Make Money

15 Ways For College Students To Make Money

College might be some of the best years of your life, but they’re also likely to be some of the poorest. You’ll be time poor from your studies and social endeavors, so earning a full-time wage is a fantasy for most college students.

Fortunately, there are a ton of ways that you can make some extra cash in your spare time!

1. Tutoring Locally

There are a lot of ways that students can go about finding a tutoring job while they’re studying. You can work to help local tertiary students or school students. Or you can find your clientele online.

For local jobs where you’ll meet your students in person, you can find students by offering your services on the College job board. There are many people who are happy to pay for help from students who have done well in the subjects they’re currently taking, or flunking.

You can also advertise on local job boards (both online and hardcopy at places like supermarkets or community centres) and contact local high schools to let them know about your services.

Consider handing out flyers if you can find a good deal on printing. Printing Peach might be able to help you, but check out local providers too. Be sure to target areas that have higher populations of students (and families that can afford your rate) if you go down this path.

Whilst this might seem a little old fashioned, it’s outside the norm and sets you apart from your competition. Just be sure not to invest too much at the outset in case you don’t have much luck.

2. Tutoring Online

You can also tutor online either through a company or by setting up your own site. There are pros and cons to each approach.

Going through an established company makes you a bit easier to find, but they’ll take a cut from your earnings. You can take a look at CheggTutor.comSkooliTutor Jobs Online, or you can take a look at our blog post about online tutoring sites for a more in-depth review of some of the platforms.

Rat Race Rebellion often advertises online tutoring roles that crop up from smaller providers as well.

Setting up your own website has some costs associated and you’ll have to learn some SEO to make sure people can find you via their search engine, but you’ll get to keep all the money that you earn.

Check out our post about setting up a blog here for some tips about choosing your domain and web host. We recommend using Bluehost since it only costs $3.95 per month and you get a free domain your first year.

3. Get a Part-Time Job

Working part-time looks great on your resume. If you can hold down a job whilst you are studying, it shows that you’ve got time management skills and the ability to prioritize your workload.

It also means that you’ll be going into the workforce with an abundance of transferable skills (think initiative, cash handling, responsibility, customer service) and some experience under your belt.

Roles with large employers and chain stores are frequently found via their careers web pages. Consider whether you have a Costco, Walmart, McDonalds or other chains in your local area and start your search there.

Other industries that usually have vacancies for part-time staff are hospitality, customer service, retail, and delivery. These industries tend to have a pretty high staff turnover and opportunities crop up for job applicants all the time.

Leave your resume with the HR manager even if they aren’t hiring and you’ll be in with a chance to get a callback.

You should consider handing your CV to the Manager in person. It’s more convenient for managers to speak with someone who makes a good impression in person than it is to decide who to call back based on a bundle of papers, so you never know your luck.

Indeed and Flex Jobs (monthly subscription) are huge databases with plenty of part-time and full-time jobs advertised year round that is well worth a look as well. Or check out our post about online work you can do from home part-time.

4. Find Seasonal Work

If your study schedule or social obligations mean that it isn’t possible for you to work during the semester, you can always find seasonal work during your time off.

Cool Works is a platform for adventure companies who need seasonal staff. There are some jobs available in truly incredible locations on the website, so if getting outdoors and getting paid for it over your break sounds good to you – it’s a great place to hunt for some work.

You can also filter for temporary roles on Indeed and Flex Jobs. You can even filter for short-term work online via these sites.

Another great option is to find temp work via an agency for your time off. Sourcing a short-term role in your field of study is an incredible CV booster and will help you gain (and prove) your professional skills. You can start your search through Adecco, Kelly Services, Randstad, Robert Half, Spherion, or Advantage Resourcing.

Industry-specific agencies exist and can be found using your search engine.

5. Do Odd Jobs

Completing odd jobs for people is one of the oldest tricks in the book for earning some extra cash on the side.

Task Rabbit is available in 43 cities (as at September 2018) across the US and the UK. You can use this site to find work helping people with furniture assembly, moving, renovations and home improvement, and heavy lifting. The average project prices for the site are listed as paying about $45-$100, although you set your own rate.

Field Agent and Easy Shift are two other popular app-based platforms you can use to find tasks in your local area.

You can also consider caring for people’s pets. There are a few adorable stories on the internet about people who have managed to turn their dog walking business into their full-time work.

What we can learn from that is that there is definitely a market for those who know where to find it. Check out Rover or Wag! for roles near you.

6. Audit Liquor Stores

Auditing liquor stores is a type of compliance auditing and is a legitimate income source.

