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5 Smart Ways to Make Money as a College Student

  •  Freelance writing/editing is a great way for creative individuals with solid language skills to earn extra cash.
  • Tutoring can be lucrative, especially when tutoring math, science, or languages.
  • Online surveys and research studies are easy to make money without much effort.
  • Selling crafts and artwork is an excellent option for those with an eye for design.
  • Part-time jobs offer flexible hours and work-from-home opportunities.

Making money as a college student can be tricky. With class schedules, textbooks and other expenses to worry about, it’s hard enough to make ends meet, let alone put some extra cash in your pocket. But not all hope is lost! There are plenty of ways to make money while attending college or university — you just need to know where to look. Here are five smart ways for college students to make money and still have time for classes and studying.

1. Freelance Writing or Editing

Freelance writing and editing is an excellent way for creative individuals with strong language skills to earn extra cash. In today’s digital age, small and large businesses require written content for their websites and marketing materials. To land a gig, start by researching companies that offer freelance writing/editing services and creating a portfolio showcasing your work. You can also look for job postings on sites like Upwork or Fiverr to find potential clients looking for writers.

2. Tutoring

Tutoring is another great way to make money while in college. If you’re strong in particular subject areas, you can quickly market yourself as an available tutor and get paid to help others learn and understand the material better. Many universities have tutoring centers where students can sign up as tutors, but private teaching is also an option if you’re willing to hustle a bit.

Here are the most profitable subjects to tutor:


Math can be a particularly lucrative subject to tutor, as many students struggle with it and are willing to pay for extra help. If you’re good at math, you can spend time tutoring elementary-level math through calculus and statistics. With an understanding of the material, patience, and a willingness to explain complex problems in more accessible language, you’ll make money fast doing something that comes naturally to you.


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Science is another wide-reaching area where students often need assistance to succeed. You don’t have to possess deep knowledge of every scientific concept; even a basic understanding of one or two branches (such as biology or chemistry) could qualify you to tutor students in that area. Tutoring sessions can range from helping a student with a single assignment to studying for a major exam like the SAT subject tests.


Tutoring in languages can also be a very profitable option for college students. Students may need help with spelling, grammar, pronunciation and comprehension of their target language. Offering to tutor students for fluency tests such as the IELTS or TOEFL can also be a great way to make some extra cash. Familiarizing yourself with the rigorous International English Language Testing System (IELTS) can give you an edge when helping students prepare for their tests.

Test Prep

If you’re adept at taking standardized tests like the ACT or SAT, you can work as a test prep tutor to help other students prepare for those tests. Preparing for college entrance exams differs from the usual high school curriculum, so many students require assistance to perform their best on these crucial tests. Instead of teaching content or concepts, your job would be to help them understand and navigate the structure of the exam itself.

3. Online Surveys and Research Studies

Online surveys and research studies are easy for students to make extra cash without putting in too much effort. Market research companies offer surveys, focus groups and other activities that pay participants for their time and opinions. While it may not be the most lucrative side gig, it’s definitely one of the simplest ways to make money as a college student.

4. Selling Crafts and Artwork

woman standing in art gallery in front of paintings

If you have an eye for art and design, selling your crafts or artwork is a great way to make some extra money. There are many online marketplaces, such as Etsy, where creative entrepreneurs can showcase their products and get paid. You can also offer custom designs, such as wedding invitations or party decorations, to reach more potential customers.

5. Part-Time Jobs

Finally, part-time jobs and summer jobs are always an option for college students looking to make extra money. Many employers offer flexible hours and even work-from-home opportunities that are perfect for students with busy schedules. There are a variety of part-time jobs available depending on your skill set and interests — you just have to do your research and apply.

To Wrap Things Up

Making money while in college doesn’t have to be complicated — as long as you know where to look. By taking advantage of freelance opportunities, tutoring services, online surveys, selling arts and crafts, or even part-time jobs, you can easily make extra money while still having time for classes and studying. As a student, it pays to be resourceful — so consider these five clever ways to make money as a college student.

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