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    How To Make Money in College

    By Emily Wong

    Emily Wong is a writer at Scholarships360. She’s worked as a social media manager and a content writer at several different startups, where she covered various topics including business, tech, job recruitment, and education. Emily grew up and went to school in the Chicago suburbs, where she studied economics and journalism at Northwestern University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: April 23rd, 2024
    How To Make Money in College

    If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “broke college student,” there’s a reason for that. When your schedule is packed with classes, studying, socializing and extracurriculars, it can be hard to figure out how to make money in college. Luckily, you don’t have to get a full-time job in order to earn some extra cash. From selling your stuff to starting a blog, let’s talk about how to make money as a college student.

    Don’t miss: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

    Get an online job

    When you’re constantly running around from class to class, time is of the essence. Save the commute time by making money from the comfort of your dorm room. There are plenty of ways to work online at your leisure, from freelance writing to online tutoring.

    Many companies will also hire remote employees to talk to customers for their virtual call centers. These positions typically pay above $10 per hour and offer pretty flexible schedules.

    If you’re a fan of multitasking, you can complete small jobs with Amazon Mechanical Turk while relaxing or taking notes during class. Although you’ll probably only earn about $2 per hour on average, the tasks are typically pretty easy and mindless. However, if you go this route, make sure that it doesn’t interfere with your focus. After all, $2 per hour isn’t worth the time and money you’ve invested into college.

    See also: How to find online jobs for college students

    Put your skills to work

    Got any hobbies? Odds are, you can use them to make some money on the side. Countless websites like Fiverr, Upwork, Guru and FreeUp allow you to list your services for freelance jobs. Whether you’re interested in writing, design or photography, someone could probably use your skills and experience.

    If you’ve never freelanced before, you’ll need a portfolio to get started. To showcase your work to potential clients, put together a website of your previous projects. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can even create a portfolio for free using WordPress or Crevado.

    Also read: How to create a budget in college

    Sell your stuff

    If your place has felt cramped lately, it may be time to find a new home for your stuff. Even if you don’t think you have anything worth buying, take a look around your place for anything you haven’t used in a while. If you can’t see yourself needing it anytime in the future, it may be time to give it up.

    After you’ve collected your old stuff, you can list it on an eCommerce website like Amazon or eBay. If you’re trying to sell clothes, you can use a clothing-specific app like Poshmark or Depop. On the other hand, if you’d rather meet up with the buyer, you can try Craigslist, Letgo or Facebook Marketplace. Check out our handy online clothes guide to get started!

    Related: How to save money in college

    Rent out your stuff

    If you’re not quite ready to get rid of your stuff, try renting it out instead. With services like Fat Llama, you can rent out almost anything, from guitars to cameras. If you have any clothes you’re not using, you can use StyleLend to lend them out in the meantime.

    Just make sure that you’re not too attached to anything you decide to put up for rent. Luckily, many renting services offer warranties to cover damage to your belongings. Still, by putting up your stuff for rent, you run the risk of having it stolen or damaged. In other words, you might want to think twice before lending out your favorite sweater.

    Tap into your inner caregiver

    After a long day of lectures and homework, you sometimes need to take a break from your screen. Jobs like babysitting or dog-walking allow you to get up and move around– and get paid for it.

    If you don’t know any families in your area, you can sign up with a website like Sittercity or Care.com. They’ll connect you with parents who are looking to hire a babysitter. Companies like Rover.com and Wag! can also help you find customers who need a dog-walker. Sometimes the owners won’t even be home, so you can just go in, walk the dog and wait to get paid.

    Keep reading: Top financial tips for college students

    Pursue your influencer dreams

    While blogging may not seem like a serious job to some, it can bring in some serious income. Through monetization strategies like affiliate marketing and advertising, a blogger with 50,000 page views per month can bring in $10,000.

    If you’re interested in starting a blog or a website, think about a topic that you’re knowledgeable about. Make sure that other people also care about it, or you’ll find it difficult to build an audience. Once you have that down, you can create a website with Wix or Squarespace and start writing!

    If writing’s not your thing, you can start making content on another platform, like YouTube or TikTok. Some college students gain an audience by making videos about life at their university. Others will make lifestyle, workout or cooking channels. When it comes down to it, you’ll want to choose the niche that you’re most passionate about.

    Keep in mind that becoming an influencer is definitely not the right side hustle for everyone. If you choose to pursue this path, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not putting in more than you’re getting out. You can expect to make a large time investment at the beginning as you’re starting up. However, if you find that it’s interfering with your other commitments, it may be time to switch gears.

    Also see: How to land an internship guide

    Work on-campus

    Getting a job might not be the most appealing way to make money in college. However, you can often find some fun and laid-back jobs minutes away from your dorm. Many universities allow their students to work on-campus in gyms, libraries and residence halls. Not only do you get to work alongside fellow students, but you can sometimes even study on the job if you’re working a desk shift.

    Make some money off your car

    From maintenance to insurance, cars can bring a lot of extra expenses. Luckily, if you chose to bring your car to school, you can pay off those extra costs and then some. All you have to do is get a side hustle that lets you use your vehicle to your advantage.

    Sign up to drive with Uber or Lyft to make some extra cash, along with a healthy dose of small talk each night. If you’d prefer not to have anyone else in your car, you can work in delivery instead. Apps like Instacart or Postmates give drivers a base pay for each order, plus tips.

    Making money in college can seem hard to pull off at first. Fortunately, with a little bit of time and effort, you’ll be able to create a reliable stream of income. Just make sure that your side hustle doesn’t get in the way of your studies!

    Keep reading: Top student credit cards

    Additional resources

    As a current college student, you’re tasked with balancing many responsibilities at once. These include saving and making money, choosing your major, becoming involved on campus, and pursuing extracurriculars to help you grow as a person and grow into your future profession. We can help you through these steps, and as you near your next steps, we can help you out in finding a job after college or financing your grad school education. It’s also a good idea to become acquainted with loan repayment plans so you know what your monthly payment will be post-graduation. 

    Good luck and be sure to check back whenever a question arises about your college trajectory! In-between your side jobs, make sure that you apply for “free money” scholarships that never need to be paid back!

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