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Hustling for the Side Hustle: How to Make Money as a College Student

Personal finance • February 20, 2020 • Chris Morrison


What you’ll learn

  • Why take-up a college side hustle
  • Where to look for money-making opportunities in college


Side hustles. Commonly associated with working professionals, but now a means for college students to make some extra money while still in school.

One reason for a collegiate side hustle is to help pay down college costs. According to “How America Pays for College 2019,” college students used their income to pay an average of $2,584 towards their education.

So, whether you’re looking to offset college costs or simply have more cash in your pocket, here are seven tips to help you make money while in college:

  1. Get an on-campus job

    On-campus jobs are on point! Not only are they a solid source of income, but they offer a school-friendly schedule designed to accommodate your classes and extracurricular activities. On-campus jobs can include being a lifeguard at the college fitness center, a teacher assistant for a class, a librarian in the school library, or a campus ambassador for new and prospective students. So, if you’re looking for something that can accommodate a busy class schedule, check out on-campus employment options at your school.

  2. Find temp work or paid internships

    Want money without the long-term commitment of a typical job? Look for temporary work opportunities and paid internships! As the name suggests, temporary work is short-term employment. Notable times of the year where temporary work is in high demand include the winter holidays (e.g. salesperson and retail) and the summer months (e.g. camp counselor and lifeguard). However, temporary jobs and paid internships pop-up year-round and can offer more business-oriented options such as temporary accountants, human resource professionals, and management analysts. To find these opportunities, be sure you’re checking out online job websites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed. Additionally, look to local postings in your community by reading your newspaper’s jobs section and networking. Although the jobs may be short lived, the money and experience gained can go a long way.

  3. Tutor fellow students

    Do you excel in a course of study? Then get paid for it! Tutoring can be an excellent side gig for college students looking to make money. Not only does it look good on the resume and connect you with your peers, but tutoring can also yield a nice bit of income each semester. To get started, visit your school’s tutoring services network to see if any employment opportunities exist. Also, who said tutoring had to be in-person? Thanks to the increasing popularity of digital tutoring services, such as Chegg Tutors and Tutor.com, you can now teach students and make money from the comfort of your own dorm room.

  4. Become a resident advisor

    While you may not receive a paycheck for being a resident advisor in college, you will certainly enjoy the amazing cost savings that resident advisors benefit from. By becoming a resident advisor, you can expect to receive free or significantly discounted room and board, enjoy a single room to yourself, and meet tons of new people on campus! In addition, resident advisors get to add valuable leadership experience to their resumes. However, be prepared, being a resident advisor does require a significant amount of time between organizing hall activities, patrolling the halls, and serving as an assistant to your fellow students.

  5. Start a freelancing business

    As the old saying goes: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Starting a freelancing business centered around your passion is a great way to make bank during school. From social media marketing and graphic design to photography and copywriting, there are plenty of freelancing opportunities available to students while still in school. And, the beauty of freelancing is that you are your own boss! You set the price! You control your own destiny! So, be sure to look around campus and in the local community for freelancing opportunities that pertain to your passion. And, who knows? It could even lead you to post-graduate work!

  6. Become a brand ambassador

    In love with a brand? Skilled in social media? Then becoming a brand ambassador may be just for you! With social media now an integral part of how brands connect with the masses, large and small businesses are looking for young, brand ambassadors to take to social media and share the values of their brands. To be successful, you’ll need to have a wide network of social media followers, communicate frequently with your audience, post engaging content that stands out, love the brands you partner with, and clearly demonstrate how you align with the respective brand values. When getting started, look to local and small businesses.

  7. Become a content creator

    Content is king. So, lucky for you, it has never been easier to become a content creator and earn money from it. If video creation is your thing, look to make money on YouTube and TikTok! Today, millions of people create online videos for the purpose of making some extra cash as a content creator. If blogging is more your style, create a successful blog and make money by partnering with products, brands, and businesses.

At the end of the day, college side hustles are a great way to earn money in college! They can also give you valuable work experiences and opportunities to explore what you’re passionate about. So, with that, get hustling!


Chris graduated from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. An analyst for Sallie Mae, Chris is interested in all things college, personal finance, and the Washington Nationals.


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