How to Make Money Online as a College Student – 7 Best Options

Best Online Jobs and Side Gigs for College Students

If you’re a college student, it’s likely you’re looking for ways to put a little extra cash in your pocket. The best jobs for college students are flexible, easy to fit into your schedule and decently paid.  Problem is, that type of job is hard to find. One way to get around that problem is by doing online work. Online jobs for college students exist, and they can help you start filling your bank account right from home.  How to Make Money Online as a College Student Highlights 7 of Today’s Best Options.

The Top 7 Home and Online Side Gigs for College Students

Our list of ways to make money includes a mix of side hustles, real-world jobs for college students, online jobs for college students and ways to develop an online business.

An online business takes longer, but will make more money over the long run. It’s also a good investment in your future. Take your pick of these moneymaking opportunities.

1. Sell Items on Amazon

Jeff Bezos became a billionaire by selling things online, so why not start with the world’s largest online retailer? If you’re ready to think of a hot-selling item that you can make or get for cheap and sell for a high profit margin, you can probably do well at this.

Over at Tried and True Mom Jobs, where the authors write about programs and courses that actually work, they’ve posted interviews with several people who made excellent money selling as Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers.

These women report making $2000 a month and more on Amazon. They’re doing this while working part-time on flexible schedules. Many of them took an online course from the author of The Selling Family.

2. Become a Freelance Graphic DesignerHow to Make Money Online as a College Student - Graphic Designer

Put your creative skills to work by creating logos, illustrations, brochures and more. You can potentially make between $75 and $250 for each project, depending on how much time and work you put into it. This is a great online side gig for college students studying art or photography.

The best way to start marketing yourself is to build a website that will work as your portfolio. Show the world what you can do and start looking for clients.

You can also market yourself and find project-based work on freelance design websites like:


3. Be a Freelance Photographer

This is another fun, creative side gig that’s different than the usual Uber or pizza delivery gig.

Even in the days of digital photography, people need professional photographers. These photographers are in constant demand for weddings, artist head shots, major business events, family portraits, boudoir photography and more. If you can develop a specialty in one of those, you can start commanding payments that start at $500 a day and up.

You’ll have to market yourself with a website, a portfolio and the ability to travel to various locations. If you’re doing certain types of photography, you’ll need your own studio. Otherwise, focus on traveling to those well-paid gigs.

This is an online side gig for college students that could become a legitimate career when you graduate.

4. Help People Do What They Hate Doing

You may not know this, but there is gold to be made simply doing things that other people hate doing. Back in the days before self-cleaning ovens, I knew a young woman who made excellent cash going to people’s houses to scrub and clean their ovens for them. It was a nasty, dirty job that people were glad to hand over.

Think about helping people with unwanted tasks. These could add up to many different jobs for college students who are willing to get a little dirty. If you don’t mind doing these jobs, you can develop one or more well-paying gigs. Think about:

  • Filling out tax forms: Even people with straightforward, one-page forms can get frustrated with this yearly event. Help them out for a small fee. If you can do more complicated tax forms, you can charge even more.
  • Cleaning: Cleaning houses is a good side gig. Other good gigs are cleaning dog poop out of yards, hauling junk out of basements and clearing debris out of old buildings and yards. If it’s nasty and you can haul it out, get rid of it and clean it, people will call you.
  • Distance driving: Some people hate driving long distances. That’s why there’s a whole new business catering to people who have to move or otherwise travel cross-country. You can do the driving for them while you see the country. It’ pays well, and the people pay for your hotels, food and return trip. This side gig is currently popular with seniors, but there’s no reason college students can’t give it a try.
  • Yard work: Shoveling snow, mowing lawns and weeding are all jobs many people are happy to pay someone else to do.

5. Become a Substitute TeacherHow to Make Money Online as a College Student

Yes, you can become a substitute teacher just like Jack Black in School of Rock. Well, probably not like that, but it’s a surprisingly easy and decently paid side gig. Substitute teachers are always in demand, and it’s a good way to get out in your community.

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need a teaching certificate or any experience to become a substitute teacher. You do need the flexibility to be able to show up when you’re needed and the willingness to travel around your school district.

What are the steps to becoming a substitute teacher? You’ll have to research your state’s requirements. A few require a substitute teaching license.

All of them generally require you to:

  • Be a high school graduate.
  • Undergo a rigorous background check.
  • Learn basic safety training.

If it sounds appealing, contact your state’s department of education to learn how to get started in your state.

6. Become a Virtual Assistant

If you’re well-organized and enjoy a wide variety of tasks, work as a virtual assistant (VA) could be a great side gig. Ideally, you should have some experience as a clerical or administrative assistant. At the very least, you should be familiar with the most up-to-date office software.

Most VAs work for several clients at once. You can stick to basic assistant tasks like making appointments and travel arrangements, doing light research, data entry and proofreading documents. Other VAs do more advanced, complex tasks like customer outreach, email management, website maintenance and managing complicated projects. These VAs are more like executive assistants who command interesting projects and very high pay.

7. Start a Profitable Online BusinessHow to Make Money Online as a College Student

These online jobs for college students can help you get some money right now, but can they help you build a long-term business?

