How to Make Money as a College Student

How to Make Money as a College Student

The Best Ways to Make Money in College

You may not have time for a full-time job or the resources to start your own full business. You need a job that works with your unpredictable schedule but still pays well enough to cover your bills.

I see a lot of people recommending getting a job in retail or being a server at a restaurant. While these are fine suggestions for some people, you probably won’t get the kind of consistent income you want to pay for college and your living expenses.

Instead, why not try working for yourself? There are so many things you can start doing right now without jumping through a bunch of hoops, going through long hours of training, or investing a ton of money.

Take advantage of the opportunities you have and learn how to make money in college without having to work 3 different jobs. Here’s my take on what you can do.

11. Apply for scholarships

If you’re a good student looking for additional funding, scholarships are a great way to gain access to them. There are many different kinds of scholarships that you can apply for, including scholarships for students with good grades, students studying particular subjects, and students from minority groups.

Depending on your school’s policies, any scholarships you receive may be deducted from your financial aid, so be sure to check with your school’s financial aid office to see how a scholarship will affect your aid before officially accepting. Also, it is important to note that many scholarships require you to use the funds for specific, college-related, expenses.


Resell Fashion (Clothing Accessories)

Many different clothing and accessory brands have great resale value. If you have some time and a little extra money, go out hunting discount brand name clothes that you can then resell for a higher price.

Thrift shops are a great place to start. You can often find brand name items for really low prices or at least lower than what you can sell them for elsewhere.

Check out local yard sales over the weekend also. People doing a yard sale usually price clothes at throwaway prices just to get rid of them quickly. You can find some gems from someone else’s closet that will get you a fantastic return on your investment!

You can resell clothes, shoes, bags, and other accessories. In general, you want to look for items that are:

  • Made by a popular, trendy brand or a designer
  • In good or great condition
  • Still in style today (even if it’s “vintage”)

You’ll probably have an easier time reselling if you already have an eye for fashion, but even if you’re completely clueless about brands and current fashion trends, you can still make a good profit from reselling.

It’s a flexible job that’s easy to manage no matter what your daily schedule looks like.

Once you’ve got some items to sell, take great pictures and post them on platforms like:

  • Poshmark
  • Depop
  • ThredUP (they will take the pictures for you)
  • eBay
  • ASOS Marketplace
  • Tradesy
  • The RealReal

Many marketplaces take a commission from your sale, but you can still make a healthy profit if you get items cheap enough and sell them for a high enough price.

Sign up to deliver food

It seems like people everywhere are getting lazier . . . or maybe just busier. Either way, it’s great for companies like UberEats and SkipTheDishes, and by extension, for students like us. If you’re looking to make some money on your own time, you should consider delivering food for these companies. And the best part? You don’t even need access to a car! Having a bicycle works just as well, and it can serve as your workout at the same time. 

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.

Entrepreneurial Ways to Make Money in College

17. Start a blog or website

Have something that you are passionate about and want to share with others? You can easily get a website domain for cheap and start your blogging journey. Bloggers get paid by promoting other brands and products, embedding advertisements onto their website, and producing sponsored content.

18. Try your hand at video blogging

Similar to creating a blog website, YouTube is another great way to share your stories and profit from it. YouTubers, or vloggers, make money by creating sponsored videos and allowing ads to be shown before or during their videos. It does take time to build up an audience and following to monetize your YouTube channel, but with effort and time, it could become a great side hustle to make extra money in college.

19. Be a freelance writer for blogs and businesses

Don’t like the uncertainty behind starting your own blogging business? Consider becoming a freelance writer for other blogs and businesses. You will make money for the work that you produce. You also can set your schedule, which is essential for college students who also have classes to attend and school assignments to do.

20. Do online design work

Are you a creative design student? Consider becoming a freelance designer. You can express your creativity and make money at the same time doing online design work.

21. Sell crafts on Etsy

If you are a crafty person, consider selling your crafts on Etsy. You’ll incur a small listing fee of 20 cents for each item, but you can make back that money with each sale.

5. Sell gently used clothes

Have you been meaning to pare down your wardrobe?

Have you been meaning to pare down your wardrobe? It’s easier than ever to sell gently used clothes online to make a little extra money on the side. Not only is selling old clothes a great way to make money, but it also helps to recycle old items and give them new life rather than just throwing them out.

