There are many ways to make money in college that let you have free time mid-day, during the evenings, or on the weekends.
The gig economy can help you take on a side hustle to defray the cost of tuition without missing class or sacrificing your social life.
Here are some of the best ways to make money in college.
What Are the Best Ways to Make Money in College in 2023?
There are many lucrative ways to earn cash on the side. Here are some of the best side hustle ideas to start making money while balancing your responsibilities.
1. Deliver Meals
Do you have a car, bike, motorcycle, or scooter? If so, you can make money as a delivery driver.
DoorDash is an on-demand delivery service that lets you deliver restaurant meals. You get to work on your own schedule, and earnings are paid weekly. Daily cashouts are available for an additional fee.
Dasher pay depends on various factors, including tips and delivery times. There might be limited-time offers to earn extra cash by delivering during peak periods if there is a driver shortage.
Most driver jobs are during the lunch and dinner hours, along with weekends. After opening the app, you can preview the delivery route and potential pay before claiming an open request.
Read our DoorDash Driver review to learn more.
Earn cash and create your own schedule!
Deliver food with just a car or scooter. Get started today!
2. Grocery Shopping
On-demand grocery shopping is one of the top high-paying jobs for college students. Instacart Shopper is a leader in the space.
People order groceries with Instacart. Then, you purchase and deliver food to them. You will receive a shopping list on your phone that you can complete as you navigate the store aisles.
This on-demand delivery service lets you work on your own schedule, but you need a vehicle to transport orders to customers.
When comparing orders, the delivery requests include which store you will shop and the order total to help you decide which one is the easiest to complete.
Select cities have in-store shoppers who don’t need a vehicle, but this does require working a shift. You will gather orders that can be picked up by the customer or delivered by another person.
*Related: Do you want to deliver packages instead of food? Read our Amazon Flex driver review to learn how to earn $20+ per hour delivering for Amazon.
This service is available nationwide. It claims drivers can earn $20+ per hour.
Read our guide on how to become an Instacart Shopper to learn more.
If you want other ideas to make money in the on-demand space, here’s a comparison of the top apps and what you can expect to be paid.
|App||Avg. Hourly Pay||Pay Frequency||Bike/Motorcycle?|
|Postmates||Up to $20||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|DoorDash||Varies||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|Uber Eats||Varies||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|Instacart||$20||Weekly + instant||No|
|Shipt Shopper||$22||Weekly + instant||No|
|GrubHub||$19||Weekly + instant||No|
|Caviar||$25||Weekly + instant||Yes|
3. Walking Dogs
Being a dog walker is one of the best side hustles for college students who love animals. The pay is competitive, and you can have a consistent schedule with recurring income to make ends meet.
If you are 18 or older, an app like Rover lets you connect with pet owners who need help. You can choose which breeds you are comfortable interacting with, your experience, and your availability.
Pet sitting is another great way to make good money. People often hire college students to provide drop-in visits or stay at their homes to care for their pets for an extended period.
The site claims active contractors can earn up to $1,000 per month. Read our guide on the best dog-walking apps to identify your top choices.
|Rover - earn up to $1,000/mo. walking dogs! |
Rover offers $1,000,000 in protection, 24/7 support, and vet assistance.
4. Complete Small Tasks Online
If you’re like most college students, you spend a lot of time online. You can monetize that time through an app like Swagbucks.
*Related: Looking for ways to make money for a delivery service? Read our Postmates job review to learn how you can make $20+ per hour delivering meals.*
The app pays you to do things like answer online surveys, play games, and use their search engine. Additionally, there are paid shopping offers that let you get cash back when you shop online or try out new services.
You won’t make a ton of cash since most tasks reward anywhere between $0.50 and $5. However, it’s a simple way for anyone over 13 to earn extra spending money.
The redemption minimum is $5 for PayPal Cash and most gift cards. You can join by providing a valid email address and earn a $10 signup bonus after spending $25 at a participating store.
Get $10 when you sign up now!
Earn free gift cards and cash rewards taking surveys, shopping and more.
5. Take Surveys
You won’t get rich by taking online surveys, but a site like Survey Junkie is an excellent way to make quick money as a broke college student.
