How to Make Money in College Without a Job

Are you a college student in need of money fast? Want to find the best side hustles for college students? Yeah, you're in the right place.

I don't have to tell you just how expensive and financially draining college is. Because, as a college student, you know this all too well as you're likely already experiencing this first hand.

But I got your back.

Just because you are in college doesn't mean you have to be broke. There are ways to make money in college, even without a job!

While there are plenty of scams out there promising a lot of money (for not a lot of work), the old adage always rings true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So what I wanted to do here is put together a list of the legitimate ways college students can make money. Plus, these gigs and side hustles are things most of us can do without experience or long-term commitment.

Without further ado, here are 39 legit ways to make money in college (without a job).

Start your own online business

If you want to make the most amount of money online, you should start an online business.

The best part of owning an online business is that the income (later on) can be passive income.

There's a few ways to make money with an online business. The best way would be to create a digital product or a course.

Heck, you don't even need a digital product either! In fact, I make money from this very website - all without selling anything!

Start a blog

Here is how to start a website or blog in 5 simple steps.

  • Pick a profitable niche that you have genuine interest in. Think health, wealth & self improvement.
  • Choose a domain and set up web hosting with Bluehost.
  • Install WordPress (it's free and comes pre-installed with Bluehost).
  • Choose a blog theme for beginners like Divi.
  • Write your first blog post and publish it. Don't forget to use Grammarly.

Start an email list

If you don't start an email list, your blog visitors will come once and forget you even exist! With an email list, you create the ability to contact your blog visitors again and again.

  • Sign up for a free account with ConvertKit.
  • Add a simple opt-in form to your website to collect "leads".
  • Write a series of emails to send your subscribers - all automated.
  • Use a lead generation plugin like Thrive Leads to build high converting landing pages and opt-in forms.

Affiliate marketing

One of the common objections people have when starting a blog is "I don't have anything to sell'.

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don't need anything to sell. You just sell other people's products and earn a commission for it.

Here are the best affiliate programs to join.

Sell digital products

The first product I ever created was a weight loss ebook. I only sold one copy. But it was all the proof and motivation I needed that there really was money in digital products.

Here is the process of selling a digital product like an ebook or printables.

  • Write the ebook on Word or on Google Slides (how I do it).
  • Design an ebook cover for free using Canva.
  • Save the final product as a PDF.
  • Get some cool ebook cover mockups here.
  • Put the ebook for sale on your website.
  • Sign up with Stripe to accept credit cards.
  • Use SendOwl to handle the checkout process and product delivery.

Offer online courses

  • Find a topic that people are already buying courses on. Look for course ideas on Udemy and Skillshare.
  • Create your course using Powerpoint / Keynote / Google Slides.
  • Host your course on your own website using Thrive Apprentice.
  • Or use a course hosting platform like Teachable.
  • Or you can just sell it on Udemy / Skillshare.

How to get noticed

Okay so you built the damn thing, now what? Now you have to get people to visit your website. Here are a few methods to get traffic:

  • Use SEO to rank your blog articles on Google search. (difficult)
  • Get traffic from Pinterest using Tailwind. (easy)
  • Buy Facebook ads or Google Adwords. (expensive)
  • Get organic traffic from social media. (difficult)

Legit ways to make money online

One of the easiest ways for scammers to strike is in the field of “make money online” websites and services.

We’ve waded through the junk out there to find you the best and most legitimate ways to make money online.

Surveys

You’ve probably seen pop-ups telling you that if you take this one survey to find out what 90’s popstar you are, you’ll earn free cash, and there really are programs out there like that (just maybe not as glamorous as you’re thinking).

Make sure you are doing your research to find viable and verified companies so you don't waste any of your time.

Some great resources to look into is InboxDollars, SurveyJunkie, and with a little higher qualifications, Respondent.io is also a great option. 

You should also look into SwagBucks, the mecca of websites like these, to earn not only money, but also gift cards to some of your favorite and highly visited establishments.

Cash Back Shopping

Okay so maybe you aren’t selling something online, but I bet you are a shopper!

