Top 100 Legitimate Ways to Make Money in College

Making money in college isn’t as hard as you may think. The internet makes it easier to find legitimate jobs that pay good money.

With many online and offline job opportunities out there, there’s no reason you should be part of the “broke college student” stereotype.

This article will give you the top 100 ways to make money in college, including online jobs, campus jobs, off-campus jobs, and more.

Online and digital opportunities

Let’s have a look at some online and virtual jobs you can do while still in college:

1. Become a virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is a self-employed person who does administrative work for business professionals. With this job, you’ll be able to set your own schedule and work remotely.

list of responsibilities of a virtual assistant

2. Start a blog

If you have a knack for writing, you can start a blog. With the right strategies in place, your blog will make passive income once it starts to grow a larger audience.

3. Do graphic design work

Graphic design includes services like the design of logos, social media graphics, and more. The employment of graphic designers is predicted to grow by 3% from 2020 to 2030, which makes it a great industry to get into.

best adobe software for graphic designers

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4. Become a voice-over artist

With the rise of podcasting, audiobooks, and video, voice-over work is extremely popular. If you have a mic at home and a great voice, you can get paid to do voice-over work for businesses.

5. Sell gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr is a website that allows you to sell different services for $5 or more. Gigs offered on the platform include things like video editing, coding, and even modeling.

6. Start a YouTube channel

If you have a hobby, like make-up artistry or traveling, you can start a YouTube channel, create videos, and make a decent income from them through ad revenue.

7. Do freelance writing

As a freelance writer, you’ll be responsible for writing copy like social media posts, emails, or blog posts for businesses. Have a look at your writing options here.

8. Do transcription work

A transcriber is responsible for converting audio or video files into text. If you’re a fast typer and want to get paid for listening and typing, this might be the ideal fit for you.

9. Design and sell t-shirts

You can get paid for your creativity by selling t-shirts online. T-shirts with funny phrases and sayings tend to do extremely well on platforms like Redbubble and Zazzle.

10. Become a calligrapher

If you have great handwriting and can do calligraphy, you can sell it for a great price online. Many people are looking for calligraphy for invitations and special occasions.

example of calligraphy

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11. Launch an online course

If you’re a good teacher and have expertise in a certain subject area, like programming, you can create an online course and sell it on your website.

12. Do online data entry

You can do online data entry for companies with a lot of data that needs to be compiled and formatted for online storage.

13. Create an app

If you’re good at programming or willing to learn how to program, you can create an app for Android or iOS and sell it in the App Store. In 2020 alone, there were 218 billion mobile app downloads.

graph depicting the number of app downloads worldwide

14. Become a social media manager

Manage the social media accounts of businesses for money. All you need is creativity and good knowledge of different social media platforms.

15. Become an SEO expert

Become a search engine optimization (SEO) expert and charge companies top dollar to optimize their websites for higher rankings on Google.

16. Run Facebook ads for businesses

This gig pays exceptionally well if you can drive great results for businesses. You can start by learning the ins and outs of Facebook ads and advertising your services on social media.

17. Tutor students

If you’re doing well in a certain subject or field of study, you can offer online tutoring services to other students who might be struggling.

18. Create and sell digital products

You can create and sell digital products like wedding invites, personal finance planners, and gift cards on programs like Canva.

19. Flip furniture and sell it

If you have a talent for restoring old furniture, you can buy old pieces of furniture on Craigslist, eBay, or at garage sales for a low price. It’s then possible to fix that furniture and sell it for a massive profit.

20. Sell crafts on Etsy

If you love making handmade crafts like home decor and jewelry, you should consider selling them on Etsy. Handmade goods represent 85% of Etsy sellers, so chances are you’ll do well on the platform.

Graph depicting the most popular handmade categories on Etsy

21. Be a photographer

You don’t need a $5,000 camera to take good photos. If you have a phone with a good camera, you can download editing apps like Pixlr and take and edit photos for money.

22. Do web design

If you have a talent for designing web pages and sites, you can offer freelance web design services to startups and small businesses.

23. Teach English online

Many companies are seeking native English speakers who can teach the language online to people worldwide.

