More and more students are looking for ways to make money in college, and luckily, there are dozens of ways you can make some extra cash while studying.
I have opted to highlight the most realistic and ideal ways to earn money while studying in college without eating into your study time and affecting your grades.
While some may require you to be at a physical location to do the job, other jobs give you the freedom to work from anywhere provided you have internet access and a laptop or computer.
Ways to Make Money in College in 2021
Below are some of the ways for college students to make money while still pursuing their college education.
1. Start a Blog
This is one of the best ways to make money in college with unlimited income potential. Starting a blog is cheap, easy, and you can work at your pace and on your own terms.
To start a blog, you need to choose a domain name and pay for a web hosting service, which can be as cheap as $2.95/month. Once you start your blog, you can monetize it with display ads such as Google AdSense or promote affiliate products through Affiliate Marketing.
You can check our guides on how to start a blog, the best web hosting companies for new bloggers, and the most common blogging mistakes to avoid as a new blogger.
You can also have a look at all the ways you can make money with your blog and choose one which suits you best.
2. Start a YouTube Channel
If blogging is not your thing, then you might consider starting a YouTube Channel. It is 100% free to start and make money on YouTube.
However, you should note that making money on YouTube is not a quick thing. It takes time, hard work, consistency, and being smart to produce quality YouTube content.
You need to understand how to craft the perfect title, thumbnail, tags, and hashtags for your YouTube videos.
Some of the best ways to make money with YouTube include using display ads (e.g. Google AdSense), promoting affiliate products, and doing sponsored videos.
Please note that you can only monetize your YouTube channel with Google ads after you hit their milestone of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
If blogging and being a YouTuber still don’t excite you, then you can have a look at these other passive income ideas you can implement to make money online.
3. Deliver Groceries
Considering you’ll have a few hours between or after classes, using that time to deliver groceries around town can earn you up to $25/hr. You can also spend extra hours on weekends doing deliveries and earn more than $100 per day.
In most cases, the amount you earn depends on the type and number of items to deliver, driving distance, and the amount of effort involved in the delivery.
Apart from getting to keep 100% of the tips you get with Instacart, you can also earn referral bonuses for referring your friends or other people to shop with them.
4. Become a Freelance Writer
Becoming a freelance writer is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make money as a college student online.
You have a few options when it comes to freelance writing, including writing for specific blogs that hire freelance writers or using content outsourcing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, and Constant Content.
Some websites or platforms pay as high as $200 per article, which means the more advanced your level is, the higher earning-potential you’ll enjoy.
Apart from being a freelance writer, you can also offer editing and proofreading services for blogs, websites, and authors. For more on this, check our previous article on 13 Best Sites With Freelance Writing Jobs.
5. Become a Transcriptionist
Becoming a transcriptionist is one of the best ways to make money in college. It involves converting speech, either live or recorded, into written text documents.
You can choose general transcription, which requires little training or you can specialize in one field such as legal, medical, or business transcription.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical transcriptionists must complete a postsecondary medical transcriptionist program before they start doing transcriptions and earn between $33,000 and $52,000 a year.
One of the best websites to get transcription tasks is Rev, which pays freelance transcribers approximately $21 for 1-hour audio transcribed. Transcribers with more experience earn nearly twice the amount.
6. Undertake Translation Tasks
Handling translation projects is another great way to make money while studying in college. In order to handle translation tasks, you have to be proficient in at least two languages and be able to produce quality written content in both languages without any errors.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average pay for freelance translators is $29/hour, which translates to about $4,960/month. This makes it one of the best ways to make money online for college students.
7. Become a Voice-Over Artist
The demand for voice-over artists tasked with providing quality narration for instructional and explainer videos continue to rise.
According to data from Upwork, new voice-over artists charge an average of $35/hour while those with experience charge as high as $150/hour.
There are many websites where you can find voice-over jobs, some paying as high as $100/hour. You can check this list of 9 websites to find voice over jobs.
8. Become a Graphic Designer
For students with graphic design skills, then working as a graphic designer can be one of the best ways for them to make money in college. Graphic designers design;
- Blog banners
- e-Book covers
- Marketing materials
According to PayScale, the average hourly rate for graphic designers is $29.56, while established designers charge as high as $100 for a logo, which often less than 2 hours to design.
Advanced projects such as designing billboard materials, brochures, magazines, and marketing materials can pay between $300 and $500.
9. Become a Web Developer
Designing a basic website costs about $1,000 and takes less than 2 days to complete, while custom, advanced websites can take several days and costs as high as $5,000 or even more.
10. Become an Online Tutor
If you’re a native English speaker, then you have an opportunity to use your in-demand language proficiency to make money while in college.
To make things even better, if you are proficient in any foreign language such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Mandarin, etc., then you can make twice the amount since foreign language tutors are also in demand.
11. Become a Virtual Assistant
Another good way to make money in college is to become a virtual assistant. Many businesses are looking to outsource some day-to-day tasks such as handling customer questions and complaints, responding to emails, handling basic writing and research tasks, creating graphics, and managing social media pages.
Although it might not be one of the most lucrative ways to make money in college, becoming a virtual assistant can be the perfect opportunity to gain much-needed experience while making some extra bucks, especially if it aligns with your current area of study.
