Published Date-
June 26, 2020
Last Updated Date-
June 26, 2020

15 Online Side Hustles for College Students

Disclosure: We may use affiliate links which means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.


Are you looking for side hustles for college students?

It’s great that you are a university student but how is the bank account looking?

You don’t always have to call home for more funds when you run short of money. You can instead kick-off some lucrative businesses. And the amazing thing about this is that you will have enough time to concentrate on your studies and make A’s while making some cool money by the side.

In this article I’ve outlined 15 side hustles you can start online, from home, without even putting on pants.

I’m not going to suggest some of the “side hustles” from other articles where they recommend driving Uber or delivering pizzas because that’s just a part time job.

So… here we go.

What Side Hustle Can I Start?

With the many hours you put in to study, you may have little or no time to make some money. You don’t have to worry that much because the side hustles we have come up with don’t necessarily need your physical presence.

Here are some of the side hustles for university students that you begin today and start making some money by the side:

1.  Serve as a Virtual Assistant

Now that many businesses are online, it creates more job openings. One of such lucrative online businesses you can do as a university student is to serve as a virtual assistant.

In case you don’t know what this means, we will explain it the more for you to understand. A Virtual Assistant (VA) is someone that acts as the front or mediator between a business owner and the potential customers and returning clients.

What you will be doing is to handle all the tasks of the business and company you represent.

Some of the duties of a virtual assistant include but are not limited to:

  • Attending to the emails of the business you represent
  • Arranging for the mobility and travel needs of your employer
  • Taking calls and making correspondences, if need be

2.  Guest Post

Are you good at writing? So, you have written many times and your friends and colleagues in the university commend you for your write-ups.

Well, it is time you convert those commendations and thumbs up to money. Consider taking to writing as one of the most profitable businesses you can do as a university student.

One of the easiest ways of making money as a university student is to write articles and content for blogs and websites. This is called Guest Posting

Here are the steps to find out if there are Guest Posting opportunities out there.

Define Your Writing Niche

That you are good at writing doesn’t mean you can write on everything. There are some aspects of writing that you will perform better at than the others. That is the niche of writing that you can handle.

So, what you have to do is to define the writing niche or the type of writing services that you can offer. For example, if you are good in writing about finance, content on business and money are some of the niches you want to consider.

Look for the Guest Posting Opportunities

Blogs are continually looking to hire new writers to bring in a mix of perspectives and content on their platforms.

So, you have to look to see if there are Guest Posting opportunities in the writing niche you are offering.

Let’s say you are good at writing about pets, especially dogs. Here is what you will do in your browser search bar:

  • Enter the writing niche (in this case, Dog)
  • Add the “+” after that
  • Then, enter the phrase, “Write for Us

Here is how it will be: Dog + Write for Us.

Search for that on the Search Engine, such as Google.

Below is an example of some of the Guest Posting opportunities that are available in that writing niche:

An example of a Guest Posting opportunity in the Dog Niche.

You can then read the guidelines of applying for the guest posting opportunities on each of those blogs. If you can meet the requirements, pitch your guest post, and wait for a reply for the blog owner(s)/administrator(s).

An example of how Submission Guidelines for Guest Posts look like.

3.  Become an Affiliate Marketer

Have you thought of selling to your friends and making money? Perhaps, you don’t have enough money to buy the products that you will sell.

Not to worry – you can still make sales from other people’s products and make money from doing so. That is the underlying concept of “Affiliate Marketing.”

Affiliate Marketing is a type of business model where you help other people to sell their products and services for a commission.

Many university students are living big as affiliate marketers, and we don’t see why you shouldn’t.

All you need do is to find a seller and agree with him on the commission or percentage that will come to you when you help sell the products.

Affiliate marketing is one of the side hustles for college students.


Depending on the type of product, you may not have to work 9-5. If you don’t have enough time, you might want to become an affiliate marketer of Electronic Books (e-books) and other digital products.

4.  Sell Your Services

Freelancing is one of the easiest side hustles for college students. At a time, freelancing was dubbed the “Job of the Future” because of the flexibility. This is in addition to the fact that about 43% of the United States’ workforce is done on a freelancing basis.

Freelancing implies that you don’t have an employer. You wouldn’t have to work from an office, like the traditional job demands.

Instead, you will control your work schedule. You will set and determine the number of hours and days that you will be available to work.

Some of the side hustles you can take up as a freelancer are:

  • Writing
  • Graphics design
  • Web development

If you are ready to become a freelancer, you have to register on some freelancing platforms. That is where you will source and get jobs that align with the freelancing services you are offering.

Some of the reputable freelancing platforms include but are not limited to:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr

5.  Online Coaching

The traditional classroom-based education is gradually giving way for the dominance of the online variant.

With many mediums to teach online, you might want to consider taking to online coaching and consulting.