All web browsers offer extensions for online cash back shopping, where you earn a percentage of your total spending back. It’s essentially like getting paid to shop, and they are free to use.

The most well known ones are Rakuten and Ibotta where you can get money back for submitting receipts. 

Check for some more resources through WikiBuy to find local shops for your area that participate in these kinds of programs.

Amazon

One of the largest companies in the world has a lot of ways to make supplemental income that is perfect for students.

Mturk is Amazon’s crowdsourcing website that pays participants amounts of money to complete tasks. 

By answering surveys, writing reviews, or selecting images that include pictures of a cat, you can get anywhere from $0.25 to $10 for their more strenuous tasks. 

Signing up is free and you can literally work whenever you want to (even while laying in bed; a college student’s dream!).

Sell Your Old Clothes

If there are things that have been sitting in your closet that you haven't worn in years, maybe you should think about selling them online.

There are tons of apps that provide the platform for you to sell your gently-used clothing and shoes, if they are in good condition, to other people.

You get complete control in what you sell and how much you sell it for, and as long as you are being realistic you’ll get a buyer.

Look into applications like Poshmark, ThredUp, Tradesy, or DePop to start posting your old fashion items and accessories today.

Sell Your Old Anything

LetGo and OfferUp are two of the most popular apps to buy clothes, as well as anything else. They are essentially like an online yard sale where you can list any item you want to get rid of at a price you select. 

The options for your listings are endless and can include older model electronics, kitchen equipment, or anything else you own.

Your community probably has their own Facebook Marketplace page where you can list items for people near you, which can be very beneficial if it’s an item you want the buyers to pick up.

Transcription Services

For those who have more dedication and skill level when it comes to typing, you might be missing out on some valuable spending money not working for transcription services.

Most work involves transcribing audio files that typically pay by the minute.

Head over to Casting Words, Transcribe.me, and Daily Transcription if you think you can pass their tests before beginning work to make sure they hire capable individuals. 

For people who may find it difficult to pass the required entry tests for the previous services, SpeechPad Transcription is a great resource to those looking to get started making money transcribing things.

Freelance Writing

If you haven’t gotten tired of writing all of those college essay papers, and are looking to earn some money with your writing, you might want to look into freelance writing gigs.

Textbroker and The Content Authority are both online companies that pay for writing based on predetermined topics that buyers need written about. 

One of the more difficult ones to get into is Verblio, but that is because they usually pay more for technicality and quality of writing.

How to earn extra money with your car

If the idea of working from home while you are also a full time student sounds more reasonable to you than staying and being on campus more than you have to be, there are a ton of side hustles you should look into.

There are jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home or car, and most you can set your own work schedule.

That alone can be beneficial for students who are self-motivated and want to make the most of their downtime between or after class.

Below are some of the best college side jobs you can start right now.

Ride-Sharing

Odds are you have been in a situation where you’ve had to pay for someone else to come pick you up and drive you home - now what if people were paying you to do that for them!

Ride sharing apps like Lyft and Uber are some of the most popular side hustles for college students because, especially in college towns, there will always be someone who needs to be driven somewhere at all hours of the day and night. 

Working for a company like these allows individuals to work whatever hours they want to, for their pay is completely reliant on how often you want to work.

Food Delivery

Okay so maybe you’ve never had to pay to have someone drive you to the supermarket, but we can almost guarantee you’ve probably ordered delivery food once or twice.

Between restaurants and now food delivery services, there are countless options to sign up to drive and deliver food.

Look into companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Waitr, and others if you are interested in making money delivering food! 

We can essentially guarantee there will always be a college kid who will want pizza delivered in the middle of the night.

Marketing

Did you know there was a company that would pay you to use your car as a moving billboard? Wrapify is that company.

If you are fine with having essentially big bumper stickers all around your car to display ads of companies, then you should look into this monthly paying job.

Groceries

Are you one of those people who love grocery shopping? What about spending other people’s money?

Grocery delivering services have become more popular in the last few years.

Companies like Instacart and Shipt have made thousands of people their employees simply by paying them to grocery shop for other people.

