When I went off to college, my parents agreed to cover my tuition. But if I wanted to live out on my own, I had to cover my rent, food, books, and bills. My parents, of course, gave me the option to live at home rent-free, but what college student wants to live at home when they can be out of their own?!
Needless to say, working was not an option for me. Even if I had decided to stay-at-home with my parents, I was still responsible for gas, car insurance, and college textbooks – which are expensive!
Luckily, I fell into waiting tables (I initially applied for a hostessing position, but was hired on as a waitress) which was great! I made good money, and my schedule was flexible. While I had my scheduled shifts, if I needed to make more money, I could pick up a shift, and if I needed more time to study, I could try and get my shift covered. I ended up waiting tables for nine years while I got my two degrees.
If you’re a college student and you’re looking for a flexible, part-time, or online gig, there are a lot of options available to you, and you don’t have to wait tables, although it is a good option.
Here are 16 flexible and online jobs for college students that allow you to have time for your classes and studying.
1. Sseko Designs
Sseko Designs, a direct sales company that sells jewelry, shoes, accessories, handbags, and clothing has a unique program for college students. Through this program, college students can apply to be a Fellow at a discounted rate of $99.99. This program gives college students a way to make extra money and offers hands-on business and marketing training, as well as resume-building experience.
2. Online Surveys
Only have a few minutes? Online surveys are the perfect way to make a little extra pocket cash when you have a few minutes of downtime. While you're not going to get rich completing surveys — you can do them any time of the day or night. I often complete surveys when I'm waiting for an appointment or have a few minutes of downtime. A couple of my faves are Swagbucks and InboxDollars which both offer a $5 sign up bonus; sweet!
Related Content: 11 Ways To Earn Money With InboxDollars
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate for starting your own blog. But let me tell you why blogging is such a great idea for college students.
- It’s an online resume of your writing, marketing, PR, and technical skills.
- You can adjust your work schedule to fit your school schedule.
- It introduces you to people and opportunities you would not have been privileged to before.
- It takes very little money to start and run.
- You can blog about ANYTHING!
- There are tons of different ways for you to make money with a blog.
In fact, Eva Baker started her blog, TeensGotCents as a high school student. Today she uses her blog as a source of income while she attends college. If blogging sounds like the perfect gig to you – this post explains how you can get started for $2.95 a month!
4. Figure Eight
Figure Eight is an online workspace where you can earn money by completing short tasks on your computer. Tasks include items like Internet research, data collection, data categorization, content creation, content moderation, surveys, and so on. While I was unable to find any information on pay rates and how and payments are made, Figure Eight has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
Related Content: 18 Short Task Sites for Making Money from Home
5. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands provides one-off virtual assistant services in the US to businesses and individuals. Because clients pay per task — workers for the company are paid per task as well. When you work for Fancy Hands, you can log in 24/7 and work as many administrative tasks that fit into your schedule. As a new assistant for Fancy Hands, you're paid anywhere from $2.50 to $7.00 per task and payments go up from there. Payments are made via Dwolla every other Tuesday.
Related Content: How to Work From Home as a Virtual Assistant
6. Freelance Writer
As a college student, you're always writing papers. Which is good for a few reasons. One, when you write a lot, you become quicker and better versed as a writer overall. Two, freelance writing gigs are plentiful, easy to find, and usually, pay pretty well. Third, you may be able to repurpose your college content for paid writing gigs on the same topic. If you're interested in writing your way to some extra cash — here are 75+ paid writing gigs to check out.
QuadJobs is an online platform for college students to find on-demand jobs like babysitting, dog walking, tutoring, delivery, cleaning, social media, graphic design, and more. The platform is free for college students to use, and employers pay students directly based on a mutually agreed upon rate. Once the job is done, the client evaluates the student's job performance which the information can be used to land a better job after graduation. QuadJobs has been featured on ABC, NBC, FoxNews, Money, and TechCo.
