College is expensive – there’s no doubt about it. There’s tuition, textbooks, and supplies on top of living expenses, which can add up to anywhere from $12,000 to over $40,000 a year depending on where you go. Then having to think about saving up for your future – it’s a lot. If you’re wondering how to make money as a college student to help offset costs, you’re not alone.
While working in retail and hospitality has been traditionally a popular choice for college students, they usually get little to no say in when they work and how many hours a week they get to work. You can get four shifts one week, but none the next. It can be a struggle to find the right balance of hours and income that align with your financial goals.
When looking at opportunities to make money as a student, some of the best jobs for college students are the ones that are flexible and align well with their schedules. Students need to understand their current school commitments and workload before allocating time towards a job. The last thing you want is to fall behind in school.
Working in the gig economy gives students the flexibility to work when they can and as much as they want. Most, if not all, gig apps have low barriers to entry so getting started is easy. Have a smartphone or a computer? You’re well on your way to becoming an independent worker in the gig economy! This is a great way to start saving up for your future, paying off student loans, and handling debt.
In this article, we highlight some of the best side hustles for college students and how they can become a seamless part of your routine.
Let’s start with one of the top side hustles for college students. Sell what you can, whether that’s a product, service, or maybe some of your old clothes or antique trinkets. Depending on what you sell, it can also be a great passive income!
There are marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook, or Poshmark that allow you to sell your belongings, such as lightly worn clothes, old electronics, or furniture. Whatever you want to sell, there’s probably a market for it. Not only are you putting your old things to good use, but you can make some of your money back.
For those who are more creative, Etsy is a great place to start selling handmade goods. There are popular niches ranging from face masks and self-care products, all the way to digital art and photography presets. If you enjoy knitting or painting during your downtime, you can get a shop set up in under an hour and start turning your hobby into revenue.
Got some skills that can be put to use? Maybe you’re a great writer or a graphic designer. You can join freelance platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork to start offering your services for money.
Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft also offer great opportunities as side hustles for college students. If you have a car, you can put it to good use by becoming a rideshare driver or food courier. This is a great option especially if you drive to campus or are usually the go-to person for driving classmates home after pub crawls. You’re already on the road, why not pick up a passenger or two along the way?
We also understand that not everyone will have access to a car and that’s not a problem! If you live or study within the city, you can still be a food courier for Doordash or UberEats. While you can deliver on foot, we highly recommend purchasing or renting a bicycle or even an e-bike if you want to maximize your productivity and make more money in less time.
Working on rideshare and delivery apps are great jobs for international students because it encourages you to familiarize yourself with local communities. It’s a great way for you to meet new people while earning extra cash.
Just like with online marketplaces, the barriers are low and starting is easy. You choose when you will work and manage your own schedule. A final alternative is to rent out your car to someone else interested in delivery or rideshare work. These are great ways for college students to make money both in and out of the school semester.
Maximize the utility of a thinking mind. What’s great about this hustle is that your potential customers are around all the time and you don’t even have to leave campus. Think of a subject you excel at and become a tutor!
Put up flyers around campus and network with your classmates. Start advertising and making personal connections wherever you go in and around the school to find students who could use some extra help. Your school’s student center or career center probably has some helpful information on the process as well.
This is one of the good-paying jobs for college students because the cost of a good tutor is cheaper than a failed class or poor grade. If it’s not your first school year, it’s a good idea to target underclassmen working their way through courses you’ve already completed.
No matter the case, be sure of your ability to produce results. In some cases, your grades may have to qualify to become an official campus tutor or you’ll need to get a teacher’s recommendation, so be sure to keep up with your own schoolwork first!
Gig apps like Wonolo or TaskRabbit offer opportunities for you to complete various jobs for extra cash. These jobs can range anywhere from grocery shopping or pet-sitting to car washing or assembling furniture. You can even diversify your income and experiences by jumping on multiple gig apps to keep your work exciting.
Be sure to study the marketplace and find a good fit before you start. Know your strengths and limitations so you don’t spread yourself out too thinly in the process. If you want to go the extra mile, put some effort into branding yourself in whatever you’re skilled at. Making an account is easy enough, but it may require some initial work to get the wheels turning. Soon enough, you’ll learn which of the side hustles for college students will best suit you!
Wherever or however you decide to work, select what can be molded around your schedule. There are endless flexible jobs for college students available within the gig economy with low or no start-up costs. No hierarchy, no risks, no stress. Plus, you’ll be able to put these gigs on your resume or LinkedIn page and redeem some career benefits!
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