There are some skills and knowledge that many people out there are willing to learn. Organize an online class, charge them for it, and teach to the best of your ability.

Here are some tools that will help you in your online coaching and consulting:

  • Zoom Cloud Meetings for online conference calls
  • Skype for real-time communication
  • Facebook Groups for regular updates

6.      Start a Free Stock Photography Business

Thousands of people all over the world take pictures daily. From the ladies that capture their latest moments to the guys that are showing off their new whip, many people are showing off using pictures.

Hence, the massive surge in the use of free stock photo platforms. The essence of those platforms is to make easier for millions of people to have access to payment-free pictures. That way, they wouldn’t be playing into the hands of the authorities over Intellectual Property (IP) infringement.

Currently, there are many free stock platforms and websites out there that are looking for college students that will submit photos for payment. Therefore, consider that as one of the side hustles that pay.

If you are not sure of where to start, we have done the homework for you. Below are some of the free stock photo websites that you may want to leverage:

  • Unsplash
  • Pexels

Here is how you can join as a free stock supplier and start making your money by the side:

Click on “Submit a Photo

Click on “Join

Fill out the form with your accurate details…

Check your email for the confirmation email. Click on it to confirm your new account.

Then, come back here and click on “Submit a Photo.” Follow the on-screen prompts to submit your first and subsequent free stock photos.

7.      Dropship Products

With many people shopping online, it is obvious that the global Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) industry is burgeoning.

Now, here is what I want you to do – consider dropshipping products. Of course, you may not be acquainted with what this means.

Dropshipping is a type of shopping that requires the seamless connection of the third party in the transaction. In this case, the third party is you. What you are expected to do is to look for students that have a need to buy particular goods. Then, you will contact the supplier of the products to ship the same directly to the buyers.

You can stop dropshipping products to earn some income as a college student.


Ideally, you will pose as the buyer of the product. So that when the supplier is ready to send out the order, you will collect payments from the buyers and pay. The supplier will then ship the products to the suppliers’ products you provided.

You may be thinking dropshipping to have the same business model as affiliate marketing has. While both have a similar structure, there is a difference. In affiliate marketing, you are connecting the buyers to the sellers in exchange for a commission on the sale. In dropshipping, you are posing as the buyer and you are allowed to fix the price as you deem fit.

8.      Become a Translator

There is a huge demand for translators. At a time like this that many people are trying to communicate effectively with people from other countries, translation becomes a necessity.

If you are bi-lingual (you can speak and write two or more languages), it is time you considered becoming a translator.

Let’s say you are good at the English Language and French. You can take it up as a side hustle to make money by translating from the English Language to French. You can also do likewise by translating from French to the English Language.

When you are ready to start, consider offering your translation services on side hustle websites.

Some of these websites include but are not limited to:

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork

You can sign up for an account on any of those freelancing websites and apply for the relevant translation jobs that you can handle.

9.      Fill out Online Surveys

Many companies around the world are looking for information or data to support what they do. Most times, these companies may not have all the funds in the world to hire employees to go out there and get people’s responses.

So, what do they do? They use the simplified process that doesn’t cost much. And that is using survey sites, such as Survey Junkie.

As a university student that is looking to start side hustle jobs from home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to register on one of those websites to help them out with surveys and make money.

Here is an overview of one of the world’s leading survey website, Survey Junkie:

Survey Junkie is not only website out there that pays you for sharing your thoughts. The others are:

  • PrizeRebel
  • Univox
  • MintVine
  • CashCrate
  • Survey Savvy
  • Swagbucks

10.      Become an English Tutor Online

The English Language continues to dominate as one of the most spoken languages in the world. Hence, there is a high demand for those that can teach it effectively.

Do you have a good background in the English Language? You don’t have to keep pondering on the side hustles that actually make money if that were to be the case.

Instead, it is time you considered becoming an English tutor. This doesn’t mean that you will have to spend more hours out of your college. No! There are many websites and online-based platforms that are ready to pay you to teach the English Language online.

Vipkid is undoubtedly, one of the leading websites that pays English tutors. It is touted that the tutors are paid up to $22 for every hour they teach. Of course, Vipkid has many advantages and benefits that make it better than what the other websites and competitors have to offer.

Use the form by the right to sign up for a tutor account on Vipdkid…

Here are some of the reasons why Vipkid beats the competition from the other online English tutoring platforms:

  • One-on-one teaching with the lessons or kids
  • There is no commitment because you are allowed to set your schedule and work when and where you want.

Aside from Vipkid, here are the other websites and platforms that pay English teachers to teach online:

  • Cambly
  • Lingoda
  • DadaABC
  • Magic Ears
  • Qkids

11.      Test Websites

According to Hosting Tribunal, there are over 2 billion websites in the world. Out of all those, about 400 million are inactive.

That notwithstanding, it proves that websites are one of the ways to establish an online presence for a business.

