Are you looking for some ways to make some extra cash this semester? Here are 16 of the best side hustles for college students that will actually make you money, and 4 that you should avoid at all costs.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Learn more: Affiliate Disclaimer.
As a college student, most of your time is occupied with classes, assignments, and other extra-curricular activities. Adding a full-time job to your already full schedule can be stressful.
Fortunately, there are several side hustles you can start to build your work experience and make some extra cash.
Here are the most lucrative side hustles for college students right now:
|Side Hustle||Recommended Strength(s)||Resources|
|Blogging||Writing||Our guide to how to start a blog|
|Freelancing||Customer service||Fiverr, Upwork, LinkedIn, Facebook Groups|
|Nannying||Must love kids||Talk to professors that have kids, Care.com|
|Thrift store flipping||Creative mind||Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark|
|Uber/Lyft driving||Must have a car||Lyft.com, Uber.com|
|Selling digital goods||A talent for design||Creative Market, Envato Elements|
|Tutoring||The heart of a teacher||Your fellow classmates, Tutor.com, TutorMe.com|
|Pet sitting||Must love pets||Rover.com, Wag.com|
The best thing about side hustles is that you get to choose your hours, and you can earn more than a regular job within a short period.
So, if you are wondering where or how to start a side hustle, this article will give you some ideas.
How Can College Students Make Money On The Side?
College takes up a ton of your time. Between attending class, studying, doing homework, and socializing, it can be difficult to have extra time left over for making money.
Or maybe you’re already working a part time job on campus, but the pay is too low.
Luckily, you don’t need to find a traditional job in order to make some extra cash in college. We absolutely love side hustles because they allow you to set your own schedule and pay rates.
We’ve put together this list of 8 side hustles that can take up as much or as little time as you want them to. And the best part is, the majority of these side hustles for college students can make you at least $1000 per month.
The Best Side Hustles For College Students
Do you know any families in your area?
Are you good with kids?
If you are looking for a more consistent side hustle, nannying can be a good option. A good place to start advertising your services is to your professors. Chances are they do not live too far from campus, and you will save on transport.
Another place you can get babysitting gigs is on care.com. This website allows parents to book you directly, and you can also offer additional tutoring services while on the job to earn some extra cash.
Nannying can earn you up to $25 (or more) per hour, depending on your location and the number of kids you watch.
Do you enjoy writing?
Lucky for you, the Internet runs on content, and it is easy to start a blog.
The first step is to choose a subject you enjoy talking about. For example, if you like talking about tech or games, you can start a blog reviewing or sharing how-to guides for different types of software.
After choosing your niche topic, you will need a laptop and web hosting. You can make money on your blog via affiliate marketing, ad revenue, and other partnerships, but only if you are consistent.
There are several guides on starting and running a successful blog online to help you get started. Here is our guide on how to start a blog that will make you money.
Here are some of our income reports for this blog when we were first starting out:
- How I Made $557.98 With a Brand New Blog (October 2020 Income Report)
- November 2020 Income Report | How I Made $413.54 in November 2020.
Do you have any specific skillsets you can sell online?
For example, graphic design, editing, writing, coding, animation, etc. You can freelance almost any service as long as there is a market for it.
There are several platforms to help you get started freelancing, like:
- Facebook Groups
These websites are free to join.
To start selling your skills, all you have to do is create a profile and start bidding, sending proposals, or sharing your profile with potential clients.
4. Thrift Store Flipping
If you are passionate about giving life to used items, you can make thrift store flipping your side hustle.
Thrift store flipping is buying second-hand or used items from thrift stores, fixing them up, and reselling them.
The easiest thing to start thrift-flipping is clothes. You can buy second-hand clothes from your local thrift store or online, alter them, wash and iron them to look good as new, and sell them online.
You can sell your thrift items on eCommerce websites like:
- Facebook Marketplace
Many people think thrift store flipping is not a sustainable business, but you can make up to $100,000 per year if you hustle!
A unique eye and a creative mind are all you need to start this business. You might not even need capital as you can start with your old clothes and other items in your home that would otherwise be going to the landfill.
5. Become an Uber or Lyft Driver
If you rarely use your car on campus, it is time to find a use for it by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver.
This is a great part-time gig for college students that can earn you about $20 per hour.
The first thing to do is sign up on the app as a driver. You can do this during the weekends or whenever you finish classes early and have some spare time.
6. Start Selling Digital Goods Online
Do you have a talent for designing stuff on Canva, Photoshop, or Illustrator?
If you answered yes, selling digital goods online is the best side hustle for you. The only major investment with this gig is your time because it takes time to create templates, fonts, music, and other digital goods.
The money you earn afterward is 100% passive, meaning once you upload them to a website, you can earn money forever.
The best websites to start selling your digital goods are the Creative Market, Etsy, and Envato Elements. You have to sign up and upload your digital items on these platforms.
If you have no idea how to price your digital items, these websites have a price range for each category to help you arrive at a fair price for your customers.
