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10 Profitable Side Hustles for College Students to Earn Extra Income While Studying

Last updated 03/19/2024 by

SuperMoney Team

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With the rising costs of education, many college students are exploring side hustles to offset expenses. Not only are these opportunities flexible, but they can also offer substantial earnings. Dive into the 10 most profitable side hustles tailored for college students’ needs and schedules.

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A new wave of income: side hustles for students

As tuition fees surge and living costs rise, the traditional campus job no longer meets many students’ financial needs. This has led a significant number of college attendees to explore side hustles—flexible work opportunities that can fit around academic commitments and offer a decent income. With 59% of Generation Z having engaged in side hustles, this trend is on the rise.

The allure of flexibility and earning potential

Side hustles are no longer just about making ends meet. They’re about empowerment, flexibility, and potentially lucrative opportunities. The modern-day college student desires more control over their work hours and tasks. Freelancing and remote roles offer this much-coveted autonomy.

Understanding your side hustle capacity

Before jumping onto the side hustle bandwagon, it’s crucial to assess the time you can genuinely commit. Whether it’s 5, 10, or 20 hours a week, a self-audit ensures you don’t overstretch yourself, balancing both your studies and work.

Match your skills with the hustle

While the allure of high pay is tempting, it’s essential to align your side hustle with your skills and interests. For instance, if you have a way with words, content writing might be up your alley. On the other hand, those with a flair for design might find graphic designing more fulfilling.

The top side hustles for college students looking to boost their bank account

1. Content writer

In today’s digital era, content is king. Whether it’s writing for blogs, magazines, or websites, college students can dive deep into various domains such as tech, health, or lifestyle. Beyond earning, this hustle enriches their research and analytical skills, setting a solid foundation for numerous professional paths.

2. SAT/ACT preparation tutor

The stakes of standardized tests are high, and those who master them have a unique skill set. By tutoring others, students not only aid in academic achievements but also refine their pedagogical skills, preparing them for leadership roles where training and guidance are paramount.

3. Brand ambassador or social media manager

Modern brands seek authentic voices, especially from the youthful demographic. College students, often at the forefront of digital trends, can effectively tailor brand messages. This role not only hones their marketing acumen but also expands their professional network.

4. Virtual assistant

The virtual assistant role has become indispensable in the age of remote work. By assisting professionals across industries, students gain a panoramic view of business operations, enhancing their multitasking and organizational prowess.

5. Graphic designer

Visual content rules the internet. Aspiring designers can seize this opportunity to not only earn but also craft a compelling portfolio, which becomes an asset when venturing into the competitive design landscape post-graduation.

6. Food delivery

The boom in on-demand services has made food delivery ubiquitous. Engaging in this hustle instills a sense of punctuality, customer relations, and logistical planning, invaluable in various future endeavors.

7. Freelance web developer

Every business, from local boutiques to global giants, seeks an effective online footprint. By undertaking diverse web projects, students sharpen their coding skills and learn to tailor solutions to specific client needs.

8. Online reseller

The art of reselling is multifaceted, encompassing aspects of e-commerce, product valuation, and digital marketing. As students navigate this, they acquire a keen understanding of market dynamics and consumer preferences.

9. Pet sitting or dog walking

This wholesome hustle offers more than monetary gains. As students care for pets, they cultivate a sense of responsibility and experience the therapeutic joys of bonding with animals.

10. Fitness or yoga instructor

More than a physical regimen, fitness instruction is about motivation and transformation. As instructors, students learn to communicate, inspire, and lead—skills that are transferable to countless professions.

11. Freelance photographer or videographer

Capturing moments transcends mere aesthetics. By engaging in this field, students not only develop their technical proficiency but also network at diverse events, potentially connecting with future clients or employers.

12. Personal shopper or stylist

Fashion isn’t merely about clothes; it’s about encapsulating personalities. As stylists, students refine their aesthetic sense, interpersonal skills, and learn the intricacies of the fashion ecosystem.

13. Peer-to-peer tutoring

Knowledge-sharing epitomizes the spirit of academia. Peer tutoring reinforces one’s expertise while fortifying the academic community, fostering bonds that often last beyond college.

14. Music or instrument tutor

Music is a universal language, and imparting it is a joy. This hustle not only amplifies one’s musical foundation but also offers cultural exposure and a deep understanding of diverse musical traditions.

15. House or dorm room cleaning

Though humble, this hustle teaches resilience, diligence, and the importance of environment on mental well-being. A clean space often translates to a clear mind.

16. Handmade crafts or jewelry seller

Creativity finds its monetary match in this hustle. It not only monetizes artistry but also offers insights into business aspects like inventory management and customer engagement.

17. Campus tour guide

Being a university’s face is both an honor and a responsibility. This role not only builds confidence and public speaking prowess but also deepens the bond with one’s alma mater.

