of medical students interviews you. It’s not the most exciting job (and can be a little awkward depending on the nature of the condition you’re portraying). But it pays. Visit your university’s medical school website (or the website of a local med school) to learn more.

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.

Sell Your Old Textbooks

Textbooks can be very expensive. Before you sell your used textbooks back to the campus bookstore, check out online retailers to see whether you can get a better price. Turn this into a no-stress business by selling your friend’s old textbooks for a small fee.

Donate Your Body (and Time) to Science

For those wondering how to make money in college in a less labor-intensive way, we recommend searching for opportunities in the medical sector:

Join a Drug Trial

Lots of companies turn to college campuses for willing research. Drug trials tend to pay well, and you might be able to participate in multiple trials throughout the year,.

Sell Your Plasma/Sperm/Eggs

With IVF treatment constantly improving and becoming more appealing, there is a steady need for healthy sperm and eggs. Compensation and restrictions vary by region, but it’s often a worthwhile avenue to consider. The same is true for plasma donation.

Review Food Flavors

If you attend school near a research institute that tests natural and artificial flavors for potential release, this could be a fun and interesting money-making avenue. Challenge your palate, try something unique, and get paid for your opinions? Sounds like a win-win.

Test Your Brain

Colleges and universities with psychology departments generally conduct a constant stream of experiments that require human subjects. In most cases, you’re compensated for your time and effort, and you might learn something cool about yourself.

Creative Ways to Make Money in College

You probably won’t make a fortune on these ideas, but you can bring in some extra spending money while flexing your creative muscles.

15. Flip items for a profit

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Whitney Hansen | Money Coach (@whitney_hansen_co) on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:50am PDT

If you love to find great deals on clothing, accessories, electronics, and other goods, flipping may be a fun way for you to make money in college. I have a friend who started a furniture flipping side hustle in college and still enjoys it as a nice side income today.

To find items you can flip for a profit, visit garage sales, discount stores, and consignment shops in your area. It takes practice to know what types of items are undervalued. Depending on what items you flip, you may need to learn a new skill in order to turn a profit on your purchases.

For example, you can often find used furniture at a good price on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. With a little sanding, some paint, and a nice finish, you could turn an old wooden table into a beautiful new kitchen statement piece.

This side hustle is especially suitable for interior design majors or anyone who’s crafty or wants to learn new handyperson skills.

16. Design and sell T-shirts (or leggings, phone cases, backpacks, and more)

In the past, if you wanted to sell T-shirts, you would’ve had to create the design, find a printer, have them printed, advertise them, and deal with the hassle of fulfilling orders. Now there are websites like Teespring that do all the back-end work for you, so all you have to do is create a design and choose your selling price.

With Teespring, you use its software to create a design. Once you’re finished, Teespring will tell you the base cost for your product. You choose how much profit you want to make on each item, which determines the selling price.

Teespring offers marketing tools to help you make sales, but you can boost your earnings in a couple ways:

  1. Be creative with your design. Choose something that appeals to a specific person. For example, you can make funny T-shirts that only people in your major would relate to.
  2. Do your own advertising. Share your designs with friends and family on social media. If you have a following online (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, a blog, etc.), then share with your audience.

When someone buys your design, Teespring takes care of order fulfillment and customer service. You can request your payout within 24 to 48 hours after your order is sent to the buyer.

17. Edit or proofread papers

English, communications, or journalism majors may be especially well suited for this college side hustle. However, all you really need is solid grammar and writing skills.

If you or any of your friends are in a major that requires a lot of writing, start spreading the word around about your editing and proofreading services. Editing isn’t the same thing as rewriting. Make it clear that you’re offering feedback and notes, but you won’t be writing other people’s papers for them.

18. Offer resume coaching

When I was in college, I worked for the office for student affairs. One of the perks of my job was that the department would host free resume and career workshops for student employees. I attended a few and got really good at putting together resumes.

I offered to help some of my friends with their resumes for job applications, but I missed out on a prime opportunity to make money in college by offering paid resume coaching services to more people. If you’ve done your research and have the skills to put together a resume that wows potential employers, then don’t squander your gift like I did.

You can find clients by posting in school-related Facebook groups or hanging fliers in dining halls. But for a service like this, word of mouth can be the most powerful marketing.

Tell your friends to tell their friends that you’re helping people with resumes. With everyone applying for jobs and summer internships, spring is likely to be your busiest time of year. However, this side hustle has the potential to bring in a solid income year-round.

19. Sell your photos

Unless you’re a cinema or photography major, then selling photos might not sound like much of a resume builder. However, employers like to see hobbies and interests on your resume, especially for undergraduates. It can also give you some good talking points for your interview.