Thanks to online learning, you can tutor anyone around the world online.
However…why not look a little closer to home before taking your skills worldwide?
Start by offering your tutoring skills to your classmates.
You can also talk to parents whose kids are struggling in school and offer your services as a tutor. Your university’s job board is also a great way to get tutoring gigs in college.
If you want to do this remotely, you can sign up on TutorMe or Tutor.com.
Depending on your location, you can earn between $10 and $40 as a tutor.
Pro Tip: You are likely to earn more in areas like LA or New York, where the cost of living is high.
8. Pet Sitting
Pet sitting is a great side hustle for college students who are animal lovers. Tasks can vary from dog walking, staying with a pet overnight, grooming, or drop-in visits.
Another thing that makes pet sitting a great side hustle for college students is that it helps to relieve stress. What’s better than hanging out with a bunch of cute puppies after class?
You can get pet sitting gigs from sites like Rover or Wag.
You will be pleased to know that pet sitting is a service in high demand and people are willing to pay good money for it.
The average pet sitter earns between $12 and $17 per visit, but prices vary depending on location. However, if you are a good multitasker, you can easily make $1,000 per month.
More Side Hustles For College Students
9. Grocery Shopping
Did you know you can make money by grocery shopping?
Sign up with a service like Instacart and get paid by shopping and delivering groceries to customers.
10. Rent Out Your Car
Is your car collecting dust in a garage while you’re in school? Turn it into cash by renting it out!
Turo is a service like Airbnb but for cars. It allows you to make some extra money by letting people rent your car for a few days at a time.
11. Website Testing
If you have a knack for user experience, you can actually get paid to test out websites. The site User Testing pays between $20-30 for testers to share their opinions about websites.
12. Sell Old Clothes
You’d be surprised how much money you can make from selling clothes you don’t wear anymore. Sites like Poshmark and DePop allow you to sell your old clothes for much more than you’d get from consignment stores.
13. Become A Handyman
Are you good at assembling furniture or mounting TVs? There’s a serious demand for people who can help out with small tasks like these.
Sign up for TaskRabbit and help people in your community with little projects. You can make anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month.
14. Donate Plasma
I knew several people in college who would donate plasma to make an extra couple hundred dollars per month.
It’s a great way to earn money while helping people who need plasma donations. Sign up with CSL Plasma to earn up to $1000 in your first month as a donor.
15. House Sitting
You can get paid to take care of someone’s house while they’re on vacation. The homeowner may ask you to do things like bring in their mail, water plants, or keep an eye on a low-maintenance pet.
Find house sitting gigs through family or friends, or sign up for a site like TrustedHousesitters.
16. Rent Out Your Gear
If you brought your camera, golf clubs, or toolbox to college, you may be able to get some extra cash by renting them out.
Services like FriendWithA allow you to list your gear for people in your area to rent. Such a cool way to earn some extra money in college!
Which Side Hustles Are Not Worth Your Time?
While there are tons of other great side hustles out there, there are definitely some that are not worth your time. Some of them pay pennies, while others are just straight up scams.
Here are a few side hustles that you should avoid:
1. Survey Taking
There’s nothing wrong with taking surveys, but it’s generally just not worth your time. You may get paid a few cents for doing a 15 minute survey.
It’s an okay way to make a few dollars while you’re watching Netflix, but there are other side hustles on this list that are way more lucrative.
2. Multilevel Marketing
Multilevel marketing companies prey on college students who are looking for ways to make money. They promise minimal work and high payouts, but are they actually delivering?
Truthfully, the majority of these companies are total scams. They require you to purchase products upfront and the majority of people never make back their initial investment.
Multilevel Marketing companies (or MLMs) are essentially just pyramid schemes that allow the people off the top to get very rich while the people at the bottom lose money. This study by the FCT lays out some more facts about MLMs.
3. Mystery Shopping
A lot of articles online will recommend mystery shopping as a way to make extra money.
Getting paid to shop sounds like a dream, right? Well, the reality is that most mystery shopping gigs only pay around $10. When you factor in your time and gas money, you’re probably making less than minimum wage.
4. Transcription Work
When I was in college and looking for ways to make money, I came across a transcription site that looked promising. They offered a high hourly rate and it seemed like the perfect first online job.
The reality was that that “hourly rate” was the rate per hour of content, not per hour of working. So if they’re offering $20 for an hour long video, it may actually take you 3 hours to transcribe that video. That leaves you with a pretty pitiful hourly rate.
The work was also very difficult and stressful. Oftentimes, the content would be such poor quality that it was impossible to make out what they were saying. I would get halfway through a 20 minute video and have to give up on it because I couldn’t make out any of the words.
There are SO many amazing ways to make extra money as a college student. In this post, we showed you 16 of the best side hustles for college students, as well as 4 of the worst.
Hopefully now you know what to look for and what to avoid when starting a side hustle in college.
Looking for more great money content for college students?