24. Create an eCommerce website

Ecommerce is booming. You can make a decent income by starting an online shop and selling new or existing products.

25. Review music for money

Even though this won’t make you a lot of money, it can be a good side gig if you love listening to music.

26. Start an accommodation reviews website

People love looking at reviews before they choose to rent out places to stay. You can start an accommodation review site to review hotels and other accommodations in your surrounding area.

27. Do affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the act of promoting a company's products to consumers through different marketing channels. In turn, you’ll receive a commission for each item sold through your link.

28. Translate foreign language documents

If you’re fluent in two or more languages, you can consider becoming a translator for companies like Translatorscafe or Gengo.

29. Launch a course on Udemy or Skillshare

Skillshare and Udemy are learning platforms where individuals can publish online courses. If you’re an expert in a specific field, consider creating and publishing a course on these platforms.

30. Work as a virtual recruiter

As a virtual recruiter, you’ll be responsible for finding the best candidates for a company. You need to be good with people as you’ll conduct assessments and interviews online.

31. Do freelance editing

If you have excellent grammar skills, you can consider becoming a freelance editor. As an editor, you’ll identify and correct errors in clients’ written materials.

32. Test software

In 2019, senior technology professionals said that 23% of their budget is spent on quality assurance. Many app companies pay people to use their software to evaluate its features and find bugs.

List of the responsibilities of a software tester

33. Edit videos

There are freelance video editing jobs all over the internet. Many companies require professionals to edit their videos for their social media platforms, websites, and more.

34. Do online market trading

Investing in stock markets may not be the easiest way to make money, but it can be highly profitable if you conduct research and invest cleverly.

35. Become a social media influencer

If you have a social media account with a medium to large-sized following, you’re on your way to becoming an influencer. Companies will pay you to promote their products on your account.

36. Create subtitles

The highest demand for subtitle creators is often for foreign movies. However, even if you don’t speak more than one language, some movies need subtitles for hearing-impaired audiences.

37. Write and publish an ebook

Want to write a book? Consider writing one and publishing it on Amazon. Learn more about Amazon’s users, markets, and growth.

depiction of a book on amazon kindle

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Campus jobs

Now, let’s have a look at some campus jobs you can do:

38. Become a teaching assistant

Studying to become a teacher? Being a teacher’s assistant can help develop your skills and also increase your chances of getting a job straight out of college.

39. Be a research assistant

If you don’t like working with students but still want to work with a professor, you can become a research assistant who assists with things like collecting samples, transcribing interviews, etc.

40. Work for campus security

Campus security guards can make a decent amount of money per hour, and you’ll likely be able to find a position that suits your schedule.

41. Give campus tours

You can become a campus tour guide for your school. To do so, you’ll need to submit your resume, pass a few in-person interviews, and shadow existing campus tour guides.

42. Do campus IT support

Computer crashes are probably one of a college student’s worst nightmares. If you’re good at fixing such issues, you can offer your services to fellow students for a fee.

43. Work in campus dining

If you have culinary aspirations, consider working in campus dining. This job can include anything from restocking stations to scooping food and more.

44. Work in the campus post office

Some college campuses have centralized university post offices. You can work for the post office, where you’ll sort mail, distribute packages, and deliver mail to the rest of the campus.

45. Work in the writing center

If you’re always getting good grades for your essays and have excellent writing skills, you can work in the writing center and help other students with their papers.

46. Be an artist model

As a campus artist model, you’ll pose for students while they paint or draw you. You’ll need to be comfortable standing or sitting in the same position for a long time for this job.

47. Become a resident advisor

Resident advisors help create a safe and supportive environment for students living in student housing by doing clerical work, answering queries, and reinforcing rules.

image showing a powerpoint presentation in the making

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Off-campus jobs

Next, let’s have a look at some off-campus jobs you can do:

48. Become a Telemarketer

Telemarketing could be for you if you’re a people person with great communication skills. You’ll be responsible for marketing and selling goods to people over the phone.

49. Become a ridesharing driver

You can make great money driving for Lyft, Uber, or other ridesharing platforms. All you need is your own car and a bit of free time in your schedule.