18. Tech support or IT consultant

Our reliance on technology is ever-growing. This role positions students at the intersection of technology and user experience, enhancing their diagnostic skills and technical know-how.

19. Research assistant

Research is the backbone of academia. Assisting in it exposes students to rigorous methodologies, data handling, and the thrill of new discoveries, paving the way for academic and professional research careers.
The myriad of side hustles available provides college students with golden opportunities to bolster their finances while amassing a wealth of experience. A wisely chosen hustle can strike the perfect balance between earning and learning, enriching the college experience manifold.
Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.
  • Flexible work hours
  • Additional income stream
  • Acquire and refine skills
  • Build a professional network
  • Can be time-consuming
  • Potential for work-study imbalance
  • Initial slow earning phase
  • May face high competition


What side hustles can I do as a college student?

College students today are presented with a myriad of side hustle opportunities that not only offer good money but also align with their academic commitments. Popular side hustles for college students include content writing, SAT/ACT preparation tutoring, and brand ambassadorships. Virtual assistant roles, which require organizational and communication skills, can also be pursued, as can graphic design projects. For those who prefer active tasks, food delivery on college campus provides an option. Tech-savvy students might consider web development, while those looking for more flexible hours could delve into online reselling. For animal lovers, pet sitting offers a blend of fun and income. Fitness enthusiasts might consider teaching yoga or other fitness classes to their fellow students.

What can I do to make extra money as a college student?

The college environment is rife with opportunities to make extra money. Traditional jobs aside, side hustles allow students to set their own schedule and earn based on their passions. Freelancing in areas like writing, graphic design, or web development offer flexibility and decent pay. Those with a firm grasp on specific subjects can provide tutoring services. Pet lovers can earn by walking dogs or offering pet sitting services within the college community. Social media savvy students might look into brand ambassador roles or even manage social media accounts for local businesses, earning a few dollars while building a portfolio.

What is the best side hustle to make money fast?

While the best side hustle can be subjective and depends on individual skills and the local market, some options generally provide quicker returns. Food delivery, especially in busy college areas, often results in instant earnings. Brand ambassador roles for trending products or startups can lead to quick money, more so if you already have a significant social media following. The reselling market, especially for in-demand items, can yield profits in a short time. It’s essential, however, to ensure that the side hustle aligns with one’s interests to ensure longevity and consistency.

How can a college student make an extra $1,000 a month?

Achieving an additional $1,000 each month boils down to combining high-paying side hustles with consistency. Content writing, for instance, at $37/hour, requires about 27 hours of work monthly, translating to 6-7 hours weekly. Students can also mix multiple hustles; for instance, tutoring in a particular subject for a few hours, combined with weekend food deliveries, can accumulate the desired amount. Diversifying sources of income and managing time effectively is key.

How can a 19-year-old college student make money?

At 19, college students are at a prime age to explore diverse side hustles. They can dive into the freelance world, offering services in areas they’re proficient in, be it writing, designing, or web development. Platforms like Upwork or Fiverr provide a starting point. Tutoring services, whether for fellow college students or high school students, can be lucrative. On-campus opportunities, like working with the university’s admissions office to give tours to prospective students, can also be explored. Engaging in physical activities like food delivery or fitness instruction can also bring in decent money.

Are side hustles allowed while being on a student visa?

The rules governing side hustles on student visas vary by country. Typically, many countries impose a restriction on the number of work hours for international students. It’s imperative to consult with the immigration department and your college’s international office before starting a side hustle. Breaching these regulations can have severe consequences, including visa cancellation.

How do I manage my time effectively when juggling a side hustle and academic commitments?

Balancing academics and side hustles demands impeccable time management. Creating a detailed weekly planner, noting down class schedules, study hours, and side hustle commitments can prevent overlaps and burnouts. Prioritizing tasks, setting clear goals, and allocating buffer times for relaxation are crucial. Digital tools, like Trello or Google Calendar, can aid in staying organized. Remember, academics should remain a priority, and it’s essential to ensure that side hustles don’t impede academic performance.

What platforms can I use to find side hustle opportunities?

Numerous platforms cater to different side hustles. Freelancers can explore Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. For tutoring gigs, Chegg Tutors and WizIQ are notable. Delivery services often recruit through platforms like DoorDash, Postmates, or Uber Eats. Additionally, local college boards, social media groups, and community centers might have listings for side hustles tailored for college students.

Key takeaways

  • Side hustles provide a flexible way for students to earn extra income.
  • Choosing a hustle that aligns with your skills and interests is crucial.
  • It’s essential to balance work commitments with academic priorities.
  • Remote and freelance opportunities are particularly suitable for student schedules.
  • Properly managed, side hustles can offer both financial and professional growth.

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