72 Ways For College Students To Make Extra Money

Updated: September 3, 2020
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Who has time to make extra money as a college student when you go to school full-time? Surprisingly, there are plenty of ways to make extra money without interrupting your class schedule.

Here is a curated list of 72 ways for college students to make extra money. Jobs are broken down into five categories so you can cherry-pick your favorites. From quick cash jobs to jobs you can hold down during the week, there’s something here that fits within your schedule.

It’s important to have that college experience—Greek life, football games, intramural sports, and even the occasional party. And it’s equally important that you get paid to support your extracurricular activities. Check out this organized list of jobs that real people did and are currently doing to make extra money as a college student.

Table Of Contents

Campus jobs

Off-campus jobs

Residential jobs

Entrepreneurial jobs

Jobs you can do from home


Campus Jobs

1. Campus tours

Do you have massive pride for your school? Head to the admissions office and become a campus tour guide. You get a chance to brag about your school to potential students and walk around to fun points of interest across campus.

2. Campus dining

If you like to work behind the scenes, check out campus dining positions. Serve up grub to your fellow peers. Not only do you get to stay on campus, which eliminates an additional commute, but you also get to rub hairnets with other student workers.

3. College athletic events

College sports fanatics might find a fun and fast-paced job in athletic events. Be a part of the event security team, scan tickets, or serve up cheesy nachos and hot dogs at the concession stands. Just make sure you’re cool with watching the game through your peripheral view.

4. Campus office jobs

Nothing beats being able to do your homework and get paid in the process. Most college offices, including admissions and the president’s office, need someone at the front desk to greet walk-in’s and answer the phone. That could be you! Plus, during the downtime, you can catch up on your studies. Check with your college, dean’s office, admissions, or other administrative buildings across campus.

5. Scholarships

Yup, we are classifying scholarships as a campus job because, well, scholarship hunting is a lot like going to work. You have the opportunity to get paid mad money when you submit a scholarship application. One college student received more than $62,000 in scholarship money by using these tips to apply to scholarships.

6. Grants

Grants can also be a way to make extra money for tuition. True story, I needed money to fund my tuition and I was desperate. I called up my financial aid office and told the dean about my situation. He asked for my student ID number and added $1,000 in grant money towards my tuition. There’s no guarantee that this will work for you, but it’s worth a shot in calling.

7. Teaching assistant

Gain perspective in what a professor has to go through in terms of planning lessons, grading assignments, and helping students learn. Teaching assistants assist professors with grading, administering exams, and other tasks to prepare for class. You may even get the opportunity to study while you’re at work.

8. Resident assistant

Resident assistants have the task of managing dorm residents. While you’ll have to be OK with playing referee during roommate arguments on your floor, your room and board are paid for which puts extra money in your pocket. RA positions are typically reserved for sophomore status and older, so check with your dorm before applying.

9. Dorm security monitor 

If an RA gig doesn’t sound exactly right, try a dorm security monitor position instead. Basically you get paid while you socialize with residents, walk through the dorm, and do your homework during quiet times. Monitors have a flexible schedule and it typically pays more than other on-campus jobs.

10. Lab assistant

Lab assistants provide assistance in preparing various lab solutions, stocking disposables and taking inventory of supplies. You might even have some leadership opportunities by looking for inefficiencies and help develop a plan for a smoother running laboratory. Safety goggles included.

11. Tutor

Do you excel in French? Have a passion for algebra? There’s a tutoring position for just about every subject taught on campus. Peer tutors can work between classes and have a flexible schedule. Typically, you’ll need at least a “B” or higher in courses that you wish to tutor.

12. Campus newspaper

Gain firsthand experience in what it’s like to be a journalist by writing for the campus newspaper. Reporters, photojournalists, and video journalists are typically paid per piece, and you could have the flexibility to pick up several stories to increase your income as a college student.


Off-Campus Jobs

13. Retail

Retail jobs aren’t for everyone, but they do offer consistent income and more often than not, a discount. If you’re cool with working nights, weekends, and occasional holidays, a retail job could be for you.

14. Internship

Add some substance to your resume before you graduate with a paid internship. Ask your college about internships that correlate with your major. Then, look outside of your college at other campus departments. I landed an internship with the College of Engineering even though my degree was in marketing. They figured out engineering students don’t make great marketers, so I was a shoo-in for the internship.

15. Paid research studies

Market research can be a great way to get paid and participate in some interesting studies. Most studies are posted on campus or on your school’s website, so do a quick search. Most times, they need opinions and you can get rewarded in cash or gift cards.

16. Brand ambassador

Become a walking advertiser as a brand ambassador. Get paid to promote products or services at various events or through your own social media platforms. Brand ambassadors who actually use the brand typically have more fun (and are more authentic in selling the brand).

