Extra Money for College Students – 31 Ways You Can Make Money In College

August 13, 2008

Being in college is often synonymous with being flat broke – but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 31 anyone-can-do-it plans to help you make extra money in college:

  1. Get a job – There are plenty of places on, or near your campus that will hire college students. Because they regularly work with students you can expect them to be willing to adapt to your study schedule and even your time off of school.

  2. Have a digital camera? Sell stock photography online – If you’ve always enjoyed taking pictures then why not make a little money off of them? You can sell your images online to places like Dreamstime.com. You’ll make money every time someone downloads your image, and most places will even let you retain part of the copyright.

  3. Get Paid to Write Online – Can you write well? If so, there are plenty of places online that are willing to pay you to write for them. Check out this site – they list new jobs every morning, Monday – Friday.

  4. Be a tutor – If you excel at English, Math, Science or any subject at all, you can be pretty sure there are other students who do not! Set up your own tutoring service and charge for it. You can also offer tutoring sessions online via chat rooms.

  5. Donate Plasma – If you can stand getting your blood drawn then you can do some good and earn some money at the same time. Most places will let you donate once a month so you can pick up an easy $35 to $45 this way.

  6. Check to see if you have any unclaimed money – Most states have searchable online databases where you can quickly check to see if you have unclaimed money..

  7. Sell Tickets to Your School’s Sporting Events – College basketball and football tickets can be hot items, and students usually get first pick. Buy a couple of extra tickets for big events and sell them to friends and family.

  8. Get into a paid internship or a work-study program – If you qualify you can earn money and college credit at the same time.

  9. Recycle bottles and cans – If you’ve ever taken a peek into a campus trash can then you’ll know it’s a haven for discarded aluminum cans and plastic soda bottles. You could even get a few friends to go in together on this and split the profits. You’ll be cleaning up your campus, helping the environment, and making money all at the same time.

  10. Take Odd Jobs – Put the word out with your friends and family. Let them know you are available to mow their grass, house / pet / baby sit, do light housework, plant flowers, whatever they need. You will be really surprised at how much money you can make doing this. You can set your own hours too, so it will never interfere with your school work.

  11. Be a “Fixer-Upper!” – If you can repair computers, leaky faucets, drafty windows or anything else that breaks you can make money doing it for others.

  12. Find out what people want and sell it to them – This could be as simple as running to Walmart and picking up cheap colas and chips and re-selling them, or as complex as installing radios and helping other students turn their cars into hybrids to save on gas.

  13. Hit up the Sorority and Fraternity Houses on Campus – Ask around and find out if they will let you come in once a week and clean for them. By pitching that every member “would only have to donate X amount” a month you could make quite a bit of money just from swishing and swiping a few toilets. It’s a great way to get social introductions too.

  14. Sell Things on Ebay or Craigslist Make a habit of visiting yard sales, estate sales, auctions, and going through your own garage. Then list your finds online and sell them. You can generate a nice secondary income from this once you learn what you are doing.

  15. Take on Seasonal Work: Shovel snow, rake leaves, plant flowers, wrap gifts. You could even put together a list of cheap, “must have” items each season for men and women of different age groups. Then, sell those lists for a dollar or two a piece. Who wouldn’t love to have a quicklist of cheap gift ideas that their Aunt Fanny, little brother, or Mom might want for Christmas?

  16. Capitalize on the Holidays – If you know Valentines Day is approaching, get together with your best guy friends and offer to be the person that picks up all the flowers / chocolates and cards that they need. They give you the money, and you deliver it to them – minus a small fee of course!

  17. Build a Website or a Blog – If you enjoy being online this one is easy to do. Get signed up with Google Adsense, Amazon.com’s Affiliate Program, and Linkshare, just to name a few. You may never make a ton of money doing this, but you will probably earn enough to buy a few extra cups of coffee each month.

  18. Flip Websites – If you are really good at building websites, then consider doing that as a side job. For more information on how to get started flipping websites check out this site, and this site.

