21+ Ways to Make Money as a Student: Side Hustles, Apps, & More
By: Rita Cunha | November 9, 2020
There are dozens of ways for college students to make extra cash online. From freelance writing to app testing and answering online surveys, there is plenty to choose from.
Not only will those gigs help you cover what your student loan can’t, but they will also teach you practical skills and put work experience under your belt. Today, I’m showing you how to make money as a student full-time. It’s not as hard as it may sound, so let’s get straight into it.
In-Person or Online Jobs. What Pays Best?
If you’re thinking of ways to earn money online while studying, you may be wondering what’s best. Should you take up a more “traditional” part-time job or jump straight into online gigs?
It totally depends. Regular part-time jobs have the perk of generally paying better and being steadier. You can start pretty quickly and get your first paycheck in little time. On the other hand, they don’t give you a flexible schedule and you may be working alongside people you don’t like.
Here are just a few ways to make money as a student this way.
Are you good with children? Then babysitting is a neat side hustle for you. You can find opportunities in parenting groups in your area, or join an agency. If you do a good job, word of mouth can travel a long way and get you more steady opportunities.
Maybe children aren’t your thing and you’re better with animals. If so, then go dog walking! Busy working professionals don’t have time to take Fido for a walk, and that’s where you come in.
Food and Grocery Delivery
There are so many delivery service apps out there; signing up to be a driver isn’t hard. If you have a car, bike or motorcycle and free time, you can register. Look into joining the driving team at Postmates, Doordash, and InstaCart. It’s good money!
Driving with Uber and Lyft
You can also make quite a bit of money driving people around your city. Uber and Lyft are the most popular ride-sharing apps and they’re always looking for drivers. If you have your own car and can pass a background check, you’re set.
Small Tasks with TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is an app that connects you to people in your area who need gigs done. Sometimes it’s moving, other times it’s helping clear their backyard. For every task you complete, you get paid. On top of that, you’re helping people, which should be a big plus.
Work-Study Opportunities On Campus
You can also go a more traditional (albeit not as well-known) route and look into work-study opportunities at your campus. Most colleges have positions open for their students, which often leads to discounted tuition and living costs. Being a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Resident Assistant (RA) are cool ways of making money.
How to Earn Money Online While Studying: The Best 21 Ways
If none of those things are for you, don’t leave this page just yet. We’re only getting started. We have compiled a list of the best part-time online jobs for students to earn money. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a PayPal or some other online money account to cash your earnings.
#1 Become a Virtual Assistant
Are you an organized person who loves being on top of things? If so, then being a virtual assistant is for you. You’d help entrepreneurs and businesses function better on the day-to-day, all from the comfort of your home (or dorm).
You can find virtual assistant opportunities on Upwork and job boards. They’re always in great demand and the pay can really help cushion your bank account.
#2 Do Freelance Writing
If people tell you you’re good with words, try writing as a freelancer. You can specialize in a variety of niches and industries and put your skills to good use. You could sell copy for blog posts, newsletters, eBooks, and a lot more!
Look for writing gigs on ClearVoice, Upwork, Fiverr, and join freelance writing groups on social media. The more connections you have, the greater the chances to get clients and make money online. Play your cards right and you could even transition into full-time work after graduation.
#3 Focus on Paid Transcription
Freelance transcription also lets you adopt a flexible schedule. Log in to work in your spare time and log out when you have classes or have to study. At first, you will need some time to get used to the pace of the work, but you’ll become a pro in no time. Online job boards and LinkedIn will be your best friends when looking for transcription work.
#4 Get Paid to Do Data Entry
Data entry is another gig perfect for college students. It’s one of the easiest part-time jobs out there and you can do it from home. Companies are always needing freelancing professionals to do research for them and enter data into spreadsheets. If you’re willing to pick up this important skill, create an account on Upwork and Fiverr and start looking for clients.
#5 Try Translating for Money
Are you fluent in two or more languages? If so, you’re in luck. There are thousands of translation projects uploaded to the internet every day. Put your language skills to great use and connect with potential clients. With time, you could become a full-time freelancer doing this mind-stimulating work.
#6 Do Graphic Design as a Freelancer
There are many part-time jobs for artists and doing graphic design is one of them. With more and more companies wanting to have a lasting influence online, graphic designers are in hot demand. If you can create awesome logos, webpages, and the likes, you could find a job online.
