It’s a simple fact of life that college students are skint. From tuition to books, a place to live, food, and spending money, there’s typically not much left at the end of the day — never mind at the end of the week, month or year. We’re here to remedy that with some side hustle ideas for college students.
We know it’s important to make some extra money whenever you can.
But it’s not like you’ll get ahead with those typical part-time jobs for students. They, like most entry-level jobs, require you to be present and working at the times that you’d likely be in class or studying. And if you spend all your time working, you could end up jeopardizing your education.
Instead, you need side hustles tailored specifically for college students that work with a flexible schedule.
Most regular jobs will cap you at minimum wage for long shifts. Who’s got time for that with everything else going on at school? A side hustle is something you should be able to do in your spare time. Perfect for college students that want a little extra spending money in their pocket.
Besides, if you get in on the right side hustle, you could turn it into a career with much more potential than that dead-end, entry-level job you’re going to college to avoid.
Benefits of Starting a Side Hustle in College
For college students that want something more than minimum wage, and without an equally terrible job to match, a side hustle represents an opportunity to bring in more cash. But it can also help you with so much more than just that.
Not only will you be developing skills that you can lean on for a lifetime, but you’ll also be getting professional, real-world experience that you could never get at a traditional job.
And during this time, you can decide whether a traditional career truly is right for you.
Networking Without Even Realizing It
As you work on your side hustles, you’ll notice that you’re inadvertently building a network of professional contacts, which you’ll be able to leverage once you are out of school. Without realizing it, the network you built could actually help you pivot to a full-time working professional with opportunities that you would never get working at the local bar or restaurant. Alexandr Wang used these networking opportunities to become the youngest self-made billionaire.
What is it that they say? Lots of hard work plus luck equals opportunity. Something like that.
Well, that’s what you’re doing with these side hustles, aren’t you?
Teaching Yourself To Be An Expert Outside Your Degree
The third benefit of a side hustle is that you’ll be learning about the industry and the market should you want to break into it at some point. That in itself can help you prepare for life outside college as you start your career.
Rather than learning those important lessons when there’s a lot more at stake, you’ll be learning while making money in your spare time. Better to fail early than later.
Best Side Hustles for College Students
Because of the existing online gig economy, you don’t need an initial network of clients to start making money on the side. In fact, you can sign up for various services and start making money almost quite immediately.
Here are a few side hustles perfect for college students to get started on:
1. Food Delivery Driver
You won’t be building an empire as a food delivery driver, but the ability to work whenever you have some down time is a great advantage. Being able to set your own hours and picking up jobs by simply going on your phone is perfect for any college student. One of the hardest part about getting a college job is the ever-changing class schedule conflicting with your job schedule, with food delivery, you don’t ever have to worry about it.
Check out these services if you are interested:
2. Online Surveys
It’s not exactly the most exciting work, but you can do it basically any time you have a few extra minutes. Check out sites such as:
- Survey Junkie
With surveys, you can earn money between classes. Use it as a study break. You can even do it during class. Just do it only when you already know the subject matter in and out.
3. Data Entry
It used to be the case that you’d have to be physically in-house to help companies crunch data and understand their markets. But these days, you can do data entry via online services. To start off, check out:
- Smart Crowd
Since you’re doing all this remotely, you can jump in whenever you have an extra minute or two. You can even choose among preferred tasks. Such tasks include proofreading, data sorting, and data categorization. For those who get bored easily, just rotate among them to keep it somewhat interesting.
4. Online Reputation Management
With virtually everyone spending their time online these days, companies and brands are starting to realize that negative press can be harmful. “All press is good press” isn’t always true.
That’s why companies fight tooth and nail to keep their reputations pristine. You just don’t see the bad press that’s been pushed down or removed. They spend the money and they get great results.
Beyond the press, you’ll find that online review sites and social media accounts need to be monitored for negative mentions.
As a side hustle for college students, it’s a great way to earn money while learning how companies publicly compose themselves in the face of adversity and negative press. Sometimes they do the honorable thing. But let’s be honest, sometimes they just delete them. It is easier after all. And costs less.
5. Virtual Assistant
It used to be the case that assistants had to work directly with the people they assist.
However, with modern digital tools, assistants and their bosses can be physically located anywhere.
Being a virtual assistant can be quite a legitimate side hustle for college students. You may continue to go to class and do your coursework as you please. All the while moonlighting as a virtual assistant in your free time. From managing emails to coordinating travel, virtual assistant hustles are plentiful on sites such as:
- VA Networking
6. Website and App Reviewer
Since you’re already using various apps and websites in your normal day-to-day activities as a student, why not earn by putting your expertise to work.
By writing app reviews and participating in focus groups, you can give companies valuable feedback on how to better connect with users. You can even help them design better products.
If this is something that interests you, sites like Apperwall and UserTesting.com can get you started. Share your knowledge with those who value your feedback.
As a college student looking for a side hustle, you’ve got quite a few options. Let’s summarize them:
- Food delivery driver via DoorDash, Instacart, or UberEats
- Online surveys through Survey Junkie, MintVine, or Toluna
- Data entry via Smart Crowd, ClickWorker, or DionData
- Online reputation management
- Virtual assistant through PeoplePerHour.com, VA Networking, or Virtual.com
- Website and app reviewer via Apperwall or UserTesting.com
Got any additional side hustle ideas for college students? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list!