How to Make Money as a College Student – My Top Methods

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College can be tough  – and I’m not just referring to having to crawl to class after all-night keggers. Heck, if your time in college was anything like mine, chances are you didn’t even have a whole lot of time to party.

And that’s because you were too busy trying to find ways to earn money for boarding, food, and other necessities.

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How to make money in college is one of the toughest challenges every college student has to face. Think about it: college students have limited employment opportunities, but unless they’re from wealthy families, they need to fend for themselves. Now, a lot of college kids are super-smart and capable, but having to juggle academic responsibilities with making money adds another layer of difficulty to the situation.

If you’re still in school and figuring out how to make money while in college, this article is for you. I know all the challenges you guys face. I’ll be showing you a few earning methods that fit well with the college lifestyle. You’ll be able to use these earning methods with minimal interruption to your academic and social lives. Looking for ways to make money as a college student? Read on!

How to make money in college

Become a Pet-Sitter

Let’s start with probably the most fun earning method on this list. Taking animals is super-fun and a great way to relax. I actually don’t consider this work. It’s a way to de-stress between classes  – but you get paid for it! There is some hassle involved, like if you’re assigned a stubborn dog, but it’s still one of the most enjoyable ways to make money in college. Check out Rover for pet-sitting or dog-walking gigs in your area!

Become a Pet-Sitter

Work as an Online Tutor

When I was a college junior, I work as an English tutor for a bunch of elementary and high school students. Even if I was still an undergraduate, I already had the necessary knowledge to tutor younger kids. Things are even better now with online tutoring sites like Udemy. With Udemy, you don’t have to be physically present. All you have to do is produce video lessons (kind of like what you would do on YouTube) and upload them on Udemy. You get paid whenever someone views your lessons. This will require some production and teaching skills, but if you have those, this has to be one of the top ways of making money in college.

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Work as a Student Assistant

I know this earning method sounds old-school, but it’s still a legit side hustle for college students. One of the advantages of working as a student assistant is that you don’t have to leave the campus to work, so there is that. Plus some schools will even give you academic credit for certain student assistant gigs. If you’re up for this, you can look at your school’s website or bulletin board for any student assistant job openings.

work as a student assistant

Become a Used-Textbook Seller

In addition to tutoring kids, selling used books was one of my best side hustles in college. It started when I sold my textbooks from the previous year. Textbooks are kind of wasteful, since they’re usually only used for one year. Plus, they’re expensive. So I sold my textbooks, and found a great demand for cheap, used textbooks. After a few semesters selling my own books, I decided to up my game. I started sourcing books from friends and classmates, then selling them for a pretty nice profit at used book-selling sites. There are now tons of sites to sell books, so use BookScouter to find the store that will pay you top-dollar for the books you’re selling.

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Sell Vintage Items

If you’re currently in college, there’s no point telling you that old (aka “vintage”) junk is pretty in-demand nowadays. Why not ride the hype surrounding vintage gear by scouting for old, sellable stuff and flipping them at a tidy profit? You’ll need to have a sharp eye for what sells  – not everything vintage is worth something. But if you know your collectibles, you can raid swap meets and estate sales and resell your finds at sites like Decluttr.  

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Take and Sell Stock Photos

If you’ve got photography skills  – maybe you’re taking a journalism or fine arts course  – selling your works online is a great way to gauge if you’ve got what it takes to become a professional photographer. There are lots of sites out there where you can sell stock photos, but I recommend Foap. The site is pretty beginner-friendly, since you can even sell stock photos taken using a smartphone! Most photo-selling platforms have stringent standards, but Foap is pretty to manage.

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Sell Your Designs as Merch

Taking photos not your jam? If you’ve got graphic design skills, you can upload your designs on RedBubble and sell them as all sorts of cool merch, including phone cases, mugs, tote bags, prints, and t-shirts. The great thing about the site is that they’re the ones that handle processing, production, and shipping of the items (for a small fee, of course), which means you can focus on the creative aspect of your designs.

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Do…. Just About Anything!

Most of the earning methods and side hustles I’ve listed above require some specific skills and knowledge. If none of those suit you, don’t worry. You can still find easy ways to make money in college. Sites like PeoplePerHour and Amazon Mechanical Turk are great sites that post job openings for all sorts of odd jobs. There’s a pretty big chance there’s a job there waiting for you.

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Donate Plasma

Now, this is not the most casual learning method on this list  – which is why I saved it for last. But if you’re really up against the wall, you can look into donating plasma. It might make you squeamish, but it honestly pays well, making this one of the best ways to make money in college. If you wanna give this a go, you should only go for legit clinics, Luckily, sites like DonatingPlasma are great resources for that.

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