50. Summer construction work

If you don’t mind doing hard labor like carrying bags of cement, shoveling, and building structures, you could work for a construction company during the summer break.

51. Take a bartending job

Are you a night owl? Consider working at a bar close to your school. All you need is good listening skills and some knowledge of alcoholic beverages.

52. Work at a fast-food chain

Working at a fast-food restaurant can give you a decent income at the end of each month, depending on how often you work.

53. Assist car technicians

If you know a thing or two about cars, you can find a part-time job as a car technician’s assistant. The great thing about this job is that you’ll learn a lot about cars, which will come in handy in the future should you ever suffer a vehicle breakdown.

54. Be a pet sitter/walker

You can get paid to walk dogs or look after pets when their owners decide to go on vacation. Petsitter.com offers a lot of great pet-sitting opportunities.


List of the responsibilities of a pet sitter

55. Do summer agricultural work

Many farms require workers to clear fields and harvest crops. This type of work is usually full-time but only lasts a couple of weeks.

56. Get a summer internship

By doing a paid summer internship, you won’t only earn extra income but also acquire new skills, experience, and connections for your life and career after college. You might even earn some college credits depending on the specific internship.

57. Work as a lifeguard

Young students who have great swimming skills are often chosen to be lifeguards. If you are a strong swimmer and like spending the day at the pool, this could be ideal for you.

58. Clean offices part-time

Cleaning offices for local businesses can be a great way to earn some extra money while studying since the hours are typically flexible.

59. Door-to-door sales

While this gig is certainly not for everyone, you can work for companies as a door-to-door salesperson if you have a vibrant personality and good sales skills.

60. Become a babysitter or nanny

If you’re good with children and don't mind taking care of them for a few hours during the day or evening, you can offer babysitting services to families.

61. House sitting

Many families hire people to watch their houses when they go on vacation. This can be a great gig if you have spare time on your hands.

62. Catering

Catering companies often need extra help since their schedules aren’t consistent. You could find a job at one of these companies, but you’ll likely work over the weekends.

63. Repair computers

You can help people outside of your college to set up and repair their computers. This will mainly involve setting up software, checking for viruses, etc.

64. Work in retail

Working in retail is a great opportunity for college students since many retailers need employees for evening shifts. If your classes are mostly during the day, working hours won’t clash with your education.

65. Do handyman work

If you’re handy and good at fixing things like broken cabinets and showerheads or installing countertops, you can do these jobs for people through platforms like TaskRabbit.

66. Work at a temp agency

Apply to a temp agency, and they’ll likely connect you with businesses that need short-term work. These opportunities will help develop your skills and experience.

67. Do nails

If you’re good at doing nails, you can offer services online. Manicures are particularly popular. In 2019, 88% of salons offered manicures.

Graph depicting the most common services offered at nail salons

68. Be a personal shopper

Many people don’t have the time to shop with their busy working schedules. Consider becoming a personal shopper for these people. You’ll be responsible for their grocery shopping, furniture shopping, clothes shopping, and more.

69. Be a freelance makeup artist

Makeup artistry takes on many forms. You can choose to do professional makeup for weddings or models or do decorative makeup for Halloween parties.

70. Be a bank teller

The experience you gain while working as a bank teller is extremely beneficial, especially if you’re studying anything related to finance or business.

71. Become a sales associate

Working in sales is a great way to boost your people skills. Sales associate positions are common in the retail and fitness industries.

72. Work as a cashier

Whether you want to work in the merchandise, retail, or restaurant industries, there are always companies hiring cashiers.

73. Be a personal trainer

If you’re a fitness guru who knows the ins and outs of training, you could lead local classes. With the right certification, you could become a personal trainer who helps other people get into shape.

74. Work front desk at a local gym

You can work at the front desk of a gym in your area. You’ll likely get free classes and gain access to the gym’s facilities at no cost.

75. Deliver groceries

Delivering groceries in between classes is a great way to earn some extra money. You can download an app like Instacart to offer your grocery delivery services.