It’s not likely that you’ll be able to wrangle a full-time wage from the gig, but if you jump at every opportunity in your area – you should at least be able to seriously cut down your social costs whilst lining your pocket.

There are tales of people who have made $4,000 in a month doing this type of work. The reality is that you’re likely to get between $5-$30 per assignment, plus the alcohol that you buy.

Earning a lot of cash in this field requires you to put in some pretty long days and some time in the car getting between assignments.

If you’re interested, you can check out The Source, Second to None, Confero, Careers in Audit,  Sinclair Customer Metrics and Stericycle Expert Reviews for audits near you.

Much like any other field that hires via agencies, be wary of any company that asks you for a fee upfront before providing you with any assignments – it is likely to be a scam.

Many of these sites also have assignments available for mystery shoppers, so you could sign up for both types of assignment and score yourself some extra cash for doing your shopping as well.

7. Sell Something That You Make

If you have the ability to create something, then it’s likely that there is potential for you to make some money selling it online.

Selling jewelry, art, toys, collectables, up-cycled clothing or accessories or whatever else you think of is unlikely to bring in a fortune overnight. But I know plenty of people who find a bit of financial breathing space by selling stuff that they make.

You need to choose which platform(s) you’ll use to sell your product. Social media and sales platforms have opened up opportunities for sellers to bypass stores and sell directly to the public.

This cuts out the middle man and thus, reduces costs associated with sales. This allows you to increase your profit margin slightly (or sell for the usual product margin and undercut the market), either way – you end up with more money in your pocket.

You can use websites like Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Society6Zazzle or Amazon to sell your products. Each has different commissions or fees associated with the sales so be sure to read the terms and conditions.

You can also use business pages on social media to post public images of your art. Again, you’ll need some SEO marketing knowledge and to dedicate some time to promote and grow your following.

You should be able to achieve this by posting creative and interesting content with hashtags and encouraging users to share your posts.

8. Resale of Second-Hand Clothes

Did you know that there are people who turn a tidy profit by selling second-hand clothes online? Minimalism is all the rage at the moment so there are plenty of people making back some of the money they spent by selling the clothes that they no longer use.

Some have taken this one step further and started buying undervalued clothes second-hand and are then re-selling it via eBay, Gumtree, Poshmark, or ThredUP.

If you’re passionate about shopping, branch out and start checking out thrift shops when you can. They’re becoming increasingly popular and more accessible every day. If you find something there that isn’t necessarily your style, buy it and sell it online for what you think it’s worth.

Gauge what the stuff is worth by using other listings as a guide. In the beginning, you’re likely to make a few mistakes. But it’s an easy enough trade to learn and a great way to add a few hundred extra dollars to your wallet each month.

9. Freelance as an Online Editor

This one requires some serious time management, but it can be a pretty lucrative gig. Most editors charge about $32 per hour, according to

Realistically, as a student, you’re more likely to end up charging about $25-$28 per hour (once established). You might have to take up some poorly paid gigs at the beginning in order to get some positive reviews.

Other perks are that you get to set your own hours as long as you hit the deadline for submission of the edited work and that you can do it from anywhere that you have access to a computer.

I actually still pick up editing work if I have some bigger expenses coming up because it’s really easy to find work once you’ve got yourself established. You can make $100-$150 a week by doing a bit of work each night after your regular hours.

My go-to site is Upwork. We’ve written about Upwork in the past and given a heap of tips and tricks for getting work on the site. Check out the post here.

There are plenty of others out there though: Cactus (no experience required), Edit Fast (experience required), Enago, Proofreading Services or Scribbr (native speakers only).

Wordy is also a good pick, but they’re currently offline. They’ll be back online sometime in late 2018/early 2019.

10. Get Good Grades

It’s amazing that simply putting your head down and doing what you’re supposed to be doing at College can help you save money, and perhaps even earn you something.

The obvious starting point is scholarships, it’s a pretty well-known fact that tertiary education providers routinely provide scholarships to students who perform highly at school. Quite simply – the better your grades, the more options you have in terms of financial aid.

If you’ve had a look through the tertiary provider’s website and found that there isn’t anything that matches your circumstances, you should look into whether your state has any specific aid programs. The College Scholarships website is a great place to start.

That same website also lists an abundance of other scholarships and grants that are available to students based on varying criteria, including academic performance. Read more about some of these programs here.

Scholarships America is another resource that lists scholarships available for students based on varying criteria, including academic merit.

It’s also possible to save money on car insurance using “Good Student” discount programs. Compare providers and see if you can wrangle a better rate based on your grades.