8. Sell Stuff Online
When you’re in college, you quickly learn about selling your textbooks back for cash, but did you know you can sell almost anything online for a quick buck? Old clothes, shoes, handbags, books, DVDs, electronics, and more. A couple of my favorites sites to use are ThredUp (clothes) and Gazelle (electronics).
Related Content: Where to Sell Used Clothes Online for Cash
9. Smartphone Apps
If you have a smartphone, there's no reason why you shouldn't download a few moneymaking apps. There are tons to choose from, and they're available for both iPhone and Android operating systems. My three favorite are ShopKick (earn gift cards), Dosh (cash via PayPal, Venmo, or bank account), and Ibotta (earn cash via PayPal or Venmo or gift cards). It only takes a few minutes to use each one, and you can make enough to cover your Starbucks habit or to buy some new books on Amazon.
Related Content: How to Make Money with Your Smartphone
Willa, a direct sales company that sells healthy beauty formulas for young girls and women, has a unique program for teens as young as 13 and for college students. The starter kit is $99, and consultants can earn up to 30% commission on every product sold. Besides the income component, Willa will match up to $2,500 when a consultant deposits their earnings into a 529 College Savings Account.
11. AppleCare College Program
If you're an Apple fan, and you know about tech issues, you can work-from-home with the AppleCare College Program. They'll train you to troubleshot tech issues via phone, give you an iMac, accommodate your school schedule, as well as allow you to work-from-home.
12. Teach ESL Classes Online
51Talk/HAWO hires native English speakers from the US and Canada to teach ESL classes to Chinese children. You must be currently enrolled in a university or have a Bachelor’s degree to be considered for this position. Base pay is $18 per 45-minute class, plus you can earn bonuses and incentives. You must be able to work at least 10 hours per week.
13. Become a Grocery Shopper
Earn money in your free time by either becoming a full-service (shop and deliver) or in-store grocery shopper for Instacart. You can make your own schedule, you'll get paid weekly, and you can start earning money quickly. You must be at least 18 old to work as a shopper. According to Indeed.com, shoppers can earn between $7.25 – $30.00 per hour.
14. Participate in Focus Groups
When I was in college, I did this a few times. Focus group studies are usually one-off opportunities where you get paid to provide your opinion on a certain product, topic, or service. Often these studies are done in person, but the research company, Respondent has many online and telephone studies. According to their website, most interviews take between 30 – 90 minutes and the average payout is $60 – $140 per study. The great thing about focus groups is they pay well, and they are short sessions that you can fit into your school schedule.
Related Content: Make $50 – $150 an Hour Participating in Focus Groups
15. Online Tutoring
If you're a whiz at math, English, or science, you can earn good money by becoming an online tutor. Companies like Chegg, hire individuals to teach a variety of subjects to middle school, high school, and college students, as well as professionals. According to their website, tutors earn $20 per hour, and top tutors can earn $1,000 or more each month. Chegg has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Related Content: Work From Home With These Online Teaching Jobs
16. Instagram Influencer
As a Gen Z or Millennial, you've probably grown up using social media platforms like Instagram and SnapChat. You probably already have a decent sized following too, if so, you can earn good money and/or swag by sharing your influence with brands. According to this New York Times article, “At Virginia Tech, as many as 1,000 of the 30,000 undergrads are being paid to promote products as varied as mascara and storage bins, according to an estimate by Donna Wertalik, director of marketing for the university’s Pamplin College of Business.”
Related Content: How Bloggers Can Make Money on Instagram: Advice From the Experts
As you can see, there are lots of non-traditional work opportunities for college students. Whether you're looking to work online or find something that allows you a flexible schedule, there are numerous ways for you to earn cash in today's tech-savvy environment.
I hope these flexible money making ideas got your creative juices flowing. Are you a college student that makes money in a unique way? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you! If you enjoyed this post — please share it on your favorite social media site.
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Originally published May 18, 2016. Content updated March 7, 2019.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she’s been able to figure out how to find a career path that you’re truly passionate about. Holly’s had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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