As long as you have a smartphone with a high-quality camera, you can start this side hustle without investing in any expensive equipment. If you want, you can order lenses for your phone on Amazon for less than $100. Practice taking pictures of landscapes, people (with their permission), or buildings.

Then submit them to one of the many sites that pay for original photography, like Shutterstock or Getty Images. You can also turn your images into art and sell them on Etsy. This probably won’t be your biggest money maker, but it can be a fun way to monetize an existing hobby.

20. Start a YouTube channel

Similar to blogging, making money with a YouTube channel isn’t typically a quick thing. You’ll need to create and publish videos consistently. But if you’re a cinematography or video production major, then creating YouTube videos could be a great way to practice your craft.

Eight-year-old Ryan Kaji, whose channel Ryan’s World has 22.9 million subscribers, earned $26 million in 2019 — up $4 million from his earnings in 2018, when he also gained the highest-earning YouTuber spot

— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) December 26, 2019

In order to make money with this side hustle, you’ll need to do your research on hashtags and how to optimize your videos for search so people find them organically. Once you have enough views and followers, you can start monetizing your channel with ads.

Other monetization options are similar to blogging: add affiliate links to your video descriptions, create and sell your own products, or reach out to companies to see if they’d like to sponsor your content for a mention in your videos.

Related: 13 Legit Online Jobs for College Students

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.

Work

Of course, you can always earn money by working. These are jobs that college students and young adults are well suited for given school schedules, summer vacations, and more.

67. Babysitting

If you’re responsible, babysitting is a great way to earn some extra money. The typical babysitter gets about $20 per hour. If you have friends and neighbors with kids, start asking them if they want to have a night out!

If you want to be “more reputable”, sign up on a site like Care.com.

68. Become A Petsitter

Along the same lines as babysitting, when people go out of town, they need someone to watch their pets. If you love animals, pet sitting can be a great way to earn some extra money and hang out with some furry friends.

Try signing up for Rover to get connected with people who need a pet sitter.

69. House Sitting

If you know someone is taking a vacation, offer to house sit for them. Nobody wants bad things to happen to their homes – from pipe leaks to burglaries. House sitting avoids this and also can be combined with pet sitting. It can be a lucrative gig if you have time on your hands.

You can also sign up on Care.com and see if you can get leads that way as well. People will value responsible students to house sit.

70. Clean Houses

Another great gig for college students is house cleaning. It takes several hours, but it can be done easily in college and requires no real experience. You can team up with an experienced cleaning company or look to run your own business.

You can also look at something new like Amazon Services, and list your service there.

71. Do Catering On Weekends

Catering companies are always looking for extra help because their schedules are so odd. Most catering companies have little work during the week, but need a large staff on the weekends. This works well for college students who are just looking to earn an extra few dollars.

If you don’t know where to find these gigs, check out Craigslist for Jobs or Gigs in your area.

72. Computer Repair

If you’re handy with a computer, helping people get their computers repaired is a great way to make extra money. Typically this will involve setting up software, checking for virus, and more.

See if a computer repair firm is hiring on ZipRecruiter.

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Sell Your Old Stuff

You probably have all kinds of crap just lying aro

You probably have all kinds of crap just lying around that you don’t even use. Why not clear out some space in your room or apartment while also making some extra cash? Below are a few of our favorite ways to make money selling stuff you don’t need or use.

85. Poshmark

Have fashionable clothing that you don’t wear? Sell it on Poshmark. Poshmark is an app that connects buyers looking for great deals on quality clothing with people who want to sell it. While the app markets itself toward women, you can also use the app to buy and sell men’s clothing.

86. Yard Sales

Yard sales are a time-honored way of selling the stuff you don’t need, all while meeting some interesting characters (if your yard sales are anything like the ones I’ve been part of).

If you live in a dorm or apartment and don’t have a yard, you can sign up to be part of a larger yard sale at a community center or church (or just ask a homeowner you know if they’d be willing to let you use their yard in exchange for selling some of their stuff).

87. Plato’s Closet

This is another option for selling clothes that you don’t want. Unlike Poshmark, Plato’s Closet has physical stores where you sell your clothes on consignment. The clothing you can sell is “gently used clothing for teens and twenty-something boys and girls.” Visit the company’s website to find a local store.

88. Sell Your Textbooks

As a College Info Geek reader, we know you didn’t pay much for your books because you followed our guide to finding cheap textbooks. Still, you might as well make some money selling these books back to the campus bookstore or even to Amazon.

As much as you might think you’ll crack open that calculus textbook 20 years from now, it’s unlikely (you can just look it up on the internet, anyway).

Conclusions on how to make money as a busy college student

These are just some ideas on how you can make money in college.

Be sure to give your college bulletin boards a look to see what other unique opportunities may be in your area.

Do you know of any awesome ways to make extra money in college? Let me know about it in a comment!

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