Well-known brands that look for student brand ambassadors:

  • Red Bull – set up a sales territory and implement your own marketing plans
  • Nike – receive a commission off of social media posts you create about Nike
  • Coca-Cola – a high-paced seasonal position that involves a lot of fun and a lot of walking

17. Shot girl or shot boy

OK, this job isn’t the most conventional, but I promise you’ll be everyone’s best friend at the bar. Shot staff usually buy liquor ahead of time and offer libations in neon test tubes to patrons. Beware that guests will want to buy your shot, too, so make a few water test tubes so you can stay on top of your game and make extra money.

18. Bartender

Slinging drinks behind the bar might be more of your style if you’re a night owl, enjoy meeting new people, and learning new cocktail recipes. While you need to be at least 21 to bartend, you can make really good tips as a bartender.

19. Server

One of my all-time favorite ways to make extra money as a college student was serving at a restaurant. Service jobs are humbling, and they can pay really well. Look for ways to upsell your guests on appetizers, drinks, and desserts so your tip is higher. And you usually always go home with discounted or free food. Score!

20. Cater waiter or catering staff

Cater large events as a member of the catering staff. Catering companies hire college students to help them out with setting up for events, serving guests, or simply directing people to the right ballroom.

21. Barista

Early birds have a chance to start their day making freshly brewed coffee and other caffeinated concoctions as a barista. Baristas can also earn tips, making this job a bit sweeter than earning a set hourly wage. Look for coffee shops on and off-campus and make sure you actually wake up when your alarm goes off.

22. Camp counselor

Love being outside? If you want to make extra money as a college student, a camp counselor position could be right up your alley. Typically, room and board are included and you could spend most summers racking up cash so you can enjoy your semester work-free. You could even sublet your apartment during this time to add on extra savings.

These residential camps hire college students as camp counselors:

  • YMCA – work in beautiful camps across Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, and more.
  • Girl Scouts of America – make swaps, learn the words to “There was a Great Big Moose,” and connect with Girl Scout campers.

23. Do voice-overs

If you have a knack for impersonations, funny voices, and just generally like talking into a mic, you could get paid for it. Record voice-overs for commercials, audiobooks, cartoons, and more by becoming a freelance voice over personality. Prepare samples using an audio recorder, upload, and audition for jobs. 

These online marketplaces can get you started:

24. Marketing coordinator or event manager

Often times, local businesses need a bit of coordination help when it comes to marketing and events. Even if you aren’t majoring in marketing or hospitality, you could still apply to be a marketing coordinator or event manager. All you need are great people skills, a knack for being organized, and a can-do attitude.

25. Secret shopper

Get paid to secret shop local businesses. There are companies who will pay you to buy cigarettes and see if cashiers card you (don’t worry you don’t actually smoke the cigarettes). You could even get paid to order food at a fast-food restaurant. 

The best way to become a secret shopper to make extra money is to sign up with an existing shopper network: 

  • Second to None – work is available on an assignment basis.
  • Marketforce – use their built-in app to look for paid secret shopper opportunities.

26. Donate plasma

Not only can you get paid to donate plasma, but you’re also helping out someone who needs it. There are plasma centers all over the country, so finding one in your area should be simple. You need to be 18 years or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have had a tattoo or piercing within the last 12 months. You could earn anywhere between $25 and $60 per donation.

27. Personal trainer

Workout fiends could make going to the gym more lucrative by becoming a personal trainer. You may need to get certified in order to sign on as a trainer with a gym. That being said there are several Instagramers who record their workouts and transformations without certifications and make money at it.


Residential Jobs

28. Babysitting

Babysitting is just about the easiest job to make extra money. And as a college student, it’s a great way to fit in some extra homework time after the kids go to bed. Most parents will need help during the evenings and weekends, but you could look for ways to help out during the day for families with little ones, too.

29. Nanny

Take babysitting to another level by becoming a nanny. There are plenty of online nanny sites that match your skillset to the right family. Care.com allows you to create a free profile and you can even be paid directly through the site.

30. Pet sitting

Those who aren’t keen on looking after children can opt for pet sitting. It’s a great gig because you get to look after furry friends and get paid for it. Sign up for free on a platform like Rover, where you can choose what services you want to offer, including overnight stays, dog walks, or letting people drop off their pets at your place.

31. Pick up dog poop

Yes, you could really make money picking up what dogs are throwing down. There are plenty of local services across the country that make money picking up dog poop, like Poop-B-Gone in Colorado Springs. You could even set up your own service and post it on a site like NextDoor. 

32. House sitting

One of the easiest ways that I made money during summer break was through house sitting. Families that schedule summer vacations typically need someone to pick up mail, water plants, and look after pets. There have been plenty of times where homeowners asked me to stay the night, which offered me a private sanctuary for endless movie nights.

