Want to make money while studying full time? Well, you can– even without an actual "job". In this guide, we'll share 25 easy ways for college students to make money online.
Being a college student is freakishly expensive. Between the cost of tuition, supplies, and just plain living, it's no wonder most college students are flat out broke.
But that doesn't have to be you. You don't have to exist on cookies and pizza like all your poor friends.
Unless, of course, you reeeally like cookies and pizza. (That's cool! We're not judging.)
The truth is, there are many ways you can earn money in college without taking a stressful job and having your grades suffer.
The only real obstacle to you earning money while studying full time is psychological. Most people tend to make excuses, like not knowing where to start, or not having the time.
But that isn't going to be you, because you are reading this post!
Here is a list of easy ways you can earn money online, which means you can often set your own schedule and work from the comfort of your own dorm or your favorite study spot!
So are you ready to start earning money in college? Great! Let's dive into the list...
1. Start a Blog
The best way to get started making money online–regardless of what you choose to do or sell–is to start a blog.
You see, if you want to make money online, you are going to need to attract an audience. Starting a blog is the #1 way to grow your audience online. And with some time and work, your blog can even turn into a 7-figure business.
To get started, get a domain and web hosting from Bluehost for under $3 per month.
Then, read our in-depth guide on how to turn your blog into a steady income.
2. Do Freelance Writing or Proofreading
Freelance writing is a relatively easy way to make money, especially if you're a good and quick writer.
There are a lot of ways to get into freelancing for blogs and websites, and many companies are looking for different sorts of writing, including technical writing, brochures and how to guides.
To get started, look at freelancing sites like Upwork, and search and apply for any freelance job. Proofreading is a popular job to apply for since you can proofread for websites, blogs and authors on your own time at home, crucial flexibility while you're studying. Freelance websites don't stop there, though, as you can do any kind of work there, such as accounting, legal aid, and more.
3. Be a Virtual Assistant
You can also earn money online by becoming a virtual assistant. Many people and businesses are starting to outsource all of their administrative work, like emails, organization, research, and other tasks. If this is interesting to you, know that virtual assistants can earn a few hundred dollars or more per month. All you need is a computer (which you probably have), and the ability to dedicate a certain amount of time a week to admin work.
4. Get Gigs on Fiverr
Earn money doing gigs on sites like Fiverr or Amazon's Mechanical Turks. Each gig doesn't earn you a lot of money, but you can complete tasks very quickly and you can do them anytime, such ability during the break between classes, to make a quick dollar. These can be as simple as identifying pictures or typing text.
5. Design Online
If you're talented when it comes to graphic design and have artistic skills, you can work online doing design work for companies and websites. This can be small jobs like graphics for advertising or entirely redesigning websites. Consider entering online design competitions where you get paid if you win, and that can be a good place to start when looking for clients.
6. Vlog on YouTube
You can also become a YouTube video blogger if you're good at video. Your pay comes from the advertisements on your videos, so you get paid more if you have high viewership. You can get paid as much as $7.60 for every 1,000 views of each video. Melissa Dryden, a successful career consultant at Writemyx and Brit student, says that “with the popularity of video sharing tools like Snapchat and Instagram stories, many college students are turning to vlogging these days, to showcase a passion or their day to day lives. This can easily be channelled to a platform like YouTube which will give you money from advertisements.”
7. Do Transcription Work
If you type quickly, consider doing transcription work. There is a high demand for people to transcribe audio into text. For example, podcasters will often transcribe their episodes into text to post online. All you need to do is listen to an audio file and write down what is said; you may find this difficult to do at first but once you get the hang of it it's a quick and easy way to make money.
8. Invent an App
If you're talented at programming, you can create an app to sell online. You can create games or an app that can fill a certain need that exists currently. If you've ever thought to yourself, ‘there should be an app for this!’ well, you can create it. Once the app is complete, sell it on the Apple or Google Play store.
9. Create an Online Course
If you are good at explaining things or teaching others in certain areas of study that you're familiar with, you could create an online course on that subject and sell it. Online sites will allow you to post a course and sell it, and no subject is too strange or niche to be posted.
10. Do Translation Work
If you speak a second language, you could work as a translator. This type of work is available in different formats, like oral translation or written work. Some websites will allow anyone to sign up and become a translator, without any degree. You may be asked to provide a sample translation to show you're truly familiar with both languages.
11. Do Voiceover Work
It's becoming increasingly popular to become a voice-over artist, especially due to the emphasis on podcasting and video. If you have a voice for the radio and a microphone at home, you can actually get paid to do voice-overs for different businesses and individuals.