Rent Your Car

I know, that bullet point probably freaked you out a bit, but hear us out. There are companies like Getaround and Turo that you can rent your car out through, when you are not using it. 

They take the time to process and vet strangers and make sure your car is rented out to someone who is trustworthy and will leave your car in the exact condition you rented it to them in.

Amazon

This company really has multiple avenues of potential jobs for you to look into. With your car, you can work for Amazon’s Flex or Amazon Fresh companies. 

They will either deliver prime orders within their community or their own type of grocery delivery service. Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce sites, so they are constantly hiring new employees.

Put Your Home To Work For You

If you’re lucky enough to not be living in a dorm, or to not already have 4 roommates already, there’s likely a little room in your home to squeeze some extra cash out of.

Renting a Room

If you are living in a house with an extra bedroom that is doing nothing but collecting dust and your vacuum cleaner, look into renting it out.

Of course this will require using your own discretion to who you rent to, but there are also companies like AirBnb and Neighbor that will do most of the leg work for you and match you up with the best candidates that meet your requirements.

Rent Storage Room

Storewithme is the kind of company you should look into if you have extra space you don't mind making available to others. 

This could be a garage space that is vacant or even land for someone to pay to park their RV or boat.

On-campus gigs for college students

While in college, you might as well make the most of your campus. These jobs are traditionally hourly jobs where your university will limit the amount of hours you work.

 It also might be helpful to look into these jobs if you have a weird academic schedule where it might be a little more difficult to go out and get a 9 to 5 job.

Here are some side hustles for college students you might be able to find on your campus right now!

Teaching Assistant (TA)

You’ve probably been in a general education class that had a TA in it. They could have been helping the professors teach topics, offering tutoring services, or just graded your essay, but they were always there in the back of the classroom.

This could be you, and could be great real life practice if you are looking to go into academia as your career.

I recommend starting to build those relationships with your professors now, and reach out to see if any of them need a TA for their upcoming classes.

Research Assistant

For those of you who prefer working with a professor instead of other college students, you might enjoy being a research assistant.

Depending on the department or professor you are helping, your duties may differ, but each research position will give you a greater perspective on what your professors do to prepare to help students just like you.

Resident Assistant (RA)

Probably one of the more popular jobs on your college campus is becoming a residential assistant.

This position centered around making lasting connections with your peers will allow you real work experience to work on your leadership and social skills. 

Reach out to current RA’s on your campus to find out how to get hired in the residential life.

Campus IT

If you are interested in computers, you should look into working within your school’s IT department.

Computers are always evolving, so this kind of job will constantly be pushing you to learn new things and furthering your expertise in technology. 

There may be certain prerequisites before applying, so keep that in mind when handing in your application.

Host Home for Future Students

For larger universities in particular, they may offer prospective students to stay near campus for overnight visits.

In which case they would need a prominent member of the school community to host these individuals so they can get first hand experience on what being at that college is like.

Campus Tour Guide

Most students will visit the campus before committing to attend, and one large part of visiting is touring the campus grounds.

This is a great job to polish your public speaking skills while learning more than you ever thought you could about your university. 

You could possibly also pick up additional weekday hours, for some colleges offer tours to alumni and possible students and their families on the weekend.

Dining Halls

Obviously if you have any culinary aspirations, working in the dining halls can gain you real world experience, as well as a paycheck.

If you haven’t noticed, dining halls run on a lot of different people in different positions.

From stocking the shelves, running registers, or making food, there may be quite a few job opportunities within this popular area of your campus.

Writing Center

Most colleges have tutors that are specific to writing, because it is a skill that colleges want all of their graduates to conquer.

Working at the writing center could involve helping students set up their resume, structuring an essay, or working on grammar.

Most writing centers also allow students to work their own hours after class, which might fit the flexibility aspect of a job while going to school.

Campus Transportation

Regardless of the size of your college, there will always be a need for someone or something to be transported within your campus.

This could be the president of a college on a golf cart or busses to move kids around campus, but transportation is a large part of any campus.

There are specific requirements for a job like this, however there are students whose qualifications make them eligible for them.