33. Yardwork

Yardwork is year-round and as such, you can make money at it 365 days a year. Shovel snow, mow grass or help a neighbor with gardening. You can make a quick buck by raking leaves or helping out at a landscape company.

34. Help people move

Help people move out of their houses by joining a moving service. You may have to work a few weekends, but the work could be worth it. Check out moving services like Two Men and a Truck or Starving Students.

35. Lifeguard

Lifeguarding is my favorite way to make extra money. If you love being outside and hanging out in a swimsuit all day, lifeguarding is for you. You will need to complete your lifeguard and CPR certification first. Then, get hired by a public or residential pool. You could work year-round by lifeguarding at an indoor pool or at the beach.

36. Professional cleaner

House cleaning requires no experience other than you knowing how to mop, dust, vacuum, and scrub an occasional toilet. This could work well for busy households who would gladly fork over cash for a clean sweep by you.

37. Run errands for parents

Think of all those busy moms and dads who would like nothing more for someone to pick up their groceries, grab the dry cleaning, and drop everything off at home. All you need is to be able to supply your own transportation.


Entrepreneurship

38. Etsy

Arts and crafts meets online entrepreneurship with Etsy. It takes minutes to set up an Etsy shop and soon you could be selling your homemade item online. Choose between physical or digital products or both. It’s a great side hustle that could bring consistent income.

39. YouTuber

The best thing about becoming a YouTuber is that you don’t need fancy equipment to get started. Grab your iPhone and start recording. In order to make ad revenue as a YouTuber, you will need to obtain 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours within the last 12 months. Then you can add sponsorships, affiliates, digital products, and more.

40. Blogger

Find a niche that you love and start writing about it in the form of a blog. The cost to set up your website is minimal, and you can make money selling digital products, courses, and affiliates. As soon as you have enough blog posts, you can apply for Google Adsense to grab your share of ad revenue.

41. Become an affiliate

There are hundreds of businesses that are vying to get in front of your audience. If you’re interested in turning your social media following into a business, sign up to become an affiliate. You can do this directly with companies that you know and trust or become a sub-affiliate through a third-party program. Then post your affiliate links on social media and watch the money come in.

42. Makeup artist

Beauty and makeup enthusiasts could earn income by becoming an independent makeup artist. Think of all the sorority parties where you could charge girls to do their makeup. You could even do weddings, proms, or a special event for folks around town.

43. Sell baked goods

You could sell baked goods seasonally or year-round. Liz Eischen of Kitchen Table Finances makes homemade pies around the holidays and picks up a couple hundred bucks, just in time for the holidays. 

44. Gel manicurist 

Pick up an inexpensive gel manicure light on Amazon and start doing manicures for your friends. Most nail salons charge $30 or more for a gel manicure. Charge less than that and you could have a profitable business in no time.

45. Haircut and coloring services

Bring hair dye and scissors home and start charging for cut and color services. Other college students are pinching pennies, so this could be a good way of generating income and giving students a discount.

46. Mechanic

Know your way around a car? Offer to do discounted oil changes, replace tires, or change out air filters. Think of all the services that are offered at a typical Jiffy Lube, and you could be the next go-to mechanic.

47. Handy work

Get paid to do all the little odd jobs around a homeowner’s house. You’ll need a few supplies, like a drill, hammer, screwdriver, and other tools. Once you have curated a toolbox, you could get paid to hang picture frames and shelves or install blinds and curtains.

48. Postmates

Sign up to be a Postmates driver. This on-demand delivery service puts you in the driver seat to deliver various items around town. You get to set up your own schedule and according to Postmates, there are no fees.

49. DoorDash

Similar to Postmates, you could become a driver for DoorDash. You’ll mainly deliver food across town and you can use a bike or car. You can also earn tips by communicating order status and being extra friendly during each delivery.

50. Uber and Lyft driver

You know it, we know it. Uber and Lyft driving is totally a thing that can totally make you money. Rideshare is becoming even more popular among college towns so this could be a great way to make extra cash and meet new people.

51. UberEATs

Make extra money to fund your college experience by delivering food via UberEATs. You don’t necessarily need a car either. If you have a bicycle or scooter you could qualify to become an UberEATs driver. Plus, you can cash out up to five times in one day.

52. Computer or electronics repair

Nothing is more devastating than a computer malfunction to a college student. If you are savvy around computer hard drives and the like, you could charge for your time. Help repair hard drives, restore memory, or even install new programs for people.

53. Electronic installation

Someone just bought a brand new Alexa that needs to hook up to a smart TV and a soundbar. If that sounds like a piece of cake to you, you could get paid to help people set up their electronics. Then hit me up: I need help turning on my TCL TV with my Firestick remote.


Jobs You Can Do From Home

54. Transcription work

Fast typers might find easy work in transcribing documents and audio files. Several industries need help transcribing audio into a written script. If you have excellent typing and listening skills, this could be a great way to make extra cash. Check out TranscribeMe! to learn how to become a transcriptionist.