  19. Be a Personal Trainer – Most campuses have free gyms for students – but not all students know how to use the equipment! Stick up some flyers, and hang around the gym. You can offer your services as a spotter, and instructor, to those up -and- coming gym rats.

  20. Check out your school’s Psych program, and volunteer to take part in their studies – If you are willing to let them pick your brain or study your latent Oedipus complex, you could make a fair amount of money each month.

  21. Offer to be an assistant to your professor – Some departments will hire students to assist professors in grading papers, making photocopies, doing research etc.

  22. Look for on-campus jobs – One of the biggest and best ways to make money in college is to look for an on-campus job. Check out the library, be a security escort, or even a parking attendant. Many of these jobs come with discounted tuition so they are snapped up quickly. If you can’t manage to get a job on campus your freshman year, decide what you want to do and start lobbying for it – find out how to sign up so that you can get a good deal on your tuition the next year.

  23. Deliver Newspapers – Yes, it’s early in the morning, but you can make several hundred dollars a month delivering newspapers. It’s also safe to assume that your hours will not conflict with any of your class schedules!

  24. Sell Your Video Game Accounts – If you love playing online games and you can level your characters or make gold quickly, then you can make a decent amount of money doing it as a side business. Besides, learning to set the prices of online auction houses is an excellent compliment to an economics class!

  25. Become a Model – Campus Art Departments usually need models, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be naked to do it – mostly they want you dressed, and sitting, standing, or posing.

  26. Run a Car Wash – Get together with some friends once a month, hold a car wash, and split the profits.

  27. Create a Calendar – If you belong to any on-campus organizations, offer to create a yearly calendar for them. You can have them printed cheaply online, and sell them at a profit. Donate a portion of the profits to the organization, and keep the rest.

  28. Sell T-Shirts – If you have a witty idea for a T-shirt you can design and sell it on Zazzle.com. Tell everyone you know about them, and you earn a percentage of the sale when they log on and buy one.

  29. Teach a Mini-course – Everyone at college is there to learn, and if you have a specific skill like writing, power-leveling video game characters, flipping websites, even water skiing or knitting, then chances are other students would be willing to pay you a small amount to learn that skill. So, set up your own mini-instruction course, meet twice a month and charge a reasonable fee.

  30. Take Notes in Class and Sell Them – You’re sitting in class and taking notes anyway, right? Offer to sell your notes to your classmates. Many students who take notes on their own would still be willing to buy yours if you organize them well. After all, you may catch something they missed, and an extra study aid is always valuable before a final. This is one way to make money and good grades at the same time!

  31. Work your network – When you need extra money, start by talking to the people you know. Find out if they know anyone who is hiring, or if they have any creative ideas for making money.

Be sure to check out other articles in the series on the best banks for college students, decorating your dorm room on a budget, and the best student credit cards. Make sure to come back tomorrow for ways to have fun in college without spending a lot of money.

This list of ways college students can make extra money is part of the College Student Money Guide.


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72 Responses to Extra Money for College Students – 31 Ways You Can Make Money In College

  • Allen W.

    You mentioned donating plasma. I am a manager at a plasma donation center. You can donate twice a week, and we pay up to $60 per week, or $240 per month. We also have special fees for new donors where your first 5 donations you get $50 each donation.

  • Solav

    Many college students are turning to network marketing for income. It’s really working for many.

  • Mike

    Lots of great ideas on here! I hadn’t ever thought of the cleaning a sorority or fraternity idea. I’m sure they would be all over that if they don’t have a house “mom” already! Good stuff!

  • Estevan C.

    I like how your first suggestion was stated so bluntly. “Get a job”, i laughed and thought you were just trolling people at first. Great List as well.

  • mark dark

    Another best way to earn college money is joining the best high paying GPT sites by I’ve been using them programs for about 3 years and earned $9000 and other free prizes from them one of the best site that I’m using now I make $20 a day of it by doing easy free offers like 2 page ones, downloading games, quizzes and much more. Offers are 90% rate payout which is awesome!!!

