College students find ways of earning extra money, like babysitting or helping in part-time roles, to help pay for their studies.

Best Side Hustles for College Students

Last Updated: December 3, 2023
2 min read

Key points about: side hustles for college students

  1. A side hustle can help you cover extra costs without taking out more student loans.

  2. A side hustle allows you to make money while juggling your college schedule.

  3. Your side hustle can help you gain skills that would look good on your resume.

College is arguably one of the best times of your life. But with tons of expenses, you may find yourself short on cash. And with a jam-packed schedule of classes, study sessions, and extracurricular activities, it may be difficult to fit in a full-time job, too. Students need flexible work that provides extra cash without a full-time commitment.

Benefits of college side hustles

There are many benefits to having a side hustle as a college student. With a part time job, you could make your schedule and reduce the extra student loans you’d need to cover daily spending. This way, you can minimize your student loan debt.

Once you have a steady income, consider applying for a student credit card. The Discover it® Student Credit Card can help you build credit with responsible use1 and even help earn rewards.

Top side hustles for college students

If it's hard to cover your expenses and you want to generate more income, a side gig could be the way to earn extra cash. 

Think about any valuable skills you have so you can find the perfect side hustle for you. The best hustle idea for you would fit your schedule, put your skills to use, and help you get some extra cash

If you have a car, you could use it to earn income. You could drive people locally, rent your car to commuters, or even make deliveries if you’re a little uneasy with strangers in your vehicle.

If you’re good at handiwork, you may want to consider doing it for extra money in your spare time. Tasks could range from assembling furniture to decluttering a garage. You might be surprised how many potential clients are willing to pay for help around the house.

If you’re organized and like to tidy spaces, starting a cleaning service is one way you can bring in extra cash. You can charge per room cleaned or by the hour.

Babysitting is a great side hustle if you’re good with children. You can advertise your services online or on a social media platform and charge a competitive hourly rate for your area. If you’re good with pets, you could become a pet sitter or dog walker.

House sitting can help you earn extra money without having to do much work. You might even be able to study or work on your online course while house sitting. Housing sitting can be an excellent side hustle or summer job for students since many people go on vacation.

Did you know?

The Discover It® Student Chrome credit card can help you cover personal expenses and build your credit history1 while you’re building your education. Plus, there’s no credit score required to apply.2

Some gigs may require you to have liability or other insurance coverage. Do a little research into the specific work you want to do to ensure you're covered.

Online side hustles for college students

If you want to make extra money and work online, consider a part time job that matches your skills and allows you to work with a flexible schedule. 

You can make money online by writing blogs and adding affiliate links to your content. Affiliate marketing is a collaboration some companies do with bloggers to promote products. With affiliate marketing, you could earn money when readers click your link to buy a product. If you don't have your own blog, freelance writing could help you build writing skills. Some companies need support with content creation, like writing social media posts, or social media marketing. So, if you're interested in writing, freelance writing could be a good hustle idea for you.

You can earn money as a video blogger or vlogger if you're a content creator. Try creating videos documenting your college experience, or tutorials, and you could make money through affiliate links. You may even learn social media management skills by posting these videos on social media. Plus, younger students may learn something valuable from your videos.

It’s simple to get into website testing as a side gig. Website testing platforms may pay you to review websites and take online surveys. You could even do this on your smartphone in your spare time.

Reselling old items is a great form of passive income. If you have old textbooks, clothes, or video games, consider posting them on an online store or social media platform.

Career-building side hustles for college students

If you're looking for a gig that would look great on your resumé or your advisors gave you career advice to get a job with transferable skills, a career-building side hustle may be best for you. Try talking to fellow students to practice networking and ask if they know of opportunities to earn good money and build your skills.

While you’re building work skills, you can also build your credit with responsible use with a Discover student credit card. This could help set you up for a future with a good credit score, lower interest rates, and higher credit limits.

If you have a valuable skill and can teach others, becoming a tutor can be the perfect side hustle for you. Tutoring doesn’t have to just be on your college campus; for example, tutoring could be teaching classes to seniors at the library or helping high school students with homework. Better still, consider starting a tutoring service with other students.

If you have a skillset that you’re passionate about, freelancing may be a good side hustle. Being a freelancer helps teach leadership and entrepreneurial skills which look great on resumés.

Starting a part time job as a data entry clerk for a local business could teach you communication and time management skills that can strengthen your resumé. Data entry jobs can be in an office or remote and could have flexible schedules.

Get a head start by becoming a virtual assistant in your desired field. Being a virtual assistant helps you learn project management and organizational skills, and you can do it from your home or dorm room.

If you're looking for a job opportunity with a flexible schedule, an online customer service job could be one of the best side hustles for you. Many companies need people to run their virtual help desks and answer customer questions, even remotely.

Does a side hustle affect student financial aid eligibility?

Be mindful that income from your job could affect your financial aid eligibility. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines your financial aid eligibility using your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). According to the U.S. Department of Education, EFC combines many factors, including your family’s taxed and untaxed income. There's a chance that the money from your side hustle can affect these numbers. Most colleges have financial aid advisors; visiting with an advisor before deciding to earn extra income is a good idea.

Next steps

You may also be interested in

Share article

Was this article helpful?

Glad you found this useful. Could you let us know what you found helpful?
Sorry this article didn't help you. Can you give us feedback why?

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback

  1. Build Credit History (Student Card): Discover reports your credit history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build your credit if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact your ability to build credit.
  2. Based on the preceding 12 months of Discover Student credit card application data, applicants without a credit score may qualify. You must meet other applicable underwriting criteria. When we evaluate your creditworthiness, we consider all the information you provide on your application, your credit report, and other information. If you have a credit score, we may use that in our evaluation.
  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.