22 College Side Hustles your Bank Account will Love

By: Alex Dabek

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2021

College is notoriously expensive. With tuition, food, every day purchases... the expenses never end. 

However, a normal job isn't always possible with a busy school schedule.

But have no fear! If you're a little entrepreneurial, there are tons of side hustles that pay well and won't interfere with your classes.

You just need the right idea to get started. 

Here the 22 best college side hustles so you can make extra money!

Side Hustles On Campus

1. Tutor

Tutoring has been around forever and if you like to teach, it's one of the best side hustles for college students. Why? It pays very well and it has a flexible schedule.

Teaching people also makes you understand the topic better. So not only will you help others and get paid, you will get more knowledgable on the subject which will help your grades.

You can find people to tutor in your school or use an online tutoring platform such as Skooli.com, Tutors.com and many others.

  • How Much Can You Make? Anywhere from $20-$80 hour depending on the subject and your educational level

2. Drive People to their Destination

Rideshare driving might sound cliché... but it's a great college side hustle to make money fast and on your own schedule. Whenever you want to earn, just login to the app and start driving.

Weekends after 10pm or rainy days are especially busy if you want to make extra cash. You can apply as a Lyft or Uber driver if you’re at least 21 and have a drivers license.

  • How Much Can You Make? Estimates are $15-$20 hour but every city is different. If you're in a very big city, there will be more demand so it varies
  • Requirements: 21+ and a vehicle
  • Other: You're responsible for gas and vehicle expenses

3. Deliver Food to your Classmates

College Side Hustles for Students

If you're an introvert and don't want to drive people around, delivering food is the perfect alternative. You can stick to yourself and make money whenever you feel like driving.

There's food delivery apps everywhere so you can do this in any city.

It's hard to know who pays the most money because it's different for every city. So to get started you should Google who pays the most in your area. Popular apps are:

If you want to make the most money per hour, sign up for all of them and test yourself.

  • How Much Can You Make? Typically $15-$25 per hour
  • Requirements: 18+ and a car, bike or motorcycle
  • Other: You're responsible for gas and vehicle expenses

4. Pick Up and Deliver Groceries

Instacart is another food delivery option that's quickly expanding. It differs from the other apps because you need to go into the grocery store and shop for the items.

If you don't own a car, you can also still work for InstaCart. Just sign up as a "shopper" and you'll only prepare orders for drivers.

Related: How to Get Paid to Shop With InstaCart

  • How Much Can You Make? $10-$25 hour. Some people claim to make minimum wage and some claim it's up to $25 or $30 per hour. It ranges based on your city, how quick your deliveries are, and if you're working during peak hours.

5. Buy and Flip Textbooks

Best college side hustles

Textbooks can get extremely expensive - usually $200-$300 each. You can turn this into a side hustle by finding bargains on Facebook Marketplace, library sales, Craigslist and reselling them for a profit.

Books are great items to flip because you can sell them instantly on certain marketplaces and sometimes for high profits.

For example, you can scan your textbooks on BookScouter and you'll see how much it's worth. Plus, it'll show you a list of vendors that will buy from you instantly.

Related: Free book flipping guide by Side Hustle Nation

  • How Much Can You Make? Anywhere from $500-$5000+ month
  • Requirements: A book-scanning app like BookScouter
  • Other: Some people do this full time so the sky's the limit!

6. Flipping Everyday Items

Craigslist and many similar apps have thousands of items up for sale. If you like finding deals or bargaining with people, you can buy products that are in demand and resell it for a higher price.

For example, I used to wait for brand new listings of iPad's or iPhones that were slightly underpriced. Then I would buy it and resell it for an extra $40, $50 or $60. This can be done with any products you find for a low price.

I did this through all of high school and made about $1000 per month. It's perfect for students because it's easy, takes very little time and pays a lot of money per hour. Buy people's stuff, post an ad, make profit and repeat. 

