22 Side Hustles for College Students (Start Making Money)

best side hustles for college students

As a college student, it’s challenging to live off a tight student budget. College is also not cheap, and you’ll need money to cover your personal expenses and books. Despite this, holding a full-time job may not be ideal if you want to balance your classes and social life.

Luckily, there are short-term side hustle jobs that you can take up to have some extra pocket cash. These jobs are primarily freelance-based and flexible; therefore, you can set your own hours and fit them in before, in-between, after classes, or during the weekend. In this article, I have compiled a list of side hustles for college students.

1. Become a Tutor

You can commit to becoming either an online or in-person tutor. If you are good in a particular subject, the local elementary, middle, or high schools could be looking for someone to teach. Also, parents pay for private lessons for their children.

You can take advantage of the tutoring marketplaces to earn some extra cash. In addition, you can take up this task within your college.

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You can teach your underclassmen your major or a subject you are good at. If your grades are good, you can get this information from the university’s career center. To reach out to more students and make extra bucks, you can hang up flies around the schools or advertise online.

2. Sell Your Old Study Materials

After college, most of your study materials, such as old textbooks, may not be very relevant. Some of these textbooks are very expensive when brand new; therefore, you can sell them at the end of the semester. You can use a platform such as eBay to make fast money.

In addition, to make extra pocket cash, you can also sell your old essays on sites such as Gradesaver. You can start by earning $5 per essay on this side hustle.

3. Sign Up For Data Entry Work

When you have some free time from class, you can take up in-demand tasks such as data entry. The good thing about this job is that you can do it from anywhere in your dorm room or library. Companies are constantly looking for people to help them with updating consumer information, data categorization, or proofreading.

4. Become a Virtual Assistant

If you are good with organization and time management, a side hustle as a virtual assistant could be a good option. Professionals with extra work hire virtual assistants to help with administrative work such as managing email communication, social media, and maintaining records.

Freelance platforms like Upwork and Time have virtual assistant gigs that pay either a flat fee or hourly. If you have flexible hours, you can take up more tasks.

5. Take up Photography

If you have a knack for photography and have some equipment, you can take up this as your side hustle. People are always looking to capture their favorite moments and events. You can start with some small events in your college and expand to the local community for weddings and birthdays.

In addition, you can make an extra buck with these photos by selling stock photos on Shutterstock, Unsplash, or Pixabay. Selling pictures of random sceneries or objects could earn you some pocket change.

6. Become a Tour Guide

If your college is in a city or town with historical landmarks with a lot of tourists, you can become a tour guide. You can create an ideal route for your tours and advertise your services on local tourist websites or Airbnb. In addition, your university’s admission office might be hiring tour guides to show new students around.

7. Offer Moving Services

College towns have a high turnover. Before and after each semester, there’ll be tons of people moving in or out of the city or town. To get started, check out services like Dolly, Craiglist, and Lugg for these types of jobs. On the other hand, you can create a moving group with your friends to earn extra cash on weekends.

8. Pet Sit or House Sit

House sitting and pet sitting are both excellent side hustles. You can advertise your services on Craigslist, Housesitter.com, or Trusted Housesitters to clients.

Apart from pet sitting, you might need to walk the dog and take care of it until the owners return. Some of your college professors might have opportunities to travel abroad, which is a perfect job opportunity for you.

9. Rent Out Your Car

As a college student with a car, you may not use it often, especially if you stay within the school. Instead of parking the vehicle at all times, you can get some paying customers and earn fast cash. Advertise your vehicle on social media or via platforms that allow rent-a-car advertisements.

10. Become a Delivery Driver

This is one of the ways to make some extra cash. A lot of students need deliveries; therefore, it becomes easier to make money by signing up for popular driver apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates. You can deliver restaurant meals, groceries, or mail-order packages and make some extra cash.

11. Sign Up For Ridesharing Sites

If you have a car, this is also one of the ways to make money by driving for Uber or Lyft. These ridesharing services come with a level of flexibility because you only work when your app is on.

What’s better, you can be on more than one app. This way, you can take advantage of the downtime and use the service with more demand.

12. Become a Note Taker

You can turn this side hustle into a money-making venture in three ways. First, you can take high-quality notes in class and sell them to your classmates. You can also consult with the school’s office of disabilities to see if they need note takers for disabled students.

In addition, you can sell your notes on marketplaces such as OneClass to make cash. This side hustle is a good way to ensure you attend classes and make money while doing it.

13. Rent Out Extra Rooms with Airbnb

If you have a spare room, you can sublet it through Airbnb. This enables you to earn an income for space that you are not using. In addition, you can also sublease extra storage spaces such as the basement, attics, or garage. Airbnb is a quick way to earn cash and avoid scammers that come with other renting platforms.

14. Review Apps and Websites

In this digital age, new apps are coming out every day. Companies need reviewers for these apps and websites. You can generate extra money during your free time by writing reviews and participating in focus groups through sites such as Apperwall.

Once you sign up to these sites, you can download and use an app for a specific period of time and write a review. The site will then add a reward to your account that you can redeem.

15. Become a Translator

If you can fluently speak another language, there are tons of translator jobs available that you can do on the side. This is a job you can do in between your classes, in the evening or on weekends.

