Earn Passive Income

From Broke to Thriving: How to Make Money in College

May 31, 2024

College life is an exciting four-year adventure filled with many new experiences, academic knowledge, and the occasional financial challenge. That's why most college students find themselves asking, “How can I make money in college?”

Dear college student, we have some good news for you! There are numerous ways to earn extra cash while taking advantage of your student life.

Whether you’re a college student looking for freelance work, on-campus jobs, flexible off-campus opportunities, or various ways to make money from your laptop, this MystNodes article will provide you with the best strategies to boost your personal finance while balancing your class schedule.

Benefits of Part-Time Jobs for College Students

Part-time jobs offer more than just an opportunity to earn extra cash. They give each college student valuable work experience, help build a professional network, and improve time management skills. For many college students like you, these jobs are a stepping stone to your future career.

Moreover, part-time jobs often have flexible schedules (sometimes you can even set your own schedule!), making it easier to fit them around your class schedule and social engagements. Additionally, odd jobs can help students make more money by providing additional income streams.

Make Money in College

The Best On-Campus Jobs for College Students

On-campus jobs are convenient and often have perks like student-friendly hours and close proximity to your classes. Here are some of the best options:

Become a Teaching Assistant

The first on-campus professional opportunity on this list is becoming a teaching assistant. It's a fantastic strategy to expand your understanding of a particular subject while earning money. Professors hire students to help with grading, conducting study sessions, and lecturing occasionally.

In the United States, the earnings of teaching assistants (TA) can vary depending on several factors, including location, institution type, and level of education.

TAs earn about $13.56 per hour, with typical hourly wages ranging from $10 to $18. This equates to an annual salary that generally falls between $20,000 and $37,000, depending on the hours worked and specific responsibilities of the role

Sell Your Old College Papers

Graduate students often accumulate a wealth of academic papers and projects during their studies, many of which are high-quality and can be valuable resources for other students.

In your spare time, pick out the papers that have received high grades, positive feedback from professors, or covered topics that are commonly studied. Papers with thorough research, comprehensive analyses, or unique perspectives are more likely to attract buyers.

One critical detail! Don't forget to ensure that selling your papers complies with your institution’s academic policies. Plagiarism and academic dishonesty are serious issues, so be clear that your papers are intended as study guides and references, not for submission as original work.

Start Freelance Writing

If you're looking for freelance work, try your hand at freelance writing. This on-campus job idea is excellent if you have a knack for putting your ideas on paper or have strong writing skills. Writing articles for a living is a fantastic approach to earning money and developing your writing abilities, which will also be helpful in the classroom.

You won't become rich overnight, but seasoned writers can charge anywhere from $50 to $150 for their written content creation. Moreover, your fees will rise with your experience. There are plenty of topics to write about: you can help fellow students write their papers, help prospective students with their applications, or write articles for businesses and magazines.

Offer Tutoring Services

If you excel in a particular subject, offering tutoring services to fellow or high school students can be a lucrative way to make good money in college. This not only helps you earn extra money but also reinforces your own knowledge.

Tutoring can also be extended to prospective students preparing for college entrance exams. College students looking to make extra money can greatly benefit from offering tutoring services. On average, you can expect to earn between $20 and $30 per hour when tutoring high school and middle school students or fellow college students.

The hourly rates can vary depending on the subject matter and your level of expertise. For instance, specific subjects such as advanced mathematics and science and test preparation for exams like the SAT or ACT can command higher rates. Tutors can earn between $45 and $100 per hour, and in affluent areas, rates can go as high as $300 per hour for experienced tutors.​

Work at Your Campus Recreation Center

Campus recreation centers regularly hire college students for various roles, such as front desk attendants, fitness instructors, and maintenance staff. These jobs usually take place on your college campus and offer flexible hours, which fit well with your class schedule and allow you to meet and network with fellow students.

Participate in the Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides college students with part-time jobs to help cover educational and living expenses. These jobs are often on campus, making them convenient and flexible to fit around a student's class schedule.

Earnings from work-study positions do not affect financial aid eligibility, allowing students to earn money without reducing other forms of aid. Furthermore, the program offers valuable work experience that can enhance a student's resume and future job prospects.

Become a Research Assistant

If you're a college student interested in academic research, becoming a research assistant can provide you with income and valuable experience. Research assistants work on college campuses, working closely with faculty members on various projects and gaining insights into their field of study.

This role is not only for making money. It enhances your personal finance and your resume and can provide solid recommendations for future academic or career pursuits. Research assistant positions often have flexible hours that can be adjusted around your class schedule, making them practical and beneficial jobs for college students.

Begin Data Entry Work

Data entry work is a straightforward option for extra cash that offers flexible hours and the ability to work from home. Companies regularly need help organizing and inputting data into their databases, spreadsheets, and other systems.

With basic computer skills and attention to detail, you can secure data entry jobs through Upwork, Freelancer, and Indeed. This type of work is ideal for fellow students seeking a low-stress, consistent income stream. Data entry tasks are usually repetitive but can be done on your personal schedule, making it an accessible and reliable way to earn extra money.

Most data entry opportunities are in-person gigs or remote work, depending on your preference!

Start Taking Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is a convenient and flexible way for college students to earn money online. By signing up for reputable survey sites, completing your profiles accurately, and regularly checking for new survey opportunities, you can make the most of this opportunity.