Sites like Poshmark, thredUp, and Tradesy are popular platforms for selling online. You can also sell your clothes in-person at thrift and consignment stores. Or, at my college, students frequently used Facebook Marketplace to sell their clothes to other students on campus. 

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.

Get a Catering Job

If your Monday-Friday is too busy with school to work as a server in a restaurant, why not try catering? Most events are held on the weekends when you have extra time. Start with the conference center on campus to find out whether they’re hiring.

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.

Jobs You Can Do on Your Feet

Two birds, one stone. Earn extra cash and enjoy some exercise in between your class schedule. These side gigs are ideal for the student who needs the money and a quick break from the grind:

Try Dog Walking

Forecasters predict there will be more dogs than people in America by 2025. OK, that’s not true, but dogs are everywhere nowadays. Those furry friends of ours need to stretch their legs, and owners who work long days are willing to pay dog walkers for a bit of midday exercise. Advertise your services by word of mouth or enlist with companies such as Wag! and Rover, both of which find clients for you. If you live off-campus, you might also consider pet-sitting.

Help People Stay in Shape

If you’re a fitness junkie who wants to help others get in shape, consider becoming a personal trainer at your campus rec center or local gym. Many people need the motivation and guidance of a trainer to maximize their workouts.

Take Stock Photos

Do you have a good camera and an eye for photography? See if you can get your work posted on sites such as iStock and Shutterstock, which offer up to 50% of the price tag when they sell your stock photos.

Clean Houses

Particularly in big college towns and cities, students could have ample opportunity to find cleaning work nearby. Tools are cheap, the labor is straightforward, and unlike working for campus custodial services, the profits are all yours.

Make the Move

As with walking dogs, helping people move is a nice way to get in your exercise and make a few bucks while you’re at it. Many moving companies hire college students for busy periods, and there’s something special about an honest day’s work of lifting and lugging.

School-Related Work

The best ways to make money may be right on campus – you just have to know where to look. A college is a business organization, and all organizations have jobs that need to be filled. And even apart from formal jobs, there may be opportunities to make some extra cash just helping out where there are specific needs.

Take a Job at School

Your college or university needs people to fill all kinds of jobs. It could be working in the cafeteria, providing cleaning services, maintaining the grounds, or any one of a number of jobs. It would have the advantage of keeping you on campus for work, rather than needing to go to a remote site.

Check with your school’s human resources department, or even get information from people who are already in those jobs. They can probably point you toward the person who does the hiring.

Tutor Other Students

Do you have a specific subject or two where you’re particularly strong? If so, you may be able to earn money tutoring other students who aren’t.

There are two ways you can approach this. You can see if there’s a formal tutoring program set up on campus. If so, you can sign up and get assignments as they come in.

But a more lucrative opportunity may be to offer your services directly to other students. You can do this by word-of-mouth, but it may be better to advertise your services in the campus newspaper, website or Facebook page. As an independent, you can easily make $25 to $50 per hour, particularly if your specializations are in more technical subjects, like math, science, and computer science.

Use Your Specializations to Help Other Students

You probably have certain skills many others don’t. For example, if you’re really good at designing presentations or providing graphic arts, you may be able to help other students with term papers and projects for a fee. If you’re fluid with computers, you may also be able to teach or troubleshoot the technology for other students.

Advertise your services in the school newspaper, website, or Facebook page. You can also market your services through your own social media. If you start getting referrals from existing customers, you’ll have plenty of income to keep your bank account full throughout your time at school.

Assist a Professor or Department Head

A professor or department head has all kinds of tasks that need to be performed. That includes everything from making copies, to creating audiovisual aids, or doing research.

Check with your professors and with the head of your major department and see what kind of opportunities there are. But also check any online school related media where faculty or administrators might be looking for people to perform certain tasks.

Help Out in the Athletic Department

You’re probably familiar with the concept of a bat boy/girl. But virtually all sports organizations have a need for a bat boy/girl equivalent, or even several. Maybe you’re not playing in any sports in college, but if you played in one or more sports in high school, you can become an equipment manager, or assist the coaching staff in some capacity.

Check with the athletic department or directly with specific teams to see what’s available. And while football and basketball may be the big money making sports in college, there are dozens of other less known teams at your school where fewer students will be signing up to help. Those might be your best opportunities.

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.

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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”.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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

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 there 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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