It’s possible to complete several studies each day, with most taking 20 minutes or less. This lets you easily squeeze in a side gig between classes.
Another effortless way to earn extra cash is by downloading the SJ Pulse app. This program lets you anonymously share your browsing activity and the ads you see in exchange for several dollars in rewards.
The platform is easy to use, and you only need a $5 balance to redeem earnings for PayPal Cash or gift cards. You can earn several hundred dollars each month if you’re active enough.
Earn $50+ per month
$1 per survey. Cash out fast with low redemption minimums.
6. Rent Out Your Car
Renting your car is an easy way to make money in college. HyreCar is a platform that matches you with renters looking for a vehicle.
Many college students don’t need to use a car daily, so this is a simple way to start making money from an idle asset.
The site says the average person earns $720 a month renting out their car. If your car sits unused frequently, this is a fantastic option to earn passive income.
7. Do Odd Jobs Around Town
Students who enjoy working with their hands can make good money helping people around town.
TaskRabbit is an awesome resource if you are over 18 that connects you with people who need help with various jobs, from yard work to mounting a TV and more.
Certain cities have opportunities for personal shoppers and other one-time tasks that don’t require special tools or skills.
You set your own rates and work when you want. The app suggests the average pay rate for your task and city.
Most side hustles pay from $15 to $30 per hour. You keep 100 percent of what you charge plus tips and receive payment through direct deposit.
Babysitting is a classic way to earn extra money. If you don’t mind giving up a few evenings each week, you can make $15 or more per hour.
Depending on the situation, you might be able to complete homework as the children play or nap. You can also have more consistent hours and pay potential than other gig economy jobs that can be slow at times.
Referrals are the name of the game when it comes to getting more babysitting gigs. Care.com is a helpful site for anyone over 18 that lets you create a profile, find jobs, and get referrals.
Housesitting is an easy way to make money on the side, especially in college. As a housesitter, you get paid to stay in someone’s home while they travel.
Care.com is a good resource for finding gigs. Expect to earn $25+ per evening you watch the home.
In addition to making sure the house remains secure and problem-free, anticipate completing small chores like collecting the mail, feeding pets, and watering plants.
10. Start a Blog
Blogging is a popular side hustle idea and one of the best ways for college students to make money. From display to affiliate advertising, there are many ways to make money with a blog.
You can create content that helps current students and their families learn about paying for college or private student loans. Other possibilities include creating content about your favorite interest, hobby, or college major.
Blogging helps expand your knowledge, and writing your articles in your spare time as a student can lead to making extra money.
Bluehost is a fantastic resource to launch your site. They install your site, provide 24/7 support, and give you a free domain name for just $2.95 a month.
While anyone can start a blog, it can take time to see revenue with this opportunity. However, the sky is the limit when it comes to earning potential.
Read our guide on how to make money blogging for the exact steps you need to follow to launch a successful website.
|Bluehost - Free Domain for a Year|
Cost: $2.95/month using our link!
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11. Sell Your Old Textbooks
According to CBS News, the average college student spends $1,200 per year on textbooks. Fortunately, if you take good care of your textbooks, you can try to sell them on BookScouter to get some of your money back.
This service compares buyback prices from over 30 vendors by scanning barcodes or entering the textbook name into the app or website.
The price comparison tools make it easy to earn the most income by selling to several merchants with the same transaction. It also displays customer reviews so you can anticipate what to expect during the selling process.
Many offer free shipping, and you will receive payment from the vendor within three business days of receiving your book.
Most pay by check or PayPal, but you may choose one to receive store credit, which usually has a higher payout. This extra cash can come in handy if you need to buy books for next semester.
12. Freelance Writing
Companies and small businesses always need new content. If you enjoy writing and can produce high-quality content, you could start earning $100, $200, or more per article.
College is an excellent time to pursue freelance writing jobs since you build experience and can be ready for a full-time position shortly after graduation.
Additionally, entry-level gigs may not pay much, but the income is sufficient for a college student with minimal bills and ample free time. Your pay rate can increase incrementally as your skill level and knowledge depth increase.
Sites like ProBlogger and Freelance Writing Gigs are a terrific way to locate writing jobs.