With a good website, the answer is yes.  If you take another look at the first six suggestions, you’ll see that they will all benefit from a good website.  Give people the help they need finding you by posting:

  • portfolios
  • before and after photos
  • how-to articles
  • your theories and philosophy about your work
  • testamonials from satisfied clients
  • anything else you choose to add that will help you and your business stand out from the crowd.

There’s no need to resign yourself to a 9-5 grind for 30 or 40 years.  Your own online business will let you be as portable and flexible as life demands!

Starting your own online business will allow you flexibility you never thought possible.

Check out my #1 recommendation for building an online business. They provide wonderful hosting, amazing tools, and teach you everything you’ll need to know.

Here’s a small sample of the over 100 things I’ve learned so far:

  • A fast, easy way to build a website.
  • How to use WordPress.
  • What keywords are and how to choose the best.
  • How to write posts people will want to read.
  • How to use social media to your best advantage.
  • Why being indexed by Google is important, and how to make it happen.

More Benefits

You’ll also find a community of like-minded individuals who understand your dream, and want to see you succeed. You’ll  never be alone in your journey, with access to live mentoring and a superior site support department that never sleeps.  Someone will be with you every step of the way.

Over one million helpful folks there have discovered that it’s a great resource for learning how to promote:

  • yourself
  • your aspirations
  • your special concerns

It’s the place where I’ve learned everything you see on this website.  You’ll have everything there that you need to start yur own sensational business!

Best of all, you can get started today at no cost or obligation. Why wait any longer to build the life you deserve?

Learn How to Make Money by Proofreading Content

12 thoughts on “How to Make Money Online as a College Student – 7 Best Options”

  1. Hi

    You have presented a whole smorgasbord of options for the student to help into earning money whilst studying  in college. I think all of them are achievable as long as it does not impact too much on your studying and your energy levels.   You do not want to stretch yourself too thin. It is best to concentrate  in one area, and not to have too many and get yourself too confused and lacking time for both your studies and your side gig. 

    I really appreciate your effort and can see that college students can do this, if they are prepared to set aside some time to do this. It is really hard for young people today as there is a serious lack of opportunities.



    • Hi Antonio,

      I’m glad you agreed that the ideas I presented are achievable.  You brought up a good point.  It’s important not to spread yourself too thin while working and going to school.  

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  2. Nancy, your article is so enriching. I hope to learn more from your sight because even mature people, not only college learners, can make a better life if they listen to your advice by studying how to make money online. Many thanks also on the aspect of becoming a substitute teacher, and I strongly believe many students can accommodate that especially when it comes to their area of expertise.
    Though I am not a student, I’d go for online marketing with Amazon. I usually did marketing during my college days, and that was how I made my little cash.
    Thanks for sharing Nancy.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my article.  I tried to include something that most everyone would find workable and interesting.  

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  3. I never knew that you could actually make money by doing things that people hate doing the most. And I would have probably made a lot money if I had come across this article two or three years back. I will be going for the online business, because it can offer long term profit the best.

    • It sounds funny, but there are lots of people willing to pay someone else to take care of jobs they can’t stand.  I read the other day about a woman who had a nice part-time job based on cleaning other people’s ovens!  I’m with you, an online business is a much better option!

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  4. Thanks Nancy for such great article – I wish had found something like this back at the university. I was struggling with money, doing the odds jobs.   But, my patience and skills were limited, and I needed cash, so I ended up giving up(my biggest mistake).  

    I guess because of our mentality we believe the only way to earn an income is through hard work. Did you started your online business while teaching? 

    To be a great teacher you need to have a great deal of patience in dealing students. Do you feel your Wealthy Affiliate experience will help you succeed online? Teaching is supposed be a rewarding career, but often neglected. Do you agree? 

    I wish you all the success,


    • Hi Josmilion,

      Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.  I’m sorry to hear that you had to give up on your university dream.  

      I did begin my online business while I was still teaching.  I don’t know about other countries, but in the U.S., teachers have a number of holidays that allow extra time to get a website up and running.  I definitely agree with you that teaching experience can be a real benefit in getting and online business established.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!


  5. Well I take note that some of your suggestions do not directly fit in with online work except that the person may advertise himself online. I would agree though that some college students would find some of them really helpful. I like the idea of selling with Amazon. The small commissions on Amazon can be a deterrent, but for a student, this should not pose much of a problem as over time it can add up. By the time he leaves college – depending on when he begins to sell – he can really have a good passive income coming in.

    • Hi Russell,

      Yes, while it’s true some of these jobs aren’t specifically online, in today’s world, these businesses must have an online presence to thrive.  I also like your comment that suggests selling on Amazon is a long-term proposition.  If a website is old enough, and the student targets the right items, he, or she, can enjoy a nice passive income for many years to come.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!

  6. The fact that I have come to learn something tangible from this post is satisfying. The make of your website is nice and the simplicity of the color selection makes it beautiful. Having to do affiliate programs can really help a lot and Amazon offers really flexible affiliate programs for college students.

    • I’m glad my article provided good information for you…that’s always my goal!  Thanks too for the kind words.  Affiliate programs are an excellent way to build an income, whether you’re a college student or anyone else looking to add extra income to a bank account.

      Thanks for joining the conversation; I appreciate it!


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