  • Charles R

    Writing articles is a great way to make money. Also site flipping.

  • Chris H

    Pretty sweet ideas.

  • Kat

    I’ve had a lot of luck getting paid for the notes i take in class.It’s great because i get paid for something i would be doing anyway!

  • Amy

    I think Cashcrate’s one of the best online survey sites I’ve joined, it’s only my third day and I’ve already made some money

  • Kay

    I am a college student in Chicago. I have been trying to find a way to earn money fast, and I found a fast and easy way to make money in my spare time. Its called cash crate.

    All you do is fill out some forms, and get paid. Super easy, and takes just a few minutes.

  • Justin

    This list is a pretty nice reference, but in this day and age, I believe some of these opportunities no longer apply. I am a 21 year old Chemical Engineering major and I have applied everywhere in my town for jobs. I have not received a single call about jobs. I have even been to temp agencies and sat through 4-hour sessions at them and have never been called again. The on-campus jobs are great opportunities, but they are limited by how many hours you can work per week.

  • Bill

    I earn money the old fashion way by staying at home and doing random surfing and it doesn’t hurt at all.I must say that when I first went to the Swagbucks website, I was a little confused and somewhat skeptical. It mentioned things like being a “premier rewards site” and a leading online search engine. But if they were a search engine, then how does one generate the rewards from? And why have I never heard of them? Well, it turns out that Swagbucks is indeed pretty legit.

    It’s amazingly simple. You just sign up and you can either go to their website each time you want to gain points for surfing the web, or you can just download the Swagbucks toolbar and do your searches from there.

    Then each time you do a search using the Swagbucks search engine, you gain Swag Bucks which are good towards a wide variety of prizes, including everything from GPS systems to memorabilia to gift cards to actual cash via PayPal.

    During the writing of this review, I installed the Swagbucks toolbar on my computer at home. At the completion of this review, I had already gained 410 Swag Bucks! Now, I’ve only got 40 to go before I can get a $5 Amazon gift card!

  • Jack Berger

    Check in with your local Post Office, UPS, and/or FedEx carriers. More likely than not, they have open positions for short-term summer workers. I spent 3 summers working for the USPS as a “casual carrier”, and not only had a great time working with great people, but…it’s a government job, meaning, I made quite a bit of money for work that wasn’t really that hard.

  • tatyana

    i have the perfect site for college students who want some entertainment or cash. basically how ur getting cash is that you sign up with valid information, complete a one time offer that you can cancel anytime you want, then finally refer others to the same thing.

    how their able to send out this is that they get paid thru their sponsors. because when you and ur referrals complete the offer, the offer company send money to the freebie company trainn and they use that money to buy your gift or send u cash!!!

  • Marlene

    Great ideas! I think surveys are a good way to earn some extra money. Theyare indeed very boring, but being a college student myself I need all the extra money I can get. I starting working with paid survey sites about a month and a half ago. Since then I have been able to make close to $200. I know it does not sound like much, but it was easy to make.

  • Samantha

    I dont know if anyone else has said this yet but you can make a LOT more money off of plasma than this article lets on. You can give plasma two times a week, not just once a month and usually the going rate is 20 for the first time and 30-45 the second time in the span of the week that you give. In other words you can make 50-60 dollars a week doing this and there isnt a limit (other than only twice a week) that you can give. That right there can get you around 240 in extra cash for every month, provided you keep at it and go twice a week.

    • Karen

      I tried this and NO ONE will pay for plasma in my area. Is there a place to get the list of places that will pay. Furthermore they made me feel awful that I would even ask if I can get paid that it’s a civic duty.

  • Tim

    Internet marketing is an excellent way to earn money while in college. This will take time to build, but if done right, can work! Freelance writing, web design, and even sites like Zazzle.com are good suggestions.

  • abbey

    I’m in college and have a full time job so for the little amount of time and effort it takes, I think taking a little time to do online surveys is worth it. It’s free to sign up and they give you a list of websites and how much you earn to take their survey. i made $30 in the first day but I found that the surveys can get SUPER boring! Here’s the website I use. It’s been totally legit and I really did get a check.

