How to Make Money in College: 15 Tips from Students

How to Make Money in College 15 Tips from Students  (1)Money can be tight in college, which can often mean reducing your expenses, like utilizing your college meal plan or walking to save on transportation. However, cost-cutting measures may not be sufficient to cover all of your expenses, even with financial aid and savings. In this situation, it may be necessary to increase your income. Many students opt for a part-time job or side hustle in order to cover costs or have a little extra spending money for the weekend. Check out these 14 pieces of advice from students across the United States on how to make money as a college student.


1. Tutor fellow classmates

Many college campuses offer tutoring services for students who need additional assistance in their courses. If you excel in certain academic subjects, consider applying for a tutor position at your college to help others achieve a better understanding of those topics. Lucas, a student from West Chester University, shares how he earns extra cash by assisting others:

“I also work as a math tutor through my university during the school year, tutoring in courses mainly revolving around calculus. As a tutor, I mainly rework problems and creatively provide solutions in a way that my peers can absorb to resolve confusion. I think of my work in tutoring as patching up minor holes that the professors may not be able to address in class, which are always unique to an individual and their learning styles.”

Lucas H.

      Lucas H.

      West Chester University


2. Ask to be a research assistant

Some professors may need help conducting their research projects. Research assistants help conduct online surveys, set up experiments, and record the results. It’s even better when the research aligns with your interests. Michigan Technological University student Grace shares how she earns a modest income as a student:

“Aspiring to make a meaningful impact in disability accessibility technology and digital design, I decided to proactively seek guidance from my professors and engage in research opportunities. I reached out to a few professors whose expertise aligned with my interests, and they graciously welcomed me into their projects. Collaborating with one particular professor, I had the opportunity to contribute to a team effort, where we collected and analyzed data, ultimately publishing a research paper. Though my hours were limited, these research endeavors provided me with a modest income, enabling me to indulge in occasional treats.”

Grace V.

      Grace V.

      Michigan Technological University


3. Be a teaching assistant

As a student, managing multiple classes each semester can be challenging. Professors also handle several courses, which can result in delays in grading papers, preparing lectures, or reading essays. Being a teaching assistant (TA) will help speed up this process while adding some extra money to your wallet. You can also explore roles as a virtual assistant to support professors with their online courses. Colorado State University student Cristian shares his experience as a TA:

“I took notice of the job flyers and postings from my college for a position as a tutor/teaching assistant. Unlike my other friends, I had flexible hours and a relatively good pay for having little to no experience. I set up office hours, assisted the professor in class between my lectures, and graded assignments. Not only was I earning a good paycheck, but I also received recognition from my department, which gave me more opportunities.”

Cristian C.

      Cristian C.

      Colorado State University


4. Acquire an off-campus part-time job

While off-campus jobs may seem less flexible than jobs on campus, they can still be a great way to earn extra money during college. From fast food restaurants to law firms, many local businesses hire college students to work or intern at their company. Grace shares her plan for earning money in college:

“I am currently a lifeguard at my local YMCA. I really like this job because the shifts are not very long, and they are very flexible with my availability…They were very open to allowing me to take off a couple of months to focus on my schooling. I was able to work about two shifts a week after school when I was not in a sport, which worked great with my schedule.”

Grace G.

      Grace G. 

      Iowa State University


5. Work during the summer

Getting a summer job could allow you to work part-time or full-time, as your class schedule is generally lighter. If you set aside a portion of your summer paychecks, you could save a significant amount of money for expenses in the fall semester. Dylan, a water polo athlete at Salem International University, makes money by working during the summer:

“This summer I will be working as a coach with my club. This job allowed me to earn money and pay off my summer training dues before starting the new session in the fall. I have found that finding a job during the summer break can be a great way to earn extra income that can be used for school expenses during the academic year. It is also an opportunity to gain work experience, develop new skills, and make new connections.”

Dylan Z.

      Dylan Z.

      Salem International University


6. Do odd jobs for others

Doing odd jobs for people in your community can be a great way to make money between your classes. Whether you utilize your free time between morning and afternoon classes or set aside a few evenings a week, you can offer services such as dog-walking, grocery shopping, lawn mowing, or other errands. Cooper, a student at Penn State, has found success in finding work in his community:

“Flexible side gigs allowed me to make some extra cash while adjusting to the demands of college life. My parents also helped me find casual jobs through NextDoor and Facebook groups to help people in the community pet sit, run errands, or do other tasks. The work wasn’t consistent, but the pay was usually pretty generous. It served as a reminder that even in challenging situations, there are often opportunities to find additional sources of income.”

Cooper R.

      Cooper R.

      Pennsylvania State University


7. Drive for rideshare or food delivery services

Driving for rideshare companies and food delivery services, like ASAP, Uber, Doordash, etc., is a very flexible job for students. Not only can you set your schedule around your college classes and homework, but you also have the opportunity to meet new people. Zoey, a student at Louisiana State University Eunice, shares her favorite aspects of working as a driver for extra cash:

“I love the flexibility that comes with driving for a rideshare company. I can choose to work as much or as little as I want, and I can set my hours. Plus, it's a great way to make some extra cash while meeting new people. Moreover, it's great for enhancing my communication and customer service skills. The income I earn from driving has been crucial in helping me cover my expenses and stay afloat financially.”

Zoey W.

      Zoey W.

