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18 Side Hustles for College Students

two young people walking dogs as a side hustle for college

When you need to earn some money, but a part-time job doesn’t fit within your college schedule, it might be time to develop a “side hustle” — a flexible gig that can help you earn cash in your spare time. Keep reading to discover 18 of the best side hustles for college students.

Adapted from 1FBUSA’s blog

When you need to earn some money, but a part-time job doesn’t fit within your college schedule, it might be time to develop a “side hustle” — a flexible gig that can help you earn cash in your spare time. Keep reading to discover 18 of the best side hustles for college students.

1. Tutoring students online

If you are especially strong in an academic area — such as math, chemistry or foreign languages — sharing your knowledge with other students as a tutor can be rewarding and well-paying. Online tutoring companies often have short-term and part-time openings and allow you to work from the comfort of your own home or dorm.

2. Selling stuff online


Selling new or used items online — anything from gently worn clothing to handmade crafts — can be lucrative. Today, you have the option of listing items on popular e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay, as well as sites specializing in specific types of items, such as Depop or Poshmark (clothes), DeClutter (electronics), and Out&Back (camping year).

3. Dog walking

Dog walking offers an enjoyable and easy way to earn money while in college. This flexible side hustle is perfect for pet lovers or students who enjoy exercise and the outdoors. To start building a clientele, you can advertise your services on your social media accounts or community bulletin boards. In addition to earning a modest income, dog walking can be a great way to get exercise and alleviate college-related stress.

4. Flipping furniture

Furniture flipping involves buying used furniture and refurbishing it to sell at a higher price. You can find pieces at thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces. To get started, you’ll probably need to purchase some refurbishing supplies first, such as sandpaper, paint remover and paint. Upcycling furniture can be a money-maker, but it might not be feasible for students living in small, shared dorm rooms because large ventilated areas are typically needed to store and refurbish furniture.

5. Detailing cars


If you like cars, consider starting a car detailing business. Car detailing typically includes interior deep cleaning, exterior cleaning and decontamination, paint correction and ceramic coating.

You can often kick off a detailing business with a few car cleaning products, microfiber towels, vacuum cleaner, and some detailing brushes. Start by detailing cars for friends and family to gain experience.

6. Selling digital products

If you are knowledgeable about a subject, hobby, or activity, you might try selling digital information products, such as eBooks or online courses. Or, if you are a musician, photographer, or artist, you might create digital music or stock images that you can sell.

What’s great about this side hustle is that these products can be created once and sold multiple times. Just make sure you understand your rights to such products, particularly if you sell them, if they’re not trademarked or otherwise protected.

7. Delivering food

If you have a car, another convenient side hustle is being a delivery driver for online platforms like GrubHub, UberEats, or DoorDash. Delivery gigs are usually flexible and let you choose hours that suit your schedule. For example, if you need more time to study one particular week, you can usually limit your hours without penalty.

8. Blogging

Creating a blog that is both engaging and profitable requires patience, dedication, and consistency. However, it is an investment that can pay off significantly over time. If you’re unsure of what your blog should be focused on, start by considering your hobbies or interests. Some potential niches include baking and cooking, fashion and style, or wellness and fitness. To monetize your blog, you can sell ads on your page or use affiliate links. You can also collaborate with companies to create sponsored content that aligns with the company’s brand.

9. Being a referee


Being a sports referee can be a fun way to make money while staying actively engaged in a sport you are passionate about. Students can generally balance the job with college classes because games and meets are usually held at night or on weekends.

To become a referee, you usually need to pass a certification exam and stay up-to-date on the sport’s latest rules and guidelines. You’ll also need good decision-making, conflict resolution, and communication skills since working with young athletes, parents, and coaches can be challenging at times, especially in highly competitive leagues.

10. Providing music lessons

If you play an instrument, you might consider giving lessons to students at your college and in the surrounding community. You’ll be able to share your love of music with others, while gaining valuable teaching experience and earning some money.

11. Freelancing

Freelancing offers students a flexible, self-employment option during college – and the chance to gain real-world experience before graduation.

If you want to try freelancing, select a niche that aligns with your skills and interests and an industry that relies on freelancers. These industries include web design, writing and editing, coding, marketing, proofreading, and graphic design, among others.

You will usually need to show potential employers a portfolio of your work and establish an hourly or per-job pay rate. To find freelance work, take a look at freelancer-focused job sites such as FlexJobs or Fiverr.

12. Participating in focus groups

Participating in a focus group is a great way to share your thoughts or opinions about products and earn money while doing it. A focus group brings people together to provide candid feedback to a company about a new or existing product or service. Some focus groups will require you to meet in person, but many groups are held over online platforms which makes them especially convenient for college students.

13. Being a Brand Ambassador


A brand ambassador is someone who promotes a company’s brand in a positive light and engages with customers. If you have a strong social media presence and a genuine enthusiasm for certain brands, this might be a good side gig for you. Some brand ambassadors work exclusively online, posting positive content on social media about a company’s products or services. Others may educate consumers about products or services at live events. College students have a unique opportunity to excel in this role because a college campus can be an ideal place to promote a brand or product quickly.

14. Taking surveys

Companies and organizations are continually looking for feedback on their products, services, and initiatives. You can provide this feedback by completing online surveys from the comfort of your dorm or apartment.

Several websites specialize in matching survey-takers with surveys based on their interests and demographics. Depending on the length and complexity of a survey, you can anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars.

15. Cleaning houses

The ability to maintain a clean house is not a universal trait, and some people may struggle to keep their living spaces clean. You can help and earn money by vacuuming, dusting, mopping, doing laundry and other cleaning chores for neighbors, friends and others in your community. Boost your credibility on social media by sharing positive feedback and ratings from satisfied clients, and you may soon be running a successful house cleaning business.  

16. managing social media 

If you have experience managing social media accounts, you can offer your services for a fee to local businesses and others who might want help with their social media accounts. You may be asked to create content, engage with followers, and help grow a business’s online presence. Providing social media services can provide you with valuable skills in marketing and communication, can give you the opportunity to network with professionals in various industries, and can often be done remotely, making it a flexible option for students.

17. Being a rideshare driver

Driving for rideshare companies during college can offer the opportunity to earn a decent income, without having to commit to a full-time job. As a driver for companies like Uber or Lyft, you will likely meet new people and improve your customer service skills. In addition, you’ll have control over your own schedule and the rides you choose to accept. This freedom can be empowering for students who may be used to more rigid work schedules.

18. Being a virtual assistant

As a virtual assistant, you may be called upon to assist with a wide variety of tasks, such as email management, scheduling, or research. Since this is a service that can be done from home or your dorm room as well as in between classes, it can be a flexible and practical side hustle for college students.

Side hustles can be easy ways to make money in college. Before you commit to one of them, consider the effort and time commitment each one requires. At the end of the day, the goal is to choose a side hustle that matches your interests and works with your schedule. Adding a side gig to your college commitments can help you bridge the gap between financial aid and the cost of attendance. More importantly, a side hustle can help you gain experience and skills to set you up for success after graduation. 

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