12. Do Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is a great online job if you're an analytical person. You can help businesses and blogs optimize their content to come up higher on searches, and if you're good at it you can even make over $75 an hour.
13. Complete Surveys Online
In a completely different vein, you can fill out surveys online for cash or other rewards. There are many websites which allow you to do this, such as Survey Junkie, Swagbucks Surveys, and Opinion Outpost. You don't often make a lot of money per survey, but you can complete many in a short amount of time.
14. Do Market Research Online
Market research is an interesting way to earn money because companies are keen to get the opinions of college students. In this day and age, though, you can actually participate in market research online through different apps, so you can do this comfortably from home, and get paid simply for providing your opinion!
15. Become a User Tester
Companies need people to test their websites, apps and various other initiatives. You can sign up on websites like UserTesting, and be matched with companies that have posted testing jobs. Once you participate in the test, you get paid - it's as simple as that!
16. Answer Trivia Quizzes
Perhaps the most fun option for making money on this list is making money by playing trivia games and answering questions. A service called Swagbucks actually rewards you for doing just that!
17. Find Bugs and Security Flaws Online
Similar to user testing, companies are paying people to find bugs on their websites and flaws or hacks. These include big companies like Google and United Airlines, and all you have to do is find flaws and report them.
18. Come Up With Business Name Ideas
Many business owners struggle with naming their company, lacking creativity for such an important aspect of the business. Some online services can help them with this, which is where you come in! Submit names online in contests, and if you win, you'll get paid in cash!
19. Sell Your Invention or Concept
You might have some great ideas for products but you're not sure how to follow through with the creation of it. In that case, you can submit the idea online to Quirky. If they like the idea, they'll do the development or partner up with a big brand, and you'll receive a cut of every sale of the final product. This can earn you anything from thousands to hundreds of thousands.
20. Do Online Tutoring
If you're good in certain subjects, consider tutoring others who are having difficulty. It's not hard to find clients and if you charge a good rate, you can make a decent amount of money doing this. Furthermore, tutoring doesn't need to be done in person anymore but it's also something you can do online. For example, you can teach English online for a good hourly fee, either one on one or to a small group.
21. Edit Resumes and Cover Letters
Surprisingly enough, many people struggle to write good resumes or simply don't want to take the time to write the perfect resume or cover letter. You can actually earn between $15 and $20 an hour writing resumes for others online, so definitely consider this option if you're good at writing, or have read many resumes and know what to look for.
22. Give Tips for College Entry Essays
Many applicants are seeking help with writing their entrance application essay. Look online for jobs that can match you with hopeful college applicants to help them write their essay, proofread it, and more. You can make quite a lot of money doing this as well, either at an hourly rate or a flat fee per essay. Ruth Thomson, who is a recruiter at 1Day 2write and Australia 2 write, has the following advice for you: “Many prospective college students are willing to pay good money for college students to help them with their college application essay for the simple reason that if you've gotten in, it must mean you know how to write a successful entry essay.”
23. Sell Stuff on eBay or Etsy
You can make a lot of money cashing in on the popularity of online shopping. If you're a creative person, you can sell your crafts online on Etsy, or anything you already own on eBay. Depending on the quantity and value, you could be making thousands a month, all without leaving your room. If you're not sure what to sell, look to your wardrobe, old CDs, furniture, etc. While you're at it, consider selling old textbooks and college essays online as well as you can make a pretty penny doing this.
24. Do Freelance Data Entry
You can become a data entry clerk quite easily, and this can be an ideal ongoing side job for a college student, as it is a flexible job and doesn't require any specialized skills. Anyone who is good at typing can become a data entry clerk without much effort. The average pay is $12 to $13 an hour, and you can look for jobs on any freelancing site.
25. Apply for scholarships
There are actually tons of scholarship opportunities that you can apply for separately from your college or financial aid options. Many people don't apply because they don't know about them, or think they can't win, so there's actually less competition than you would think. This can be anything from $500 to over $1000 and can help pay for your school fees. Consider researching online different types of scholarships you can apply to.
At the end of the day, the possibilities for making money online while in college are endless. Gone are the days of scheduled shifts off campus, punching a time clock. There's no reason to make excuses to avoid looking for a job as the opportunities abound. With any of the options listed above, you can go from broke college student to high earner in a short amount of time.
Katrina Hatchett, a tech blogger at Academic Brits and Origin Writings, is involved in many business ventures. Her passion is helping find gaps in communication and projects and come up with solutions. She enjoys helping others discover possibilities for working online and starting their own businesses.