Good places to source products:

  • Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace
  • Resell clothing on Poshmark
  • Find local garage sales
  • How Much Can You Make? $200-$1500 per month
  • Requirements: Some starting capital of $100-$1000 
  • Other: A car is helpful but not required

7. Sell People's Free Stuff

If you have $0 you can still flip items using the free section on Craigslist. On there you'll find couches, TVs, furniture and whatever is valuable.

Think about that... there is literally free money lying around because people have so much stuff! All you have to do is pick it up and post an ad.

Some people even get storage lockers to do this full time.

Related: Read GaryVees guide on flipping items

  • How Much Can You Make? $200-$1500 month
  • Requirements: A big car or truck is helpful

8. Help People Move and Do Odd Jobs

TaskRabbit lets you make money by doing random jobs in your neighbourhood. Popular listings are helping people move, furniture assembly, landscaping, deliveries, home repairs, cleaning and much more.

  • How Much Can You Make? Anywhere from $15-$75 hour
  • Other: You can check Craigslist for odd jobs as well

9. Rent Out Your Vehicle

If you own a car you can rent it out to other people when you're not using it for class. Apps like Turo, HyreCar and Getaround let you do this safely and easily.

  • How Much Can You Make? Turo claims the average car host earns $464 per month. This of course varies on location, what vehicle you have and how much renting you allow
  • Requirements: Turo requires a vehicle from 2006 or newer

10. Collect Bottles on Recycling Day

At a college, there's probably lots of beer being consumed. You can collect the empty beer bottles and turn it in for 5 to 10 cents per beer bottle.

I'm not sure how profitable this is but once a week, everyone puts their recycling out on the curb. I'm sure you can collect a lot of bottles once a week if you have a car and know where to go.

  • How Much Can You Make? 5 to 10 cents per bottle
  • Other: Takes a lot of bottles to make money, but it's also free other than gas

11. Sell Haircuts and Fades

If you can cut hair and give fades you possess a money making skill. Start by getting some supplies on Amazon then tell your friends or roommates. Word of mouth will quickly build until you have lots of clients. The best part is hair grows back so you'll get lots of repeat business. Furthermore, you'll meet lots of new people! 

  • How Much Can You Make? Charge $10-$40 for a cut
  • Requirements: Get the right supplies and make sure you're good!

12. Student Cleaning Business

If you don't mind doing this type of work, you can start a cleaning business by yourself or with some friends. It takes no experience to get started. And let's face it, a lot of students are not clean and would quickly pay for your services!

  • How Much Can You Make? Typically $14-$20 hour

13. Mow Lawns or Shovel Driveways

Snowy driveways and big yards need constant attention. Many people would pay for your services, especially if they know it's helping a student pay for school. All you have to do is go door to door, post some ads online or hand out flyers to get started.

The key is trying to set up a bi-weekly or monthly arrangement. If you can mow lawns for 10-20 houses bi-weekly it starts to add up.

  • How Much Can You Make? Up to $500 per month
  • Requirements: Lawn mower/shovel, maybe a vehicle
  • Other: Try to offer a bi-weekly/monthly service so it's recurring income

14. Give Music Lessons

If you know an instrument, notes, or something specific about music, you can give music lessons to beginners and students. It also pays pretty well if you get a steady stream of clients.

You can post an ad on Craigslist or talk to your local music store to set something up.

  • How Much Can You Make? Typically $25-$75 hour
  • Requirements: Be skilled at a certain instrument

15. Rent Your Unused Stuff

Zilok is a marketplace that lets you rent out your everyday items around the house. Popular listings are cars, power tools, audio equipment, various electronics, outdoor equipment and more. 

If you have certain items that you're not using you can list it, set your price and make money if people rent it.

  • How Much Can You Make? Depends on your items. I recommend browsing the website's listings to see prices

16. Sublet Your Room When You're Away

This works if you're paying for an off campus house. You can sublet your room during the summer months (or when you're not there) and get some of your rent money back. Just make sure it's allowed in your lease agreement and to screen the subletter.

  • How Much Can You Make? Depends on the price of your rent

Best Online Jobs

17. Test Websites

UserTesting is a platform where businesses pay you to test their website. The businesses pay you to check links, see if pages are working and also give opinions about the design.

