How to Earn Income as a College Student

Posted on Thursday 28 June 2018

This article is part of our Finance Hub.

Going to college is a great way to further build towards your long-term career goals. However, whether you’re fresh out of high-school or not, making ends meet while studying can be hard.

Balancing study hours, living costs and student loans leaves most college students with pretty massive debts that need to be repaid as soon as possible.

With so many things to do as a student, there are also many practical ways to make some extra dollars in your spare time.

On campus

Most colleges are their own mini economies. They have their own ecosystem so to speak. So there is a good chance that you won’t have to look too far to find a decent paying job. Some of these include:

  • Tutoring other college or local high-school students. Take advantage of subjects you’re good at! Check with your school’s employment office, hang a flyer in the library or post on community message boards.
  • Editing and proofreading papers for your peers. Many students are desperate for another set of eyes to check their essays, especially if English isn’t their first language. You can charge an hourly rate and get going.
  • Apply to be a residence advisor in your dorm. You will be responsible for creating a community environment and be a peer support. This role often reduces the cost of your room and board as well.
  • Become a campus tour guide for prospective students and visiting academics. Plus, you’ll get to really know your campus and will gain a strong appreciation for your institution’s history.
  • Apply to be a teaching or research assistant at your school, if possible. Ask your professors or faculty staff of any programs. You may even be able to earn college credit, and at the very least will be immersed further into your studies.

Off campus

You may not want to spend all your time at college or want to make extra income from sitting at your laptop. In that case, there are many quick ways to make money online and locally.

  • If you have a reliable car and are a confident driver, you could become a driver for Uber or Lyft. You will be able to work hours that suit your study schedule, and be able to work evenings and weekends when not in class.
  • If you are physically capable, becoming a mover is a great way to earn decent money quickly. You could contact local moving companies that are looking for extra hands, or post online yourself. College students are always moving, so it's like having regular customers all the time.
  • While you may live in a dorm, there are surely families nearby that may need a petsitter or house-sitter. Try online forums or hang flyers in local cafes, and when you have a few clients you can count on word of mouth recommendations.
  • Take advantage of your skills to make some freelance money. Online websites such as Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer are great ways to market skills such as writing, editing, photography, animation… the list goes on. This is especially great if you already have passion projects that you can use as a starter portfolio.
  • Depending on your degree and your career progression, you are probably looking into internships. While they can be competitive, paid internships are a great way to combine your education with your own skills and make some extra income.

Of course, traditional part time jobs are a favorite of college students, but the hours and flexibility can be hard to balance with study. These money-making tips will hopefully open your options up for ways to make some extra income so you can decide what's best for you.