76. Become a customer service representative

As a customer service rep, you’ll be responsible for talking to customers using different communication channels and assisting them. This involves answering any questions they might have and helping them get the most out of the products or services they’ve purchased.

list of customer representative qualities

77. Organize events and parties

If you have a talent for planning great parties that everyone always wants to be invited to, consider planning parties and events for other people.

78. Become a swim instructor

Love swimming, but don’t want to be a lifeguard? You can use your swimming talents to teach other people how to swim.

79. Sing or play music at events

If you have a great voice or can play an instrument well, you can book gigs at restaurants, bars, or events to show off your talent and make money while you’re at it.

80. Dress up for kids’ birthday parties

If you don’t mind dressing up in creative and comical costumes, you can consider dressing up for kids’ birthday parties.

81. Become a chef

A lot of working people who have busy schedules don’t have the time to cook for themselves and their families. If you’re an excellent cook, you could advertise your services online.

82. Paint houses

One of the most well-known gigs for college students is house painting. Websites like College Pro work with students to find painting jobs in their area.

83. Clean pools

You could offer to help people with their pools if you know a thing or two about pool cleaning and maintenance.

84. Wash cars

People are willing to pay other people to wash and wax their cars. If you have a passion for cars and like seeing them squeaky clean, this job could be perfect for you.

85. Clean houses

House cleaning is another popular part-time gig for college students. Even though house cleaning takes several hours, schedules can be flexible, and you won’t require any experience.

Sell or rent your stuff

Here are ways you can make money by selling and renting out your stuff:

86. Sell old textbooks

Have old textbooks that you won’t be using again? Consider selling them online to other students who might need them.

87. Sell stuff on eBay

If you have things or furniture that you’re no longer using, sell them on eBay. Learn more about eBay’s user base, market share, and growth.

88. Sell things on Facebook Marketplace

With Facebook having a massive user base, you’re almost guaranteed to find a buyer for your unwanted items.

89. Sell your old video game accounts

You may not be able to play as many video games when you’re in college. Instead of letting your characters and game assets go to waste, sell them to other players.

90. Sell stock photos

If you love taking beautiful photos but don’t necessarily want to offer live photoshoots to people, you can sell your existing images as stock photos on sites like Creative Market.

91. Rent your place on Airbnb

Planning on going away for the summer? You can rent your apartment out on Airbnb while you’re gone to make extra money.

92. Sell your notes

If you’re an expert note taker, why not profit from your notes instead of keeping them for yourself? Use sites like Studypool and Stuvia to sell your notes.

screenshot of studypool's website

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93. Rent your car

If you have a car, but you’re not using it because your dorm and college are near one another, you can rent your car out through services like Turo.

94. Rent out your parking space

Some student accommodation comes with a parking space or garage. If you aren’t using yours, you can rent it out to someone else by advertising it on Gumtree, Just Park, etc.

Do small administrative tasks

Here are some small tasks you can do for money:

95. Write resumes

A lot of students don’t want to write their resumes when they need to start applying for jobs. If you’re good at writing resumes, you can offer to do it for them.

list of the top resume writing tips

96. Fill out online surveys

Companies need data, so they often pay individuals to take surveys online. While this gig won’t make you a ton of money, the more surveys you fill out, the more you’ll get paid.

97. Enter competitions

Of course, entering competitions doesn’t guarantee money. However, it's a great option if your schedule is packed and you don’t have additional hours to spend working.

98. Convert CDs into MP3s

If you know how to convert CDs into MP3 files, many older people will pay you good money to convert their files for them.

99. Make money recycling

A simple way to earn extra cash is by recycling cans and bottles or even scrap metal. A lot of places will pay you for turning in these materials.

100. Create PowerPoint slide presentations

If you’re skilled at creating impressive presentations, you could offer your services to students and employees who don’t have the time to make their own.

Start making money as a student

You’ve seen the top 100 ways to make money in college. Now all that’s left to do is for you to choose which option suits you best.

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your food while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a student, read this article that’ll show you how you can be nutritious while on a budget.

about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Marc Mezzacca is CEO of CouponFollow, a consumer savings engine that surfaces popular coupons. He has been in the coupon and deals industry for over a decade with a deep interest in evolving e-commerce technologies.