25 Legit Ways to Earn Money as a College Student

The average student leaves college with a student loan debt of $37,172, due to plummeting tuition costs. That means collectively students with student loan debts are weighed down by $1.5 trillion! That’s quite a ridiculous amount of money! Add other costs such as tuition, food, and leisure money – and if you don’t find opportunities to make money at college, when you finish school your economic state will be pretty horrible. But don’t panic, because we’ve listed 25 real ways to earn money as a college student without having to skip a class!

Earn Money as a College Student
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You can of course always earn money as a college student by working. There are jobs that are well-tailored to college students and young adults for specific school schedules, summer break, and more.

Work for Your Professor

Many professors employ 1-2 students each semester to assist them with grading papers, planning classes, and even conducting research. If you’re skilled in a specific field of research, collaborate with your professor and see if he’s got a job for you.

Become a Tutor

According to PayScale the average pay rate for tutors in the US is $17.70 per hour. Tutoring is another job, where if you work individually, you can set your own schedule. Craigslist ads and school message boards and directories can help you reach customers. When considering a career in tutoring, it is best to focus on the school subject that you are best at. If you’re a math genius, consider taking math tutoring. If English is your strongest suit, offer to teach grammar and English rules to kids.

If you want to work as a tutor, you don’t have to be an independent consultant. While working on your own as a teacher is fantastic (and usually better paying), you can also work for a tutoring center. In most major cities there are abundant local tutoring centers.


If you have a passion for gardening, your foraging interest could also be helpful to your friends and neighbors. If you don’t want to do this every week, there are plenty of odd job opportunities to help people literally clear farmland, cut down trees, or do one-off ventures.

Get an Internship

These days, almost all internships are paid for, so they can be a perfect way to learn real-life skills while also improving your income. Although many internships begin during the summer, some corporations have prolonged internship programs where you can continue throughout the school year as an intern.

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Make sure you check out our KAUST Internship for aspiring researchers and graduate students.

Sell Your Stuff

Making money through selling stuff is one of the fastest ways to earn money as a college student. Many students don’t think they have the stuff to sell, but they’re wrong. Everyone can sell the products on this list.

Sell Stuff on Craigslist

If you have something that you no longer use, and it’s too big to sell online, Craigslist should be your go-to place for selling goods. You may want to sell all your possessions in college before getting out of school at the end of the year. A few $100 could be cheaper, depending on what you own, than storing it or bringing it back with you. Setting up a listing and selling something on Craigslist is simple. Facebook Offers are also a newer option.

Sell Crafts on Etsy

If you’re creative, consider selling your crafts on Etsy. Etsy is designed for handcrafted goods – including stationary, birthday cards, household crafts, and more. The best thing about making these kinds of items is that you can do it on nights and weekends, in your free time.

Sell Stuff on eBay

Another fantastic place to sell your stuff is eBay. If you have things you don’t use anymore – old computer games, tapes, laptops, and so on – and you can send it in a package, then sell it on eBay. This is a good way to make extra cash while at university.

Rent Your Stuff

Leasing your stuff is a great way to make some extra income, especially if you are in college. Think you don’t have a lot to rent? You will be surprised.

Rent Your Car

If you have a car that you don’t use because you spend all of your time studying on school grounds, perhaps it’s time to lease it out. Turo is a platform that allows you to rent, and get compensated for, your car to others. They make it simple, and this could be an effortless win-win solution for college students.

Rent Your Clothes

If you have good clothes that you don’t wear often (maybe a prom dress or some trendy sneakers), you can rent them to someone who may be looking for a solid look at a decent price. Sites such as RentNotBuy help people to rent out their clothes and apparel items online to others. Creating a listing is quick, and easy to get paid.

Rent Your Garage or Driveway

If you own a home and have an extra room that you don’t use in your garage or even a side driveway, you can rent the space for people who need to store their boat or RV. The Neighbor website lets you rent your driveway or garage to others, and receive online payment. It’s really easy to use and a perfect way to make some additional income in a place you’re not using.

Rent a Room in Your House

One of the easiest ways to get started investing in real estate is to purchase a house and rent it out to roommates. If you have a great place to list, get started on AirBnB.

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Rent Your Stuff

Do you have things in your house that you no longer use? Perhaps a bike, or outdoor gear? It’s perhaps something you use, but not too often. Try using a platform like Rentything, which enables you to rent almost everything you own, if you want to put your stuff to benefit you. You just build your own rental shop and list the rentable pieces. People contact you across the website and pay you online. It’s a fast and quick way to raise sales.

