It’s no secret that college is expensive will probably be one of the busiest times of your life. Most college students want to make extra money to cover their expenses, but don’t have the time or energy to keep up with a full-time or even part-time job.
Luckily, there’s the option to earn a flexible income online. If you have a computer and solid internet connection, you can make money in between classes, on weekends and off days, or at all hours of the night to help cover your living costs, tuition, food, and books.
While a majority of college students won’t qualify for well-paying jobs that require a degree (unless you already have a degree), these 12 online income ideas will allow you to start making the extra money you need quickly.
If you’ve always been good at a particular subject, consider working as a tutor to help others excel as well. Some colleges and universities will allow you to work as a tutor on campus to help your peers, but these positions are often unpaid or very low paying.
Instead, you can work as an online tutor and enjoy the flexibility of helping other students during your spare time. Sites like Tutor.com allow you to create your own profile and set your desired rates so you can tutor students of all ages online. For Wyzant, you need to pass a background check and Tutor.com has an application process along with a subject exam and mock tutoring session to determine if you’re a good fit.
If you have a year of educational experience (and it can be tutoring, it doesn't have to be classroom teaching), consider teaching English to Chinese kids on VIPKID.
Selling Items Online
Have any old clothes or items you no longer use lying around? You could probably earn some extra cash by selling them online. In the past, I’ve sold things like clothes, children’s toys, an old coffee table, along with video games and movies for extra cash.
You can get started by creating a seller profile on Amazon or eBay to list your items. Or you can sell it on a platform like Decluttr (you send them your stuff, they pay you immediately and then sell it on their marketplace).
If you are selling clothing, handbags, or shoes, you may even want to consider downloading the Poshmark app to sell your items to a more targeted audience. If you have textbooks, try selling them online via sites like BookFinder, Chegg, and Textbook Rush.
If you prefer to establish a regular income from selling items online, consider flipping thrift store items for a higher profit. You can shop at local thrift stores for clothes, electronics, books, etc. then upsell them online to make money.
Depending on what you’re studying in college, it could require quite a bit of writing. What if you could get paid to write?
By becoming a freelance writer, you can earn money writing articles, blog posts, and other content depending on your interests. I tried freelance writing in college and seriously wish I would have pursued it seriously.
I looked for jobs on Craigslist, then started out writing a few real estate articles followed by some fashion and entertainment features for clients. It was super easy and paid much more than minimum wage.
I remember my first fashion feature article paid $25. New freelance writers can easily earn $50 – $100+ per article though so there is plenty of money to be made. Plus, you have the freedom to choose your rates and when you work.
To get started with freelance writing, I’d encourage you to figure out what topics you’d be interested in writing about first. Then, you can either search for websites and blogs that hire staff writers or pay for guest posts. Here is a list of 22+ websites that pay for guest posts along with how much they pay. It may be worth looking to this course, Earn More Writing, to further your education.
Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the best ways to earn really good money online regardless of having a degree.
Virtual assistants or VAs take on the role of a personal assistant but do all their work remotely. As a VA, you may take on tasks like managing a blog or website and editing content, paying invoices, scheduling newsletter emails, checking and responding to email, sharing social media posts, and scheduling media and travel.
You can expect to earn anywhere from $10 – $15 per hour starting out but most experienced VAs earn $20 – $35 per hour.
If you don't know where to start, check out Gina Horkey's 30 Days to Virtual Assistant Success.
If anyone has ever said something to you along the lines of “No one cares what you think,” they couldn’t be more wrong. Many people care about your opinion and are actually willing to pay you for it.
UserTesting pays you to visit websites and apps and perform a series of tasks then record a review based on your own thoughts and experience.
You’ll receive $10 for every 20-minute video of you reviewing someone else’s website. This is one of the easiest ways to get paid just by being yourself. Userfeel is another site that pays you to test out websites and record your review. They also pay $10 per 10-20-minute video review.
Typing well used to be viewed as a special skill before the use of computers became normalized. Nowadays, all college students need to have solid typing skills if they want to keep up with classes and homework.
Transcribing doesn’t require much experience at all and as long as you can type efficiently and transcribe video and audio content to text, you should be able to pursue online work as a transcriptionist.
You can expect to earn around $15 – $25 per hour working as a general transcriptionist but specific fields may pay even higher. Check out sites like Transcribe Anywhere to get started.
If you’re currently studying graphic design or would be interested in learning the skill set, you could make a really good flexible income by completing design projects for others.
Alison is an online educational platform that can help you learn how to develop and enhance your digital creative design skills.
You can create logos for other on Fiverr, or even design websites for hundreds of dollars or create advertisements and other graphics.
It seems like more and more people are live streaming and getting on YouTube these days. While creating videos looks easy, it can be quite a challenge especially when it comes to the editing process.
According to PayScale, video editors can earn an average salary of $45k per year. Even if you’re only working part-time or picking up odd projects, you’ll still earn more than you would at a local retail job and in less time as well.
You can advertise your services on Fiverr, reach out to Youtubers or look for opportunities on sites like Upwork and Indeed.
Search Engine Evaluator
College students spend an average of 8-10 hours on the internet. To actually earn some money during that time, consider becoming a search engine evaluator.
This is a non-phone job that requires you to conduct research, evaluation, and feedback on search engine results.
Everyone uses search engines like Google and Bing and that’s because they rely on them to deliver relevant results. As a search engine evaluator, your job is to make sure are doing their job correctly.
If you spend a lot of time browsing the internet anyway, this is an easy way to make extra money.
Online Survey Taker
Taking online surveys is a common place to start if you know you want to earn money online but have no idea how to do it or where to start.
Survey companies will pay you for your opinion on various different topics and you may even be able to take surveys from your phone. You must be 18 years old to get started and you don’t need any special skills or equipment to start making money.
Here are a few reputable ones:
- Swagbucks (SPECIAL OFFER: get a $5 bonus when you sign up today!)
- Ipsos i-Say USA
- MyPoints Surveys
Beware of scam sites that either don’t pay out actual cash or never offer quality survey opportunities. Taking surveys won’t make you a ton of money, but it’s a super simple and low-effort way to get started. Plus, you can pair this income stream with a part-time job or another online income opportunity.
Blogging can be a fun way to make money online for the right person. If you enjoy writing and have a lot to say about a topic you’re passionate about, you may regret not starting a blog while in college.
It takes a while to start making money from your blog so I definitely wouldn’t recommend you rely solely on blogging income during college when you’re just starting out.
However, it can be a nice way to diversify your income or even help launch your freelance services. Once you start bringing traffic to your blog, you can earn money from display advertising, affiliate marketing, selling products and services, along with sponsorships and brand deals.
Earning money online doesn’t have to be difficult or a chore. As a college student, you need that flexibility so you can work from anywhere and earn money around your busy class schedule. Start by exploring your interests and skill sets, then do some research and determine a few options that you might enjoy.