Each test pays $10 and takes 10-20 minutes to complete. You can earn $30-$60 per hour from the comfort of your own home with UserTesting. No special skills are required either.

  • How Much Can You Make? $10 per test which takes 10-20 minutes
  • Requirements: Computer or phone
  • Other: Usually, there is a limited supply of tests you can take

18. Get Paid For Typing

Sites like TranscribeMe and Rev let you earn money by transcribing audio and video files for business owners. This might be a good job if you're a fast typer. You can set your own hours and work as little or as much as you'd like which makes it a great college side hustle.

  • How Much Can You Make? Typically $15 per hour and up 
  • Other: If you're a slow typer your hourly rate will be lower

19. Sell Your Study Notes Online

If you want to combine school and making money, you can sell study guides, textbook notes and summaries to your classmates - especially if you're a good note taker.

You can sell it through your Facebook groups or platforms like Stuvia and many others.

Make sure to cite your work though so you don't plagiarize and potentially get in trouble.

Read also: Stuvia Review - Should You Sell Study Notes Online?

  • How Much Can You Make? Stuvia says the average earnings are $103/month. This figure depends on your marketing skills and how popular your class is

20. Freelance

If you want to work from anywhere, on your own schedule and gain valuable experience, freelancing might be perfect for you.

Freelancing is a broad topic and expands to any career. You can find gigs that require no experience, or leverage a skillset you already have. Popular categories are writing, social media marketing, videography, programming, customer service and many more.  

You probably have an idea what you would freelance for. If not, you can browse categories on the websites below. Popular platforms to find work are:

When starting out you need to build reviews and testimonials before you really get rolling. Over time it will be easier to get jobs as you build your profile and prove yourself.

  • How Much Can You Make? Anywhere from $10-$100 hour depending on your skill and expertise

21. Answer Surveys (from legit companies)

You won't make much answering surveys but you can make money instantly. The best part is you can do it anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Some places to answer surveys are: 

I recommend signing up for all of them so you can choose the highest paying surveys at any given time. This lets you make the most dollars per hour. They’re free to join and easy to sign up.

  • How Much Can You Make? $20-$200 month
  • Requirements: Laptop and lots of patience!

22. Sell Stock Photography

If you like photography or videography you can make passive income selling stock photos and videos.

If you already have lots of photos you should upload them to Shutterstock and similar sites. Then if someone downloads it tomorrow or 2 years from now, you make money. The key is to add lots of keywords, have lots of photos, and quality photos that people will use.

Shutterstock has paid their contributors more than $1 billion already!

  • How Much Can You Make? You need to think long term with stock photography but you can earn $100-$1000/month if you build a large library of photos/videos
  • Requirements: Camera, knowing how to take good photos, knowing what stock photos sell
  • Other: You can make passive income but it's definitely not easy

Reclaim Money

When the bank account is low, saving money is just as helpful as making money. Here are a few strategies and apps that help you squeeze money back into your pocket. 

23. Scholarships

In terms of dollars per hour, getting scholarships can pay you extremely well. 

Check out Scholarships.com for a massive database of offers. You can look around and apply for the ones you're qualified for. 

If you get accepted, you can get hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars knocked off your tuition!

24. Lower Your Student Loan Payments

What if you could pay less interest on your student loans and potentially save thousands?

That's what companies like Earnest let you do. They give you a more favorable interest rate which means more money in your pocket. So far, the've refinanced $8 billion in student loans already! There's no reason not to check them out.

25. Get Paid When You Shop Online

If you buy school supplies online or do any online shopping, you might as well get paid for it.

Rakuten is a free app that gives you up to 40% cash back from the world's largest online stores like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Ebay and many more. Every 3 months they pay you via PayPal or a cheque in the mail.

If you're going to shop online anyways, there's no reason not to use Rakuten.

The Bottom Line

Whether it's online or offline, there are tons of college side hustles that are easy to start.

All you need is some work ethic and the right idea to get started.

Hopefully you found a good idea in this post!

Now go make some money.