Making money in college can be a challenge but is almost a necessity these days with how expensive things have become.  Unless you don't mind coming out of college with $50,000 or more in student loans, you'll need to find ways to make money in college.Making money in college can be a challenge but is almost a necessity these days with how expensive things have become. Unless you don’t mind coming out of college with $50,000 or more in student loans, you’ll need to find ways to make money in college.

Trust me, you want to try to keep those student loans as low as possible. Your future self will be immensely grateful to you. I’ve seen friends who had $60,000 plus in student loans, who are still paying those loans back after nearly a decade. It’s pretty crazy!

To help you minimize your student debt, we’ll show you some great and flexible ways to make money in college.

1. Donate plasma

This was my go-to for making money in college. Unfortunately, I used this money for beer rather than responsibility, but it could be a good way for someone to make $300 or more a month.

If you are not afraid of needles, this is the way to make money in college for you. Upon arrival, you will have to go through a short check of your temperature and answer some questions. Once in the back, you can lie on a comfortable bed for the next 60-90 minutes. During this time, you can read, watch a movie, work on schoolwork, or otherwise earn even more money.

There are many plasma donation companies across the country. I donated through Biolife Plasma during my time in college.

2. Drive with Uber or Lyft

If you can bring a car to campus, you’ll need to check out for Uber or Lyft. These companies let you drive whenever you want, so this is a super flexible option for you.

How much do these drivers earn? That depends on your location and the time you can drive. In general, most are said to earn anywhere from $10 to $30 an hour.

3. Get rewarded for your good grades

Some students are so busy that they don’t have time to earn money outside of their studies.

If this is you, don’t be afraid to check with your dean to see if your school offers rewards for good grades. Some universities even give students cash bonuses for keeping good grades.

This can also be an opportunity to improve your scholarships for the upcoming conditions. Don’t be afraid to look for new scholarship opportunities as you progress in your academic career.

4. Research Studies

Many major universities have a psychology department or some even have a medical school. This could be an opportunity to be a guinea pig for a student the psychiatrist students are doing for their thesis or perhaps for a medical exam.

I was able to participate in a psychology degree during my time at Iowa State University. I made $20 for 60 minutes of time. That’s not a bad return!

5. Buy and resell textbooks

I didn’t resell my textbooks to earn some income, but at the end of the term I would sell my used up books to recoup some expenses. Other people are much smarter than me. Some students will find cheap textbooks on eBay, then turn around and sell them for a profit on websites like BookScouter or Amazon.

Do some research at your university’s bookstore to see which books are most needed for classes. Then hunt for that book at a lower price.

6. Teacher

Many universities offer tutoring. If you are good at helping others and there is a subject that you are good at, this might be your way of making money in college. Since you work for the university, they work with your academic schedule.

In today’s world, there are also some online tutoring options, such as Wyzant. Handy if you’re looking for more flexibility or if your university doesn’t have any vacancies.

7. Become a Virtual Employee

Virtual employment is something that has exploded in recent years. This can be a great flexible opportunity for students to monetize their own dorm room. There are many virtual jobs you can try out.

Virtual Assistant: As a virtual assistant, you work with someone else, such as a blogger, to help them complete tasks and stay organized. Transcriber: If you’re fast on the keyboard, you might be able to make money in college this way. Many medical or legal businesses require transcribers to help translate their notes. My sister did this for a doctor and she made a good amount of money. Recruiter: A lot of job recruitment can now be done virtually. Here you help contact potential candidates, post vacancies, screen resumes and other preparatory tasks.

8. Amazon Flex

Speaking of virtual jobs, Amazon also offers a number of online opportunities.

Amazon Flex is Amazon’s parcel delivery service. Drivers can earn quite a bit of money delivering packages for Amazon Flex. Their website claims that most drivers make $18-$25 per hour. That’s much better than what we read about at Uber and Lyft.

9. Mechanical Turk

This is new to me but sounds like a great opportunity. “Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to outsource their processes and jobs to a dispersed workforce that can perform these tasks virtually.” (Amazon MTurk).

Some tasks include basic data validation and research, participating in surveys, content moderation, and more.

To be fair, this could be one I’m trying out for myself.

10. Sell a Skills

Are you good with computers? Are you cunning? Useful?

If so, you can sell your skills. You can charge to repair computers (VAT, that’s how Dell Computers started). Or you can help a roommate with furnishing their dormitory. Maybe a neighbor down the street needs some handiwork. All of these items offer the opportunity to earn some money while you are in college.

You can also start selling skills on Upwork, Fiverr, or any other freelance website.

11. Help in the local community

There are always people who need help in the community that your university is part of. Some tasks include help with moving, lawn care, painting, walking their dog, and so on. The list can go on and on.

Check out Craig’s List, TaskRabbit or even Rover to find out how you can make money in college while helping out in the local community.

11. Fop

Foap is another one that is new to me. Like MTurk, I’ll probably check this one out too.

As a former professional photographer, I am very impressed with the quality of the photos that phones take today. With Foap you can now sell those great photos you take with your mobile phone.

Simply put, this is stock photography for mobile photography. Once you upload a high-quality photo for Foap, someone can license that photo for $10. Foap gets $5 and you take $5 home. If your photo has been downloaded 20 times, you just made $100.

Here are some stock photography tips for you.

12. Working in the retail or food industry

I worked at JCPenny during my last few years in college. Working for a shop or restaurant in a college town is quite flexible. They know how to plan for students and tend to hire people to accommodate students’ schedules.

I worked in the shoe department, so I got an hourly wage plus commission. Some weekends I’d make $200-$300 just off that commission.

I admit, working in retail or in the food industry isn’t much fun, but they will probably get you a consistent salary.


Well, that’s it. Those are the only ways to make money in college!

Just kidding! Does none of these ways to make money in college sound right to you? No worries! Andrew and I have you covered. Over the years, we’ve compiled one of the largest lists on the web of ideas on how to make money. I highly recommend you check it out!

Wallet Squirrel is a personal finance blog by best friends Andrew & Adam about how money works, building sideline businesses and the benefits of investing the profits smartly. Featured on MSN Money, AOL Finance and more!

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