#7 Get Money to Take Online Surveys
Swagbucks is one of the top money-earning websites for students. It will pay you to answer online surveys so that retailers know what the public thinks of their new products. Answer however many surveys they have up for grabs and then cash out in the form of Amazon gift cards or real money through PayPal.
Several websites and apps will pay you for your opinion (for instance, InboxDollars). But Swagbucks is the most trusted and lucrative of them all.
#8 Help Others Through Online Tutoring
As a college student, you know a lot about what you’re studying. What if you could help other college students and high school students with their courses? Online tutoring is a thing and it can pay well once you get enough experience. As a tutor, you meet new people and get a refresher on the content you’re teaching. Win-win, right?
#9 Test Websites and Apps
Website, app, and product testing are some of the best jobs for college students. You already know what makes those things great, so why not get paid for your input? UserTesting lets you connect with brands who want insight into their new products—be it make-up, workout equipment, apps, and so on. Start there.
#10 Watch Videos and Get Paid
Swagbucks also lets you watch videos to earn money and other rewards (such as Amazon gift cards). They can be movie trailers or ads, and you can play them in the background as you’re getting other stuff done. It’s the closest you’ll likely get to passive income in college and you can rack up quite a bit of spending money this way. Download the Swagbucks Watch app on iOS or Android to get started.
#11 Become a Do-It-All
You can also make money by taking on every-day tasks online. Amazon Mechanical Turk and Fiverr are both awesome places to find gigs you can do in your free time. They’ll pay you a small amount for every task you complete, but since they’re so easy and quick to do, there’s potential there!
#12 Sell Your Old Stuff Online
If you’re decluttering your room, you can make a fair amount of money selling things you don’t use anymore online. List your items on eBay, Depop, Poshmark, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Decluttr to get some extra cash soon.
#13 Become a Part-Time Social Media Manager
Companies want to be close to their customers, so what better way to reach them than through social media? College students make great social media managers for an online business. You can set your own schedule and you are likely already familiar with your job responsibilities. Plus, since this is a role that isn’t going anywhere any time soon, now is a great time to get experience in the area.
#14 Do Influencer Marketing
Alternatively, you could do influencer marketing. If you already have a large following online, reach out to a brand you love and ask for a partnership. You’ll find businesses are eager to send you products for promotion across your social media accounts—and pay you money for your work.
#15 Start Blogging
Blogging can also make you money once you have a sizeable readership. Create your blogger account for free with WordPress and get started on content creation. Write about things you are passionate about, connect with other bloggers, and share your work on social media. When you have a lot of active readers, you could do affiliate marketing or simply run ads on your page.
#16 Film Videos for YouTube
Maybe words aren’t your forte but you still have lots to share. If that’s your case, YouTube might be the ideal platform for you. You would get money from ads played over your videos, as well as potential partnerships with sponsors. As a YouTuber, you get to set your own schedule, so you’ll have no problem doing it while still in school full-time.
#17 Sell Your Original Photography
There are plenty of platforms that let you sell your original photography to brands. Foap is an app that lets you do just that, with shots going for over $50 regularly. Getty Images and Shutterstock are also options to look into. Build up your portfolio and start making money from your art!
#18 Open an Online Artsy Store with Etsy
Speaking of art, have you ever thought of opening an Etsy shop? They’re incredibly popular among artsy people and can be very lucrative, too. In your free time, you could make your creations (be it painting, knitting, embroidering, and so on) and then list your pieces online. Then, all you have to do is market your work and ship out parcels all over the world to paying customers!
#19 Create and Sell an Udemy Course
If you feel like you have a lot to teach, why not create an online course on Udemy and sell it? You can start working on your course for free today and upload it once it’s ready. Then, focus on marketing it and spreading the word, and watch as learners sign up to learn from you. Exciting, right?
#20 Sell Your Class Notes
Are you a straight-A student? If so, there are a lot of college students who want to learn from you. There are platforms entirely dedicated to buying and selling class notes. Whether you’re studying medicine or art history, there is bound to be someone looking for help with their material.
Nexus and Stuvia let you upload your course notes for free and will even market them to other students for you. They’ll take a cut for their work, but you’ll get money in return too! Plus, typing up your notes will help you study the material and understand it even better, so it’s a win-win.
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