55. Online surveys

While online surveys won’t cover tuition fees, they can cover your beer budget. There are several popular and legitimate platforms that payout via PayPal or gift cards. Check out Survey Junkie, and InboxDollars. Online surveys can be done in between class periods or when you’ve checked out from Netflix.

56. Fetch Rewards

You do buy groceries, right? Why not get paid when you buy them? When you download the Fetch Rewards app, you can scan your grocery receipt to earn points. Redeem points for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, and more.

57. Grocery store apps

Put more cash into your wallet by downloading your local grocery store’s app. I recently did this by downloading a digital coupon that lowered the cost of ground turkey from $9.99 to just $2.99. The extra savings can now go towards your Chick-Fil-A addiction.

58. Rakuten

A great way to shop online is to do it at a discount. Install the Rakuten extension for Google Chrome. Every time you shop at a participating Rakuten retail site, you could earn cashback on your purchase. While you are spending money on this idea, you are pocketing extra savings that can be used elsewhere.

59. Freelance

Use the same skills that you utilize at work and start freelancing. If you know how to write, design, or take photos, you can freelance for businesses. Web programmers, app creators, and videographers can freelance, too. It’s a great way to pick up side gigs in between your class schedule.

60. Rent your stuff

Have a guitar or camping gear that you rarely use? You can rent your stuff using sites like Rentything to list your stuff and get paid from people who want to temporarily use it. To start, take inventory of things that you rarely use or that your friends are always bugging you to borrow.

61. Virtual assistant

Executives and small business owners alike need to help with completing tasks online. If you have a laptop and a reliable internet connection, you can become a virtual assistant. Help clients maintain their calendar, book travel, or monitor their email. You could even turn this into a full-time business later on.

62. Sell your stuff

Take a look around your place and see what stuff can be sold on Facebook Marketplace. There are also other buy-sell marketplaces like eBay, OfferUp, LetGo, and NextDoor. The key to selling items fast? Take pictures in bright, clutter-free rooms and list the same offer in multiple apps.

63. Sell old textbooks

Once you’re done with a course, it’s time to get rid of your old textbooks. Plenty of college campuses have buyback programs, but you could make even more cash if you sell your textbooks directly to other college students. Try posting your books on Instagram Stories or Facebook Marketplace to reach your classmates.

64. Sell old class notes

In addition to selling your old textbooks, sell your old class notes. You could even sell your notes and textbook as a package. This works well if you excelled in the course in which you have old notes. Bonus points if you saved old exams so the next student can be better prepared.

65. TaskRabbit

You can save the day for busy neighbors by signing up with TaskRabbit. It’s an online platform that connects people who need help around their homes. Jobs can range from furniture assembly to mounting picture frames. Create a profile, then outline which things you want to get paid to do.

66. Social media manager

Business owners need help managing their social media feeds. Schedule posts, create pins for Pinterest, or research the perfect hashtag. You could offer your social media skills at an hourly rate or create a monthly package deal to lock in long-term clients.

67. Prep holiday greeting cards and invitations

Put your excellent penmanship to use and prep holiday greeting cards for people. For cold cash, you could stuff, seal, and label greeting cards or invitations. It’s an easy job that you could do to pick up extra money.

68. Meal prep/chef

Master chefs can make money by meal prepping for others. You’ll need to charge enough to cover the cost of food and supplies. Then think of the recipes you enjoy making and can make in bulk. Imagine prepping a big batch of your signature soup and selling takeaway freezer bowls to locals.

69. High yield savings account

A very simple way to make extra money in college is to park your savings in a high-yield savings account. Look for savings accounts that pay more than 1% interest. It beats any checking account and you don’t have to spend any additional time to earn the money.

70. Investing

Yep, we went there. Investing your money is a great way to grow it. If you are unfamiliar with investing, check out popular reads like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, or The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. Then when you’re ready to try your hand at the stock market, you can sign up with a robo-advisor like Betterment or M1 Finance.

71. Rent your car

If you don’t use your car that often throughout the school year, you can rent it out to someone who needs it. Use a site like Turo to list your car. Make sure you have current car insurance and you could get paid up to 85% of the trip price.

72. Sublet your apartment

Sublet your apartment while it’s not in use. This can be helpful to earn money as a college student when you go home for the summer. Make sure it’s okay with your landlord first before hunting down someone to take over your lease.

Feature Illustration: Laura Caseley For The Money Manual

Justine Nelson is the founder of Debt Free Millennials, an online community to help millennials get out of debt. Justine enjoys writing and speaking about all things personal finance. This Midwest millennial paid off $35k in student loan debt and now resides in San Diego with her husband living the DINK life (Dual Income, No Kids).