In most cases, the company or the web developers will run some A/B testing to ensure that the website is functioning as it should.

That is where you will come in as a university student that is finding a side hustle. You want to apply to test the websites and point out the errors, if any.

How to Make Money from Testing Websites

There are two major ways that you can make money while testing websites. The first is that you will be allowed to test-run the features of the website on a solo basis. That means you will be the only one testing it and noting down the mistakes that need to be addressed.

In the other instance, you are to test the websites while the client watches you and waits for your feedback.

How Much Can I Earn?

The amount you can earn as a web tester differs by the offer made by the client and by the number of hours you worked.

The base price is $10 for every 20 minutes that you test-run the website. That implies that you can make as much as $60 every hour for testing a website. Isn’t that a decent income?

12.      Monetize Your YouTube Videos

YouTube is the world’s leading video content platform. Proudly owned by Google, YouTube has since moved from the conventional video publication platform to the one where money can be made.

Are you good at shooting videos? You are not shy of the camera and you can speak fluently and help people understand what you are saying? If so, consider creating video content on your YouTube Channel and monetizing the same.

What Does YouTube Monetization Mean?

Monetizing your YouTube Channel means that you are creating videos, uploading the same to YouTube, and when the videos are viewed, you will be paid.

YouTube has some requirements that every video content creator (also called the YouTube Partner) must meet before earning on YouTube.

You can make money as a university student when you sign up for the YouTube Partner Program.


Here are some of the requirements for joining the YouTube Partner program and start making money from your video content:

  • Having a 1,000 subscribers
  • You must have up to 4,000 minutes (called Watch Hours) on the videos you uploaded on YouTube. That figure must have been attained within a space of 12 months/1 year.

13.      Create and Sell Courses Online

The global educational system has now evolved. It is no longer all about learning from the classroom.

Instead, you can take up online course creation as one of the side hustle ideas you can start as a university student.

These courses simply mean that you will create information about specific topics and sell them online in the form of Electronic Books (e-books).

If you aren’t particular about selling your courses in Portable Document File (PDF)/e-book formats, you may want to use online platforms.

Some of the online platforms where you can sell your courses are:

  • Skillshare
  • Udemy
  • Teachable

Those are online course platforms owned by others. If you would rather want to have full control over the courses, consider setting up a Learning Management System (LMS). It will require you to set up the site from start to finish.

14.      Become a Blogger

Blogging still pays up to this day. In fact, it is one of the most lucrative side hustles for college students that you can start and begin to make money after some months.

You must have in mind that becoming a blogger comes with responsibilities. You will have to devote some time to research on trendy topics to write on. After that, you will check for the relevant keywords and use that in the content so it will rank higher on Search Engines.

There are two ways to go about your blogging journey. The first is to use a hosted platform, such as that allows you to set up a blog without paying.

If you would rather want to have full control over the blog, consider starting a self-hosted blog, such as the one hosted on In this case, you are buying the Domain Name (the name of your blog) and the Web Host, which is the server that hosts your blog and makes it visible on the Internet.

You can contact Yujin Yeoh to help you create a self-hosted blog. He is experienced in that and will set-up a profitable blog for you.

15.      Offer Proofreading Services

Do you have an eagle-eye for spotting grammar and spelling mistakes? You can actually take that up as a side hustle and make some money for yourself even as a university student.

However, if you don’t have all the time in your hands, you may want to outsource the job or use software like Grammarly to proofread the document for your clients.

Why Start a Side Hustle?

Why would you look for a business you can run as a university student? Here are some of the reasons why you should take up a side hustle job right now.

It Helps You Get Creative

It is time you took your creativity to the next level. Starting a side hustle is the way to go!

For example, if you choose to become a freelance writer, it wouldn’t be long before you master other aspects of writing like Copywriting.

The same applies to when you take surveys and help people sell their products and services. You will keep learning on the job!

Side Hustles Are the Millennials’ Mindset

Millennials no longer believe in the merry-go-round of going to a university, getting a degree, graduate, and start looking for jobs.

Instead, there are more interested in taking their future into their hands. What better way could there be to do that than to start a side hustle from home?

Side Hustles Pay More

The last but not the least is that you could make more money by the side than you would make in the office.

It could also be the start of something bigger!

Side hustles can also blossom into something bigger and better too.

Side hustles and remote-based jobs are the future of jobs and you should buy into that now that you have the time!

Kick-Off Your Side Hustle as a College Student

Being a university student doesn’t mean that you cannot start your entrepreneurial journey. With many side hustles readily available, there should be no reason why you wouldn’t make money as a university student.

We hope the tips above will inspire you to take up the right side hustles for college students that will make you some money without interrupting your studies.

Which side hustles do you do to make money as a student?

Yujin Yeoh has a passion for helping others in reaching their goals through content and his agency Automate Online. Having been in the Marketing Industry, he knows a lot of different strategies and techniques that are sure to help you.

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