11. Teach English Online

Teaching English online is a convenient make money online while you’re studying because of the odd hours that students need tutors. English learners in other time zones need tutors who are able to work outside of their business or school hours and the internet makes that very possible, and accessible.

Given that you’re at college, you’ll likely need to apply for companies who accept applicants that haven’t completed a Bachelor’s degree.

We’ve written reviews of Cambly and Nice Talk. You can have a look at companies like SayABC, QKids, and Magic Ears or platforms like iTalki, VerbalPlanet or Preply.

Some companies do require native speakers to have a TEFL Certification. If so, consider signing up for a quick course over summer. CELTA is the gold standard in ESL teaching qualifications, but if it’s out of your price range, going for a cheaper online alternative won’t hurt your chances of finding a role.

You can keep an eye on the job board on Dave’s ESL Cafe for tutoring roles that don’t require a degree. If you’re recently qualified there are a lot more options for you, like VIPKID, and Dada ABC.

Check out our comprehensive guide: 6 Apps/Websites you can use to teach English from home.

12. Clinical Trials

Researchers pay healthy volunteers who meet certain criteria to take part in clinical trials.

You might have seen the NASA research that went viral a few years ago, where they were offering tens of thousands of dollars to volunteers willing to stay in bed for a few months – well, clinical trials are much the same, but on a smaller scale.

There are plenty of trials happening all the time, but you’ll be limited by your location and study schedule. Nonetheless, there should be a few trials that you’ll qualify for and that’ll be convenient for you if you’re in a bigger city.

You can search for nearby trials using Center Watch, CISCRP, Clinical Trials, Covance, and PHRMA. You can also check out what’s on at Universities near you, consider Yale, Columbia University, Weill Cornell, or Johns Hopkins.

If being poked and prodded during physical exams isn’t your scene, you could consider being a research participant for the psychology department at one of the major universities. Harvard, NYU, Stanford and the University of Maryland have trials for local participants.

13. Sell your Video Game Accounts

Parents might spend less time harassing their kids about the amount of time they spend in front of the screens if they had any idea how lucrative the world of gaming can be.

Hardcore gamers can sell accounts that would give less experienced (or less gifted) users an advantage over other players. There are a few people in the world making hundreds of thousands of dollars annually doing this, however, it’s not the norm.

That said, there is a market for second-hand accounts. So if you dabble in gaming and get your player up to a decent level, it’s likely that you’ll be able to make a few dollars from something that you’d otherwise leave dormant.

You can sell your accounts, consoles, and accessories on Player Auctions. So even if you don’t have the skill set to make cash from your accounts, you can still sell the console and cut your losses.

Other sites that specialize in account sales are KH Accounts, Account Warehouse, Game Supply and a Reddit thread dedicated to the gaming market.

14. Take Surveys Online

Online surveys are a convenient way for you to make an extra $100 or so per month. You can make money by setting aside some of your spare time to complete the surveys every couple of days.

Online surveys don’t have the best reputation and there are a lot of junk sites out there, as well as many sites that don’t pay out. Moreover, there isn’t really potential for you to earn a full-time income and you’ll likely find yourself doing a cost-benefit analysis on the surveys at some point. 

We’ve previously published a blog detailing the best survey sites and we’ve reviewed many of the major players in the survey scene.

Users can make up to $18 an hour by sticking to the higher paid surveys on Survey Junkie. The site will also tell you how long the survey will take and how much you’ll make. You can Read Our Full Survey Junkie Review for more information.

Vindale Research occasionally has surveys that pay out $75. That said, they’ve got plenty of surveys with really low payouts and you’re likely to make about $10-$12 per hour.  Our complete review provides further details.

For more of the higher paying survey sites, check out our blog post on the topic.

15. Work Online as a Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists are largely able to set their own schedules, as long as they meet the deadline for the project. You can also choose how much work you take on, so it’s a great job if you’re interested in picking up more work over your holidays.

There are jobs for transcriptionists requiring no specialist knowledge, but medical or legal transcriptionists tend to earn a few bucks more per hour.

If you’re studying in one of these fields, you’re likely to tick the “knowledge requirement” boxes many of the major employers have.

If you’re studying in a medical field, you can check out GMR Transcription, M Modal, Net Transcripts and UbiQus if you don’t have any transcription experience. With a bit of experience, consider applying for Precision Transcription or Preferred Transcriptions.

Cyber Dictate, Birch Creek Communications, and e-Typist are great places to start for legal transcriptionists.

The one thing to bear in mind with this type of work is that you’ll likely have to provide your own equipment. Check out eBay or Amazon for deals on the transcription pedals.


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