      Louisiana State University


8. Offer your talents as a freelancer

A freelancer is a person who charges fees on a per-job or per-task basis. Freelance services vary from graphic design, writing, translating, coding, and more. As a student, you can take on small gigs during your free time, and eventually, build up your portfolio and clientele. Michael shares how he earns money as a freelance writer while studying at Duke:

“As a freelance writer and analyst, I am able to work on a flexible schedule and choose assignments that align with my interests and skill set. I have worked on a variety of projects, from writing copy for musical instruments/equipment to conducting local market research for businesses. One of the benefits of freelance work is that it allows me to work from anywhere, which is perfect for a busy college student... Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork can be a good place to start, as they connect freelancers with potential clients.”

Michael C.

      Michael C.

      Duke University


9. Babysit in your community

Babysitting can be a flexible way for college students to make money while juggling their academic responsibilities. You’ll gain valuable experience and build relationships within your community, all while putting some extra dollars in your pocket. A University of Pittsburgh student shares her personal experience on how to get started babysitting:

“One of the easiest ways I earned money was through babysitting. To get my name out, I joined many Facebook group chats with locals seeking babysitters. What is convenient about these group chats is that there is always someone seeking a babysitter, making opportunities easy to find! I also reached out to my neighbor, who’s kids I now regularly babysit each summer. With my earnings from simply babysitting, I have been able to pay for my college textbooks and course fees.”

Haree K.-1

      Haree L.

      University of Pittsburgh


10. Use social media to find work opportunities

Some of your fellow students may not know that you’re a talented photographer or a skilled writer. One way to showcase your skills is to share your work on social media platforms. Your social media can act as a digital portfolio and attract clients in need of your skills and services. A Mercer University student shares her experience with making extra money as a photographer:

“It was not until my junior year of high school that I made a social media account advertising my skills and working small photography jobs to earn a profit. I told everyone I knew that I was a photographer and painter which fortunately led to me becoming my school’s homecoming photographer… My number one piece of advice for other students is to find something you are good at and inform them of your skills. Do not be afraid to put your skills out there. As my grandma would say, ‘Une bouche fermée ne peut pas mangé.’ A closed mouth will not get fed.”

Moaye Grace K.

      Moaye Grace K. 

      Mercer University


11. Start a business

You can pursue your passions and extra income at the same time. Starting a business can be a great way to turn your hobbies and interests into a profitable adventure. A Northeastern University student shares how his friends turned their passions into profit:

“Do something you are passionate about and take some risk. A great example is some of my friends forming a small business of creating a merchandise line of campus apparel to have better and higher quality merchandise. All of them are passionate about design, fashion and business management and they were able to band together and create a business out of it and some extra money on the side.”

Juan G.

      Juan G.  

      Northeastern University


12. Share your musical talents

Some students have exceptional vocal or instrumental talent. If you’re one of those students, reach out to local businesses or organizations to see if they’re interested in hiring you for community events. Jaeden shares how drumming has served as a source of income:

“All my life I have been in love with music and have played drums for as long as I can remember. I began to network and connect with people who also shared an interest in music and was able to book a few paid performances at churches and various venues on or around campus. This allowed me to stay in tune with my passion while also making extra money to help get me through meals or enjoy a weekend out here and there. “

Jaeden B.

      Jaeden B.

      University of North Carolina


13. Apply for scholarships

Applying for scholarships may not be a traditional job, but it can be financially rewarding when you win multiple awards. It also allows you to make money online from your dorm room. Scholarships, like the 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship, can help significantly offset your college expenses. Brigham Young University student Jeffrey reveals his approach to making money in college:

“While it does take time to write an essay to apply for a scholarship, any money can be helpful in paying for college, and if not from a scholarship you would have to spend time working for that money anyway! Additionally, this work that is put into applying for a scholarship is a good opportunity to practice expressing yourself in response to difficult or significant questions. Consistently applying for one or two scholarships per week or month can be a great source of extra income for a college student.”

Jeffrey H.

      Jeffrey H.

      Brigham Young University


14. Participate in a stipend program

Many colleges offer a stipend, or fixed sum of money, in exchange for a service. These stipends may be awarded to students serving as resident assistants, campus tour guides, engaging in research, or participating in volunteer activities. Additionally, being involved in a stipend program can give students hands-on experience in their field of study. Elizabeth from Yale Law School shares her personal experience with stipends:

“My college had a program that gave students a stipend to work for organizations advancing social good. Through this program, I was able to work on my college’s organic farm throughout my first two years of college. I ended up loving my job on the farm. It gave me an opportunity to be outside and get some physical activity in, all while learning about the importance of where our food comes from.”

Elizabeth B.

      Elizabeth B.

      Yale Law School


15. Set up a source of passive income

A passive income refers to regular earnings that do not require active involvement. As a student you can start a blog or website to write about topics you are passionate about and earn passive money through advertising. Ellen shares how she earns a passive income as a student:

Several years ago, I set up a store on Teachers Pay Teachers, a popular platform where teachers buy and sell each others’ teaching materials. Because I’d already made these documents and materials for my own benefit while teaching, there was little in terms of set-up time or cost. It generates passive income while allowing me time to study, network, and focus on essential tasks.”

Ellen S.

      Ellen S.

      University of Washington



Now that you’ve read these jobs for college students to make money in college, you’re ready to start your own financial journey. You might decide to stream your gameplay on popular video game streaming websites, work a part-time job for an hourly rate, get an internship, or start your own business. Whatever path you choose, there is a way to make money in college. Despite the financial challenges that come with your education, it’s important to find a balance between work and school. While working during college may mean making sacrifices, the effort you put in now will pay off in the future.




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