Tutoring

Many departments will have dedicated tutors to aid other students in content areas they are well versed in.

You’ve probably seen postings on boards within your buildings expressing tutor availability for math or science.

Ask around to see what classes are in need of tutors, and if it happens to be a subject you excel in, you should give tutoring a shot, even if it’s outside the school setting.

Dorm Front Desk

Larger universities that have dorms for students to live in will all have a front desk.

This is where students living in that dorm receive their mail, report issues with their rooms, and will almost always have someone working all hours in case any student gets locked out of their dorm hall. 

It does require long periods of time of sitting with seemingly nothing to do, but as long as you remain vigilant and alert you might be able to multitask doing your homework while getting paid to work a front desk.

Maintenance / Custodian

Things will constantly be breaking or getting dirty in a place as busy as a college, which is where all the behind the scene jobs like maintenance and custodial workers are.

Qualifications for jobs like these are usually pretty low, with many opportunities to advance and learn.

More side hustles for college students

Maybe you’re looking to do something a little bit different than a typical job, and maybe you aren’t interested in working online in any way. Well, can you be trusted to look after someone else’s house, pet, or child?

Nannying or Babysitting

If you have siblings, odds are you probably already have some experience with this gig.

Nannying on a semi-regular schedule with one or two particular families is very popular with people in college because they have the ability to work around their school schedule and the parent’s work schedule to make some extra money.

Care.com helps you find busy parents in your area. They’ve (understandably) got a thorough vetting process that you will be put through.

All About the Pets

Now if you are an animal lover, there are a few different routes you can take to earn some extra cash while getting to spend some time with animals.

Services like Fetch and Rover list needed dog walkers, pet sitters, and any other jobs involving pets all the time. There might even be people on DogVacay who are looking to pay you to board their dog at your house when they are gone on vacation. 

Look through these or post your services on Care.com to find a fur baby to take care of (oh and also get paid to spend time with cute animals).

House Sit

College towns are filled with busy people that might be gone for periods of time on work or vacation, and will require someone to consistently check in on their homes.

Trusted House Sitters has made this into an all-in-one service for people looking to make some extra money, by simply watching and sometimes staying in a house.

Best Night Jobs For College Students

You might be the kind of person who just always needs to be working and stimulating your life with activity.

If working from home, or running your own business does not seem your speed, there are also a lot of available jobs outside those criteria.

While they might not all be “night jobs” we are simply referring to part-time jobs that you can work whenever you are not in class.

Bartending

It’s not a coincidence that most college towns have their fair share of bars, so bartending is one of the most popular part time college jobs around.

Bartending will put you in a great scenario to work on your social skills while learning conflict resolution and customer service.

Most students flock to this kind of work because it is primarily available at night when most students have finished with their classwork for the day. Just be prepared for some long nights and cash tips.

Internships

Here is a great example of additional jobs you can apply for while in college that aren’t necessarily at night, although I am sure you can find an internship that is later in the day.

Just make sure when surfing the online ads, you are looking for a paid internship, because there will be many offers that are just simply about the experience (which is great but also, you want to get paid).

Temp Work

Odds are there is an office complex near you if you are going to school, and they will probably be looking to hire temporary workers.?

This could be over the holidays when stores are their busiest, or even positions that are explicitly over the summer, the point is, there is temp work anywhere and everywhere.

Reach out to your local temp agencies to see what kind of job listings they have available now.

Cleaning Services

Do you just love doing chores? What about if you got paid to do them?

There are apps like ChoreRelief, Handy, and MaidsApp where you can choose what job you’d like to do based on what has been posted for availability. 

Also, especially around colleges, there will be companies that rent out spaces for events.

Breather is one of those services that hires people to clean those spaces before events, so sign up with them if this is how you want to earn your extra income.

Wrapping this up

Working at a local fast food joint should not be your only option when it comes to making money in college. Hopefully this list has given you plenty of options to make some side hustle money.

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Edwin Contreras


Edwin Contreras is the money hacking millennial behind Cash The Checks. He lives a minimalist lifestyle and is always eager to learn and share his methods to save and make money.

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