Search for translator jobs on Upwork or Translators Café to get started. You may be required to pass a test before approval, after which you can begin earning depending on the language and type of project.

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16. Use Your Talent

Whether you are creative or good at technical skills, there’s a way to make money. You can start tutoring music online, sell your art or handmade items on Etsy or offer writing services. Making money by using your talent is much easier because it comes effortlessly and doesn’t take up your school time.

17. Make Money via Social Media

Every aspect of business today needs social media. As a marketing major or a budding entrepreneur, you can build your skill set and make money simultaneously by using social media. For instance, you can start by approaching small businesses within the community and offer to manage their social media pages for a fee.

In addition, social media is a good platform to advertise your services and skills. To reach out to more clients and make money, you can request to place ads on the platforms handled by student groups in your college.

18. Become a Freelancer

As a college student, there are tons of opportunities as a freelancer. Depending on your areas of study and expertise, you can become a writer, graphic designer, editor, or web developer. When you are not busy with classes, you can bid for jobs on sites like Upwork or People Per Hour.

If you have a marketable skill, it shouldn’t be a challenge to get clients. What’s more, these skills will look good in your resume once you graduate. You’ll build your experience as you make cash from your side hustle.

19. Edit Your Classmates Work

If you consider yourself a good writer, this is an area to make money. You can make a side hustle out of editing and proofreading your classmates’ essays at a fee.

Have a rate for all your services and advertise your services in the student portal or dorm rooms to reach more students. Apart from earning you cash, this will improve your writing as you start your career.

20. Coach or Train Kids

For people who are more of athletes and into sports, consider a side hustle as a coach or referee. During your free time, you can visit the local high schools and community centers in the town or city to check for vacancies. Most games are scheduled in the evening or weekends; therefore, they will not clash with your college classes and studies.  

21. Become a TV or Movie Extra

If your college is located in entertainment hotspots such as Los Angeles and New York, you can easily get a role as a TV or movie extra. This is a good opportunity to make money and build your career resume, especially if your major is Arts, Music, or Theatre.

22. Ghostwriting

If you don’t plan to write your own book but have excellent writing skills, why not become a ghostwriter? There are tons of people who need E-books or autobiographies, but they don’t have the time. You can turn this into a side hustle and earn cash to pay for your personal expenses.

Why Do College Students Need a Digital Bank Account?

Now that you’ve made money from your side hustle, what next? You should account and manage all the cash you earn by saving it in a bank account.

As a college student, it’s much easier to work with a digital bank with lower to no fees and high interest rates to boost your cash savings. Here are some of the reasons why you need an account with a digital bank.

  • No Monthly Fees

Digital banks such as Ally, Chime, or Axos have no monthly fees on their savings and checking accounts. This is beneficial for college students because they don’t incur extra costs to keep the money in the bank. Most side hustles bring in little cash initially; therefore, it will not be ideal if you lose all the money from paying bank charges.

  • No Withdrawal Fees

Digital banks also offer free withdrawal services for their customers. Once you deposit your earnings into your checking or savings account, you can withdraw the cash at any time for free. Most of these banks also have a vast network of ATMs to make it easy to withdraw your money near your college.

  • Competitive Interest Rates

If you want to save your cash from your side hustle, most digital banks have savings accounts with a high APY%. The rate determines how much cash you earn from your savings. With these accounts, you can grow your money fast enough and use the money to boost your side hustle.

In addition, some accounts are tax-free. As a college student, this reduces your expenses and the amount of cash you spend on your bank account. Therefore, before choosing a digital bank, you should compare the rates to ensure you get the best deal.

  • Mobile Accessibility

Digital banks are ideal for college students because they are purely based online. You don’t have to visit a physical branch or fill in any paperwork to open an account. Once you download the mobile app, you can start depositing cash and tracking your account activity from anywhere. You can easily build your side hustle without a lot of movement to the bank.

  • Business Accounts

Some of the digital banks provide business accounts that are specifically tailored for entrepreneurs and start-ups. As you build your side hustle, you can take advantage of the benefits that come with a business account to grow your cash. This tool also helps you separate your personal money and business earnings.

  • Better Terms

To open an account with a digital bank, you just need some form of ID and your security number. This makes the process much faster than going to a bank to fill the paperwork. You can also reach the customer support staff when you need to consult on account terms for your side hustle. These banks are friendlier to college students, making it easy to bank with them.

  • Other Investment Options

Once your side hustle starts making more money, you can open an investment account on top of the checking and savings account. Digital banks have accessible investment options that help you diversify into other financial products. Before selecting a bank, it’s advisable to check which tools they have and how you can use them to boost your side gig.

  • Access to Loans

Some digital banks also have some loans with minimal requirements. You can apply for financing to boost your side hustle.


Getting into a side hustle while still in college is a good way to build your finances early in life. You can utilize your skillset and school knowledge to start a side venture that will earn you extra cash. From this list, there are tons of jobs you can take up before, after your classes, or during the weekend without interfering with your studies.

As you build your finances, it’s also advisable to grow the cash. You can do this by saving and withdrawing your money with a digital bank. Unlike the traditional banks, these banks have the perfect rates for college students.

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Current: The Future of Banking

As a Current mobile banking app affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.