12. Become a Teaching Assistant
Some of the most common tasks you’ll perform as a teaching assistant include helping students in labs, performing research, grading papers, and teaching lower-level classes.
The availability and qualifications to become a teaching assistant vary depending on your institution. However, you’re most likely to be asked to submit copies of your transcripts and letters of recommendation.
Additionally, some colleges make teaching assistant positions available only to graduate students, while others make them available to undergraduates in their junior and senior years.
13. Become a Brand Ambassador
More often than not big brands hire college students to promote their products or services on college campuses. If you’re passionate about a particular product, service, or brand, then you can make some extra money as the brand ambassador of the company.
Among the tasks that you will execute include performing college outreach to create awareness and convincing college students to purchase a product or subscribe to a service.
This might be accompanied by handing out free merchandise at football games or during on-campus events. Being a brand ambassador equips you with invaluable marketing experience that will make your resume stand out.
14. Sell Custom-Made Designs
This is one of the ways to make money in college ideal for students with graphic design or closely similar skills. You can sell custom-made designs such as stickers, posters, laptop covers, pillow designs, coffee mug designs, t-shirts, phone cases, and wall art, among others.
The best platforms to sell your designs include CafePress, Zazzle, and Redbubble where you create an account, upload your designs, and earn a commission or share of the sale every time someone makes a purchase. Most pay through PayPal.
The advantage of these platforms is that you can earn commissions multiple times from the same design since the item will be purchased multiple times by different customers.
In case you’re into arts and crafts, then a good platform to make extra cash is Etsy.
15. Sell Gigs on Fiverr
Fiverr is one of the largest marketplaces where you can find almost every service you can think of. It’s the place where graphic & web designers, voice-over specialists, translation experts, logo designers, freelancers, and animation experts among others sell their expertise.
Although each gig costs at least $5, you can set yours to your desired maximum, even as high as $200 per gig. This means you can earn thousands of dollars a month just with Fiverr gigs. Fiverr pays through PayPal.
16. Sell Your Class Notes
Another great way to make money as a college student online is to sell your class notes. Most campuses have note-taking/selling services on campus.
A good example is the University of California, San Diego, which has the A.S. Lecture Notes which pays note takes and charges note buyers.
Alternatively, you can consider StudySoup, an online platform where students can sell their notes. Some students are making in excess of $5,000 just selling notes online.
17. Sell Your Old College Papers
Apart from selling your class notes, you can also make money by selling your old college papers. Rather than getting rid of them, get paid by platforms that buy old college papers, such as GradeSaver.
Here you can sell your old essays for between $15 to $100 per piece. This means students who write multiple papers per semester can make a decent income on the sides without having to do anything extra.
18. Sell Your Old Books
Just to add to selling your college notes and college papers, you can also get some money back after using your books. A website such as BookScouter connects you with vendors and highlights the ones offering the best deal for the book you intend to sell.
You just search for selling prices by entering your book’s ISBN number and boom, you have dozens of vendors to choose from. Pick one, ship your book for free, and get paid via Paypal after a few days. Just make sure the books you list for sale are still in good condition.
19. Sell Stock Photos
If you’re into photography or you love taking photos, then you can turn your passion into a money-making hobby. Take quality photos and submit them to one of the sites that pay for original photos, including iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, and Getty Images.
You will be paid between 15% and 50% commission for every sale you generate. Alternatively, you can turn your images into art and sell them on a platform such as Etsy, though this won’t earn you much.
In case you take photos of people, then make sure you do so with their permission to avoid any costly legal consequences.
20. Take Online Surveys
Another flexible way to make money while studying in college is by taking online surveys. There are dozens of websites where you can earn cash rewards or gift cards by completing surveys, with some platforms paying as high as $50 per survey.
Some of the best websites to take online surveys include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, Vindale Research, InboxDollars, and Opinion Post.
The truth, however, is that not all platforms pay well, so this might be ideal if you just need a few extra cash once in a while.
21. Become a Driver
If you have a car, then why not pick up driving jobs for quick cash? You can get jobs through companies such as Uber and Lyft, which allow you to set your own schedule and pick up passengers only when you’re available.
With the freedom to set your own schedule and work only during your free time, you can take extra hours in the evenings and on weekends when you have no classes.
To make additional money, you can rent out your car whenever you have classes and get paid for it. Check out Turo if you wish to rent out your car.
22. Clean Windows/Paint Houses
Another great way to make money in college is cleaning windows or painting houses in your neighborhood. Companies such as College Pro connect collect students to the house painting business.
Apart from getting paid, you get exposure to entrepreneurship and add important experience details to your resume.
23. Launch an Online Course
Do you have an area of expertise that you can teach and offer real value? If YES, then create an online course around the topic and upload it to sites such as Udemy.
You do not need to be a trained expert to create a course. Besides, there are courses for almost everything, including the ones you least expect.
To Wrap it Up…
Although there are many ways to earn money while studying in college, choosing one that closely aligns with your career can be a great boost for your resume.
Nonetheless, which of these ways to make money in college do you think can be ideal for you? And if you’re already making money in college, what advice can you give to other college students looking for similar ideas?