  • Pedy

    College is such a waste of time… all the money i’ve spent on it god knows what i could have done with… After all i better find a good paying job once i graduate or i’ll be pissed… College makes you broke and it sucks to be broke……

  • Sarah

    One thing I do that saves beaucoup bucks is buying my textbooks online. I go to the first class of the semester to see if I need the edition listed or if an older version would be okay (teachers are often very flexible; they don’t like expensive textbooks any more than we do). Then I go to amazon or half.ebay.com and get the cheapest one in the best condition I can find. At the beginning of the next semester, after I’m all done with my textbooks, I look up the class time and place for the same course and teacher, and after their class gets out I offer to sell the book to whoever wants to buy it. Students always buy from me because I just finished taking that same exact class (with the same teacher), and I can honestly tell them that I got an A grade using that book. Not only do I avoid paying an insane amount of money for textbooks every semester, I usually make a small profit as well.

    Another thing that saves me a helluva lot of money is getting bread, cheese, and deli meat from the grocery store (Walmart is cheapest where I live) and making 40 or 50 sandwiches, putting them in plastic bags, and freezing them. When I leave for school at 8am, I grab one and put it in my bag. By the time noon rolls around it’s completely defrosted. I also love soda, so I buy a 12 or 24 pack at the store and bring one with me everyday. I just got a 24-pack at Walmart yesterday for $5. That’s about 21 cents per can. The vending machines at school charge 75 cents per can. For all 24 cans, I am saving myself $13! As far as the sandwiches go, getting food at school is about $5 for a meal. That’s what it cost me for a pound of turkey, enough to make 30 sandwiches.

  • Randy Gauthier

    I just love articles like this that lift people up and give them creative ways to earn money online. Great ideas in this article I have emailed them to my niece that is currently in college and could probably benefit.

  • Sarah

    Another option is to sell your textbooks back, or collect textbooks from your friends. This seems obvious, but most people don’t even think about it because the college bookstores at most schools are a rip off, but there are a lot of good sites out there, like bluerocketbooks or chegg

  • Mike

    max out a credit card and never pay it back

  • JD

    Wow another article with the exact same info that any college student (or anyone else) with half a brain already thought of. Most of the suggestions are scraping for pennies or a complete waste of time. Aside from escorting or stripping one of the few ways college students can earn an immediate, significant income is by becoming a webcam performer.

  • Sarah

    I just discovered Education Giving (http://www.educationgiving.org). They match students in need with generous donors who get a tax deduction for giving to us. Every student should be signed up. This site is pretty revolutionary.

  • jorge

    A simple way is to make $20-$50 today, and $50-$200 within a day or two.

    The greatest benefit of this program is that you make money online in a timely manner. Most people online search for ways to make money quick or instant. As a lot of people approach the internet in a time when they are quite desperate

    But this time, I would like to help the people that aren’t so smart with blogging and aren’t so keen on writing for money. In fact. If I would look at the figure of 97% of all internet bloggers that fail online, it would appear that most people are gross when it comes to blogging!

    • mike

      hey, i was reading your comment here and wondering about more information on how to make extra money in college

  • R. Wiggly

    I don’t know if anyone has already said this or not…but selling accounts from online games and whatnot (WoW, etc) is illegal.

  • Anonymous

    great great you should make more i love the websites i didnt know they existed 🙂

  • Natasha

    Very good article. It can be very hard for college students especially with all the time that is needed to study. There is always hope.

    N. A. Davies

  • Anonymous

    stupid shit duhh

  • Luis F. Valle

    I strongly believe that college students should look into Internet Marketing to find ways to make money in college. Creating your own online business from your dorm room, apartment, frat house, or computer lab, can reward you with many sources of income while you spend your four years studying. Look into Internet Marketing!


    Luis F. Valle

  • Steven M.

    You should definitely include DollarDrip.com somewhere within this article. It seems to be the best option for college kids nowadays.

