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10 Lucrative Side Hustles For College Students

Most college students have one thing in common: a lack of money. While you might think your only options are to work in fast food, retail, or in the college bookstore, you’re missing out on other huge opportunities. In fact, there are tons of awesome side hustles for college students that don’t involve being “employed” in the traditional sense.

Read to find out how to make money in college without a job.

There are tons of opportunities for making money on the side while you study.

College is a unique place with a unique population. With some creativity and a little work, you can find a way to make some real money quickly and easily.

Make Money in college

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10 Side Hustles For College Students 

Below you will find ten easy ways for college students to make money. For most of these side gigs, you don’t need special skills or qualifications. 

If you are still looking for other ways to make money, check out my list of genius jobs for grad students to make money. 

Do laundry for others

Offer to do laundry for others. Either use their detergent or charge enough to make it worthwhile to use your own. Aside from throwing the clothes in the washer and dryer, there’s really no work or time involved. Study while you wait.

Many dorm rooms are filthy; everyone is used to mom cleaning up after them. For a small fee, you could sweep and pick up. This can be a lucrative service for a few minutes of work. Don’t forget to talk to the fraternities and sororities. They need all the help they can get.

Tutoring can be a great way to pay the bills. Everyone has a subject in which he excels. Find someone that needs your expertise and charge him for it.

Be a designated driver

Offer to give inebriated students a ride home from parties and bars. Charging three people $5-10 apiece comes out to a nice chunk of change for 20 minutes of work. You’re also providing a valuable service and potentially saving lives.

If you have had your license for over a year, you could make even more money driving for a ride-sharing company.

Lyft is one of the most popular ride-sharing companies and hires driver’s all over the US and they offer a $250 bonus for new drivers after their first 100 rides

make money with Lyft

Write a blog about your school

If you can write well, you might be able to create a blog that becomes popular on campus.

Monetize it by selling products or charging for advertising and you can potentially make money in your sleep.

You could write college tips, a newsletter or about anything of interest to college students such as fashion, Spring break ideas etc.

For tips on getting started with your blog, read my tutorial on starting a blog that makes money

Here are three popular blogs about college life:

Dorm Delicious

College Cures

College Info Geek

Collect Cans

This might sound like dumpster diving but collecting cans and bottles on a college campus can be a really easy way to make quick money.

College students go through a lot of cans and bottles.

If you can figure out a clever way to collect them, all you have to do is drive them to the recycling center and pick up your check.

One option is to offer an incentive to people who drop their cans off at your designated spot or to hand out flyers saying you will be round to pick up their empties at a certain time.

How much can you make collecting aluminium cans? Expect to get around 30 cents per pound for aluminium cans.

If you state has a bottle bill (container deposit law) or a buy-back program like The Beer Store in Ontario, you could make exponentially more money – up to 10 cents per can!

You can read more about bottle bill states at

Be a personal trainer

Lots of students want to stay or get into shape, but not all know how to use the equipment at the student recreation center.

You could be a personal trainer and make some easy money.

If you really have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could launch some outdoor bootcamps that are always really popular. Charge $5 or $10 per person and you could find yourself making upwards of $50 for a one hour class. Not bad!

Deliver newspapers

A newspaper route can be pretty good money for the amount of time it takes. If you’re a morning person, this might be a great job and it fits in well with school.

Another take on newspaper delivery is handing out flyers from door to door for realtors and local businesses. Craigslist is a good place to find these gigs.


College art programs are always looking for freelance models, and in most cases, you can keep your clothes on. All you have to do is sit still for an extended period of time.

Do you have lots of amazing tattoos? How about becoming a tattoo model?


Tutoring was my favorite way to make money in college. I “taught” English to foreign exchange students who wanted to practise their English in a one on one setting.

It might sound weird but having been a foreign exchange student myself, it’s actually incredibly difficult to make friends from the host country when you are on an exchange.

Most foreign students end up hanging out with other foreigners which makes learning the language tricky.

You can offer conversation English lessons without formal qualifications and make a nice little side income just for chatting.

It’s also a great way to meet people from other countries and learn about their culture.

Sell your notes

If you take excellent notes, considering starting a little business where you sell your notes to your fellow students.

You might even consider sitting in on some of the larger classes, even if you’re not enrolled. A larger class means more potential customers.

Help students move

Students are always struggling to move to school or back home.

You could offer to help carry stuff either to or from the moving truck. It can pay well and you’ll get some exercise, too.

Likewise, if you have the muscle, this is a great way to make money with your pickup truck. 

Personally I once hired someone to pick up a mattress for me and paid him $80 for 45 minutes of work. I had no other way of getting the thing to my apartment!

This is something that is really in-demand in all areas.

Take Surveys

This is a little money-maker that you can do from the comfort of your dorm in your spare time. Answering surveys for a few hours a week can net you around $100+ a month depending on how much time you devote to it.

For a list of the best bang for your buck surveys read this post: Want To Make Money Filling Out Online Surveys? Ten Sites To Try!

The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to notice what people need and then provide it to them in a way that makes financial sense for both of you. A college campus has a lot of unique opportunities; take advantage of them.

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side hustles for college students