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

Published December 2, 2022
7 min read

Key Points About: Best Side Hustles for College Students

  1. Having a side hustle as a college student can help you cover extra costs without taking out more student loans.

  2. Unlike a full-time job, 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 to employers once you graduate.

College is arguably some of the best years of your life. But with inflation increasing the cost of everything from textbooks to take-out, you may find yourself short on cash more often than you’d like. And with a full schedule of classes, study sessions, and extracurricular activities, it may be difficult to fit in time for a full-time job. You need work that is flexible enough to give you extra cash without the time constraints of full-time employment.
There are many upsides to having a side hustle as a college student. With a side gig, you’ll be able to have a mostly self-determined schedule, making it easier to earn money around your busy schedule. Not only that, with a side hustle you could reduce the amount of extra student loans you’d need to cover your daily spending (and who doesn’t prefer less student loan debt?).

Most lucrative side hustles for college students

Having enough money at the end of the month is a big issue for college students. If you’re like many college students, you may find yourself having “more month left over than money” more often than not, making it challenging to cover expenses.

Because you don’t have time for a full-time job, you need a side hustle that will give you enough extra cash to get by each month. Luckily, there’s a lot that you can do, even as a college student, that’ll make you good money every month.

  • Ride sharing: If you have a car, you can start a side gig using your vehicle. You can use your car to drive people locally, rent out your car to commuters, or even make deliveries if you’re a little uneasy with strangers in your vehicle.
  • Handy-person: If you’re good at doing tasks around the home, then you may want to consider charging for it and getting extra money in your spare time. These tasks can range from assembling furniture to decluttering a garage. You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to pay to have someone else do tasks around their home.
  • Cleaning: If you’re organized and love to tidy spaces, starting a cleaning service is one way you can bring in decent money. Cleaning services are flexible enough where you can just work over the weekend if you wanted. You can charge per room cleaned or by the hour. 
  • Babysitting: Babysitting is a great side gig if you’re good with children. You can advertise your services online and charge a competitive hourly rate for your area. You can choose to work as a babysitter with a consistent schedule or drop in on occasions when parents need a night out. If you’re good with pets, then you can become a pet-sitter or dog walker. 
  • House-sitting: Many people need someone to sit and watch their homes while they are away on an extended trip. House-sitting can help you earn extra money without having to do much work. Housing-sitting can be a great side hustle, or even a summer job when most people are going on vacation.

It’s worth noting that some gigs that you can get as an individual may require you to have liability or other insurance coverage. Do a little research into the specific kind of work you want to do to make sure you are covered for what you might need.

Did you know?

Having a student credit card may help you cover some college expenses. Plus, you get to earn great rewards while building credit with responsible use.1. Find out more.

Most flexible side hustles for college students

Maybe you need a way to make extra money but need to fit your work into a tight or unconventional schedule. There are jobs that allow you to work at any time during the day or night.

  • Blogging: You can make money online by writing niche blog topics and adding affiliate links to your content. Affiliate links is a type of affiliate marketing collaboration that companies do with bloggers to promote their products. With affiliate marketing. You can earn money every time a reader clicks your link to buy a company’s product.
  • Vlogging: If writing isn’t something you enjoy, you can always earn money as a video blogger or vlogger. You can create videos documenting your college experience, tutorials, or even a commentary style channel. By posting these videos on social media, you may be able to earn money through affiliate links. You choose what you want to share and when you want to share it, making vlogging perfect for a flexible schedule.
  • Website testing: It’s fairly easy to get into website testing as a side gig, there are website testing platforms available where you can create an account and start getting paid to review websites. You even do this on your smartphone in your spare time.
  • Reselling items: You can sell almost anything online. Since sales can happen at any time online, reselling your old items is a great form of passive income. If you have textbooks, clothes, or video games that no longer interest you, consider taking them to resale stores or posting them online. If you enjoy shopping at thrift stores, then you can resell your thrifting finds and earn a little extra money.

Resumé-boosting side hustles for college student

Maybe you don’t just want a side gig, you want a career head-start that would also look great on your resumé. You want more than just a money maker; you want a job that has transferable skills relevant to your future career. There are many side hustles for students that could help you land a job after you graduate.

  • Tutoring: No matter what your area of knowledge is, if you have a skill, you’re good at and can teach others, then becoming a tutor can be a great college side hustle. Tutoring doesn’t have to just be on your college campus; tutoring can also be teaching a computer class to seniors at your community center or helping high school students with math homework online.
  • Freelancing: If you have a skillset that you’re passionate about, freelancing may also be a good fit for you. Maybe your career path is within the fashion industry, then you can be a freelance personal stylist. If you enjoy writing, becoming a freelance writer could be the perfect side hustle for you. Being a freelancer helps teach leadership and entrepreneurial skills, both of which look great on resumés.
  • Data entry: Starting a part-time job as a data entry clerk for a local business will provide you with written communication and time management skills that can strengthen your resumé. Data entry jobs can be in an office or remote/online, so check your local job posting boards for one that fits into your schedule. 
  • Virtual assistant: If you want to work in a particular industry after you graduate, you can get a head-start by becoming a virtual assistant in that field. Being a virtual assistant helps you learn valuable project management and organizational skills, and you can do it from the comfort of your home. Plus, you’ll get to learn more about the career field you’re interested in and decide if it’s a good fit for you.
  • Customer service: Customer service jobs could be in a fast-food chain or retail store—but they don’t have to be. You can also do customer service work online as side hustle. Many companies need people to run their virtual help desks and answer customer questions. You can even stay local and answer email or sales inquiries for a small business while working remotely.

How income from a side hustle could affect financial aid eligibility as a college student

While you’re making extra money with your side hustle, you may need to be mindful that the 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). The EFC is a combination of many different factors, including your family’s taxed and untaxed income, and there is a chance that the money from your side hustle can affect these numbers. Most colleges have financial aid advisors; it’s a good idea to visit with one before making a decision to earn extra income.

Having a side hustle can help you earn money while on a tight college schedule. Not only that, learning new skills by working certain jobs could help you find a full-time job after you graduate. But remember, though your side hustle will help you bring in extra cash as a college student, you may still find yourself needing extra funds at the end of the month or wanting a security net in case of emergencies. See how having a student credit card can help you cover unplanned expenses; plus help you builds credit with responsible use.1

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!