  • Howard panes

    I think those are very creative ways to make money at college. Our model is a little different. We think selling energy shots on campus right now could possibly put the most money in your pocket at $15.00 per box. Its 2.5 redbull in 2 ounces and the kids get hooked and it tastes great.

  • Kevin

    Great list..i will save it and past it on to my great great grand kids.

  • Julia

    If anyone is considering #24, be careful–a lot of the games I’ve played specifically tell you in their Terms of Services that selling accounts/items/gold/etc. for real money is illegal.

    • Toni

      I’m not sure I even understand #24. So are you if you play on the freebie gaming sites or just online gaming Accts with PS or Xbox. Where would you even sell your account?

  • jen

    this is so dumb, I freaking went to projectpaypal.com and now they wont leave me alone.

    i hate projectpaypal.com

  • Eric

    Nice list. I give away a free report on my site also listing great ways for college students to make money. There are plenty of ways to make money in college, but the hard part is doing it without interfering with your classes. Good luck to everyone trying to scrap some extra cash together during college.

  • Michael

    I got #32 — A new ecommerce site just went live that virtually allows you to sell anything digital. Sell homework notes? Sell tutoring sessions? You get the point. Just a heads-up…

  • Paige

    To stretch # 30 a little farther, you can also upload your notes to Knetwit. They give you Koin for uploading your notes which can be redeemed for cash or prizes.

  • Eric

    Great tips…along the lines of #3 get paid to write online, I do surveys. I belong to the Beggars Fraternity at Loyola and we started to find legitimate paying surveys that makes us extra coin. I just cashed out of all the survey programs I completed in November and thus far I made about $150 through my paypal…still waiting for some checks in the mail. that can help me go out. It seems easy enough and I dont have to go to a stupid mall job or work study.

  • Jeff@MySuperChargedLife

    I love articles that empower people to better their lives! In fact, I’d like to share one that I wrote that your readers may find useful:

    50+ Resources To Legitimately Raise Your Income

    Great article! I hope you find mine useful too.

  • Ben

    Vanessa, I think it depends on how helpful your notes were. It they could save people a lot of time I bet people would pay no problem. Especially two hours before the test : )

    tdoggie – we just hired a guy who paid his way through undergrad playing poker online. I guess it just depends on how good you are at poker.

  • tdoggie

    ya i know people who have also lost a lot on online poker and got scammed, not worth the hastle

  • Vanessa

    Selling your notes may be a good way to make money, but it is also a good way to make enemies. Most students are happy to share notes between friends/classmates and would be insulted that you are offering to sell them yours (suggestion that yours are superior enough to be worth it).

  • Steve

    Great post. These are all great ideas for students. I just emailed this article to my daughter.

  • Connie Brooks

    @ Ellie – wow, twice a week? That is awesome. I would definitely do that. You get to help people out and make a nice chunk of money at the same time.

    @ Trik – sorry you didn’t like the list, but thanks for taking the time to leave us a comment!

  • Ellie

    The place by me allows people to donate plasma twice a week, so 60 bucks a week. Thats a lot of money, that can pay for gas!

  • Trik

    over 20 of your “ideas” are just getting jobs this list is retarded

  • Connie

    @ Beatrice and Momma – Thank you so much for passing the article along, that is awesome! I hope it helps! I remember college being tough as far as money goes, maybe it won’t have to be for them.

  • Momma

    Great list! I’ll be passing that along to my daughters too.

  • Ben

    Funny you should mention that Bruce, we just interviewed a guy that paid his way through college by playing poker online.

  • Beatrice

    This is such a great list! I have to pass it along to my niece, she’s really struggling. Another free resource is the InvestTalk podcast, has great advice about money and also you can call in and get questions personally answered.

  • Connie Brooks

    @ Bruce LOL. Yes it does look that way, doesn’t it?

  • Bruce

    How about “play poker online or offline”? Isn’t that wat all college kids do nowdays. It sure seems that way by what you see on TV!


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