While you won't make too much money and may not replace a part-time job, online surveys are an easy way to supplement your income and gain a bit of extra spending money. Here are our recommendations for some of the best websites for making money from surveys:

  • Swagbucks: Earn points, known as Swagbucks, that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards by taking surveys, watching videos, and participating in various online activities.
  • Survey Junkie: A well-known survey site offering points that can be converted to cash via PayPal or gift cards.
  • Pinecone Research: A high-paying survey site that often focuses on product testing and consumer opinions.
  • Vindale Research: Pays cash for surveys, product reviews, and watching videos.
  • Toluna: Offers a variety of surveys and pays in points, which can be redeemed for gift cards or cash.
The Best Ways to Make Money in College

The Best Off-Campus Jobs for College Students

Wondering how to make money in college outside of your stuffy dorms? If you prefer to venture off-campus, plenty of opportunities offer flexible schedules and good pay.

Try Pet Sitting

Pet sitting and dog walking are excellent options for animal lovers to earn money. These jobs typically have flexible hours and can be a great way to earn money while enjoying the company of pets. As a pet sitter, you'll look after pets in their own homes, ensuring they are fed, exercised, and given plenty of attention.

Depending on the owner's needs, this role can include overnight stays, daily visits, or extended stays. Platforms like Rover and PetSitter.com make finding clients looking for trustworthy caregivers easy. Pet sitting allows you to enjoy the company of various animals and provides a flexible way to earn some fun money, all while helping pet owners have peace of mind.

Try Selling Online Courses

Another college work opportunity on this list is creating content for digital courses! Are you good at math, graphic design, coding, baking, or knitting? Make an online course showcasing what you've learned and earn extra cash! How's that for a suggestion to make money in college?

To begin earning money, you need to pick a niche or subject you are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about. Once you've decided on a topic for your online course, you can start organizing your knowledge and creating captivating content like printable PDF files, quizzes, and video lectures.

Break tricky concepts into accessible knowledge chunks, then share your knowledge-filled online course on online platforms like Coursera, which allows you to sell online and generate extra money!

Offer Dog Walking Services

Starting a dog-walking business is an excellent part-time job for animal lovers who enjoy spending time outdoors. Dog walking is a great way to stay active and allows you to earn extra cash while bonding with dogs.

You can offer your services to busy pet owners in your neighborhood or use platforms like Rover to connect with clients. You can build a loyal client base and enjoy a steady income stream by providing reliable and loving care.

Market Research Participating

Participating in market research studies is one of the best odd jobs to make money. Companies pay students to share their opinions on products and services. This can be done online or in person and usually doesn’t require a significant time commitment.

Help Local Businesses

Many local businesses hire college students for part-time positions. Roles can range from retail to administrative support, offering valuable work experience and a chance to connect with the local community.

Become a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistant roles are a great way to make money online from the comfort of your dorm room. Tasks may include managing emails, scheduling appointments, and conducting client research.

Try House Sitting

House sitting allows college students to earn money by taking care of someone's home while they are away. This often involves tasks such as watering plants, caring for pets, and ensuring property security.

It typically provides flexible schedules, making it a convenient option for students balancing coursework and other responsibilities. Additionally, house-sitting can include free accommodation, further reducing living expenses.

Where Can College Students Find a Job?

Finding a job as a college student can be straightforward if you know where to look. Here are some effective methods to kickstart your future career and earn more money!

  • Campus Job Boards: Many college campuses have job boards that list on-campus and off-campus job opportunities. These boards can be found online or in career services offices.

  • Online Services: Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and specialized student job portals offer numerous options for jobs online. You can filter these by part-time, full-time, and remote options to find a job that fits your schedule.

    College Ave Student Loans is also a valuable resource for students looking to manage their finances and pay for college expenses through financial aid.
  • Local Schools and Businesses: Connecting with local schools and businesses can also lead to job opportunities. Networking with professors, alums, and local business owners can open doors to various roles.

  • Paid Internships: Paid internships provide college students with a valuable opportunity to earn extra money while gaining practical experience in their field of study. These positions often offer competitive wages that can help offset tuition costs and living expenses.

    Additionally, the professional skills and networking opportunities gained during a paid internship can lead to higher-paying job prospects after graduation. Overall, paid internships serve as both an immediate financial benefit and a long-term investment in a student's career.


Balancing work and studies might seem challenging, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. By exploring on-campus jobs like teaching assistant roles, tutoring services, and recreation center positions or off-campus opportunities like pet sitting, market research studies, and freelance writing, you can make money in college without sacrificing your academic goals.

Utilize campus job boards, online platforms, and local networks to find the perfect part-time job that fits your needs and helps you thrive financially during your college years.


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Frequently asked

How to Earn Money for College?

Earning money for college can be achieved through various methods, such as applying for scholarships, working part-time jobs, and participating in work-study programs.

Scholarships and grants are ideal as they don't require repayment and can significantly reduce financial burdens. Additionally, consider freelance work or internships that align with your field of study to gain both income and experience.

How to Make Money at School for Students?

Students can make money in school by taking advantage of on-campus job opportunities, such as working in the library or student center. Participating in paid internships or co-op programs provides valuable experience while earning an income. Additionally, starting a small business or offering tutoring help can be a great way to make extra money and enhance entrepreneurial skills.

Can I Get Paid to Go to College?

Yes, you can get paid to go to college through various financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Scholarships and grants provide money that does not need to be repaid, effectively paying you to attend school. Additionally, some colleges offer stipends or living allowances for students participating in certain programs, internships, or research assistantships.

How to Make Money Fast as a College Student?

To make money fast as a college student, consider gig economy jobs like food delivery, ride-sharing, or freelance work that pay quickly. Selling unused items, books, or clothing online can also generate immediate funds. Participating in paid surveys, focus groups, or testing new apps and products are quick ways to make money in college.