Rent Your Books

Renting your books is a way to make extra cash! You can make money by renting out your textbooks, especially if you’re not planning on using them again. There are many sites where you can rent your old textbooks at competitive prices. Some sites even offer to pay for shipping costs and provide free return envelopes.

Do Tasks for Money

The following aren’t exactly work and they aren’t completely business opportunities online either. They are something in the middle and we name them as ’tasks you can do to earn money as a college student’. Most of these are aimed at millennials and college students seeking to make some odd-jobs cash.

Become a Note Taker

Unlike school notes, people ought to have notes taken for everyone. Senior citizens and people with disabilities, for example, are often in need of help taking notes, and many agencies of local health and human services are matching note-takers to those in need. If you have time and are willing to drive around the city, you could make a bit of extra income by taking notes for people in need.

Drive for Lyft or Uber

If you’ve got a car and some leisure time, becoming a Lyft or Uber driver buddy can be a fantastic way to boost some additional income.

Fill out Online Surveys

Another job you can do online is to take online surveys, which would usually compensate you with small gifts just to carry them out. There are tons of online survey sites out there. To get started, search this list of the most credible ones:

Inbox Dollars

Get Rebates for Online Shopping

Who really does go to the grocery store or regular supermarket nowadays? Everybody now just seems to be shopping online. Make sure you sign up for Rakuten before making any more transactions online. This service enables you to get deals on 1,000s of online shopping sites, like Amazon, Target, and more.

Participate in Market Research

Participating in market research is an interesting way of being paid. You can see market research studies promoted on most college campuses, and the point of these studies is clear – businesses want college students’ opinions. The majority of studies will pay you with cash or gift vouchers in exchange for sitting in a room doing market research for an hour.

Start a Small Business

It’s incredibly rewarding to be your own boss and it can be highly profitable for college students and recent graduates. In this section, these next money-making ideas are poured, since your income is constrained by your own internal drive.

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Self-publish a Book

Ever got an idea for a story? Well, nowadays there’s nothing to keep you from being a successful writer, with the rise in popularity of eBooks. In fact, you can still make some cash from writing, even if you don’t consider composing a novel. Set an unconventional aim for yourself and either blog or publish a book about it.

Become a Virtual Assistant

Another smart way of making money online is being a virtual assistant. A lot of individuals and companies are looking to outsource “assistant-type” jobs, including email response, simple writing and organization management, research tasks, and more. If you are planning to do this type of online job, consider being a virtual assistant and you could collect a few hundred dollars or more a month.

Create an App

You can develop an iPhone or Android app and market it in the App Store if you have any programming expertise. A lot of people have succeeded in making both games and regular applications. The trick is to find and leverage unmet needs.

Launch an Online Course

You’re a good teacher? Do you already have a field of expertise that you are teaching or supporting others in? You could build and sell an online course around that subject. Sites like Udemy enable anyone to build a course online and then sell it on their website. There are classes for all so don’t worry if you think your subject is too dim.

Start an Essay or Thesis Proofreading Business

Alright, so maybe the last thing you’d want to do after writing your own essays is proofread other people’s papers. But think about it this way: you’re going to get heaps of publicity on how you should (or shouldn’t) structure an essay, but unlike when you do your own project, you’re going to get paid for your time. To begin offering your services, hit up some freelancing sites – there are dozens of people out there desperate for anyone to give up their writing once.

Earn Passive Income

There are many passive income ideas that you should find as a college student. Such passive income concepts don’t entail set hours for college students that would conflict with college.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn money as a college student by picking a product or service from an affiliated marketing offer. All you need to do is advertise it to a market, and receive a sales commission made through your reference. You can do it online or offline, physically or digitally, and receive commissions depending on the price of the items or service.


If writing essays in college is something you enjoy, then blogging may be for you. Blogging includes producing quality content, such as blogs, videos, and reviews. Your content is monetized using a variety of methods, such as affiliate marketing, display advertising, on-demand printing, or eCommerce. To expand your audience, all you need is a monetized blog with high traffic and daily, premium content. Bloggers with a handsome number of following (mostly 30K+ monthly views) can easily make up more than $1,000 a month from different blog activities. You can start blogging by buying a domain name and a hosting service at Hawkhost.

Become a Youtuber

By providing videos you are passionate about its, you can potentially gain passive income if you can join advertising programs or sell anything you want through your Youtube channel. You are creating videos by using your phone, editing, and then uploading them on your Youtube channel.  You need to sign up on Youtube and you can start to create videos and receive some profits through advertising programs or sell any products and services.

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