If you’re new to writing, consider checking out Earn More Writing. This is a free workshop offered by our friend Holly Johnson. She earns six figures a year as a writer and shares her secrets to increase earnings.
13. Graphic Design Work
If you like to design graphics, this is one of the best side hustles for students. Earnings vary, but you can work in your free time and create anything from logos to marketing materials and more.
Sites like 99designs are a fantastic way to earn cash selling your designs if you are 18 or older. It’s possible to build a free portfolio that potential customers can browse and hire you when they like your style.
Graphic design is one of the more exciting money-making opportunities because creators with eye-popping creativity can partner with companies with a large budget, get positive feedback, and receive referrals.
Additionally, you can sell items with your images without handling inventory. For instance, you upload the designs, and the marketplace prints and ships the item.
14. Do Small Gigs Online
Completing short gigs online through Fiverr can allow you to earn a side income and gain experience to tackle higher-paying projects once you enter the workforce or have more free time.
It’s possible to complete a wide variety of side gigs that include:
- Data entry
- Graphic design
- Social media manager
- Website design
- Virtual assistant
First, you create gig packages offering basic, medium, and advanced skills with different pay ranges. Next, a client hires you, and you receive payment by direct deposit.
With Fiverr, basic gigs pay $5. The higher profit potential comes from add-ons. Kids as young as 13 can use the site if they use an account owned by a parent or guardian.
While many tasks are one-time gigs, be sure to put in your best effort to receive positive feedback. Great ratings help you appear higher in search listings, making potential customers more likely to choose you.
Consider offering several skills in order to diversify your income streams for consistent revenue.
15. Donate Plasma
Donating plasma for money may not sound fun, but you can easily make several hundred dollars per month doing it. Donations typically take an hour, and you can combine this income idea with other paid tasks.
Each plasma center has its own requirements and payment amounts. However, if you’re in a pinch, this can be a good way to make extra money on the side.
From fellow students to companies, everyone wants good content. A proofreader examines content to ensure everything is grammatically correct and there are no misspellings.
Since you are already in the habit of writing error-free papers, you can be proficient in helping others improve their writing skills. Depending on your field of study, this task can be a natural extension to easily gain experience.
You can earn $20 an hour as a proofreader. Use social media to market your services or sites like LinkedIn to find work.
17. Become a Teaching Assistant
Many professors need help grading assignments or doing research. A teaching assistant can help teachers balance their responsibilities.
Ask around campus or talk to your favorite professor to see if they need help.
Graduate students will have an easier time qualifying for this position, although undergraduates can also be eligible. You could also be a research assistant through paid internships and federal work-study programs.
18. Get a Part-Time Job
If you want to know how to make money in college, a part-time job is one of the most common opportunities. Part-time work can include anything from working in retail to being a barista.
You will earn at least minimum wage, which ranges from $7.25 per hour to $15.74 per hour, depending on where you live.
While this income idea might not be extremely lucrative and will require more rigid hours, it’s a legitimate way to earn money in college.
Many small business owners need help from reliable students during busy periods or when year-round workers cannot cover every position.
Typically, businesses post signs or website ads when they’re looking to hire, so keep an eye out for opportunities at your favorite stores.
19. Be a Resident Advisor
If you live on campus and don’t mind overseeing operations, being a resident assistant (RA) is a fun job.
You don’t always receive payment as an RA, but you often get your dorm room and meals for free. These perks reduce the stress of needing to make extra cash to pay for school.
Some schools will pay a small stipend in addition to those perks.
*Related: If you’re renting, don’t overlook insuring your possessions. Check out Lemonade’s renters insurance and gain peace of mind for as little as $5 per month!
Making money on the side is possible, and many jobs for college students pay well. You can work delivery driver jobs or tackle another type of contractor role.
Many businesses happily hire college students, so you can pursue retail work when you want a consistent shift or enjoy the atmosphere.
Regardless of what opportunity you choose, you can offset costs and even put extra spending money in your pocket without sacrificing your schoolwork.
Is working while in college a good idea, or should you avoid it? What’s the oddest thing you’ve done to make extra money?
*Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
*Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
*Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
*Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
*Dash anytime: Subject to availability