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 huge part of building your long-term career goals. However, making ends meet while studying is hard. Whether you’re fresh out of high school or you have been in the system for a while, the drill remains the same. 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, you may need to know all the top saving hacks. First, however, you need a source of income to save money.

Here are a few practical ways to make some extra dollars in your spare time.


Most colleges have their mini economies. They have an independent ecosystem, so to speak. This means 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 is a good way to make money. Take advantage of subjects you’re good at! Check with your school’s employment office and hang a flier in the library or post on community message boards to get clients. You can also use a good social media presence to drive traffic.

Editing and Proofreading Papers

Another good way to make an income is to edit and proofread 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 may either charge an hourly rate or use page numbers to determine your fee and get going.

Residence Advisor

A quick way to earn an income is to apply as a residence advisor in your dorm. You will be responsible for creating a community environment and providing good peer support. An added advantage is that this role reduces the cost of your room and board.

Campus Tour Guide

You can also 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.

Teaching Or Research Assistant

If possible, apply to be a teaching or research assistant at your school. Ask your professors or faculty staff about any programs. You may even be able to earn college credit, and at the very least, you will be immersed in school work.


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 can choose hours that suit your study schedule and work in the evenings and weekends.


If you are physically capable, becoming a mover is a great way to earn decent money quickly. You can contact local moving companies looking for extra hands or post online yourself. Since college students are always moving, this is a stable line of work.


Pet-sitting is often in demand. While you may live in a dorm, families near your dorm house may need a pet sitter or house-sitter. You can find customers through online forums or hang flyers in local cafes. As your client list builds up, you can also count on word-of-mouth recommendations.


Take advantage of your skills to make some freelance money. Freelancing offers you the unique chance to call the shots and adjust your work rate according to your schedule. Online websites such as Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer are great ways to market your skills in writing, editing, photography, animation and others. If you have a passion project, upload this as part of your starter portfolio. This will help clients gauge if you're a good fit for their work.

Paid Internship

Depending on your degree and your current level of study, you are probably looking into internships. Internships can be free or paid. While paid internships are usually competitive, they are a great way to combine your education with skills and make some extra income.


College is the right place to begin to seek financial freedom. However, this can be hard when combined with school work. While traditional part-time jobs are more popular, they are way less flexible to your needs. You should treat this decision with the seriousness of picking a career. More importantly, you need to be aware of the minimum wage increase to avoid getting cheated. Explore your options above and start to make money!