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5 Side Hustle Ideas for College Students

College life is expensive. There are expenses beyond semester and tuition fees. College freshmen have to bear housing, transportation, medical care, and technology and electronics costs. Pocket money is never enough to meet these expenses. As a result, many college students take up side hustles. 

How many students take up part-time jobs to meet college costs is unclear. But, Statista’s recent survey reveals that the number of people employed part-time rose to 28.1 million in 2024 from 25.8 million in 2022. That’s a whopping number. 

A side hustle is a great solution to earn money while you study. But the vast opportunities make choosing the right side hustle that fits your interests, skills, and schedules challenging. Here, we’ll discuss a few side hustles that are perfect for almost all college students. 

Pick up Freelance Writing Gigs

A great way to earn money as a college student is to pick up freelance writing gigs. Many businesses, especially those with strict budgets, hire freelance writers whom they pay a flat rate for their services. 

You can find writing gigs on Upwork. It’s the largest freelance marketplace. Clients on Upwork are constantly seeking talented writers for website content, blog posts, white papers, research articles, emails, and social media captions. WriterAccess, Contena, and Freelancer.com are some other content marketplaces where freelancers can search for writing gigs. 

There are many benefits of working as a freelance writer. You are free to choose your working hours and clients. Freelance writers also enjoy financial freedom. You can set your rates and work more than a nine-to-five employee. 

Freelance writers are mostly paid per hour, but many clients agree to pay a flat rate. You can expect to get paid anywhere between $15 and $47 per hour. But you can charge a flat rate for projects once you become experienced enough. 

Writing gigs are excellent for students majoring in fields like journalism, English, communications, or other disciplines. However, you can also work as a freelance writer if you’re majoring in a technical field.  

Try Dropshipping

Starting a dropshipping business is another excellent way to make money as a student. 

Dropshipping is a simple yet profitable business model. You can sell goods to customers without managing inventory or buying products upfront. That means you don’t have to keep products in stock but act as the go-between. Your supplier will deliver goods directly to the doorstep of your customers.

This sounds like a no-hassle, get-rich-quick scheme, but it requires a bit of effort, dedication, and patience. 

To get started, decide on the products you want to sell and to whom. Starting with a limited number of products will be a good idea. Importify advises dropshippers against being a general store. Instead, it urges them to specialize in a specific niche, like sustainable home decor or eco-friendly pet accessories. 

You can make about $653 to $923 and more a week if you sell products people are interested in buying. That’s the amount dropshippers are making, according to recent research. 

The next thing to do is to look for distributors who sell those products. Finding the best wholesale suppliers for your online business can be intimidating. Dropshipping companies can, however, help. These companies operate as middlemen, providing dropshippers access to wholesale suppliers. Many of these companies integrate with various e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify. 

Then, build an online store and market your products, and you’re ready to dropship. Click here for the best dropshipping experience, where you can build a store that offers exceptional customer service and seamless transactions. 

Become a Virtual Tutor

Teachers– online or offline– are always in demand. Why not make money by offering tuition to students in subjects you’re good at? Some hesitate to work as tutors because they think tutoring isn’t profitable. But surprisingly, teaching students is lucrative. Parents often pay big bucks for teaching services. That means you can make decent money by becoming an online tutor. 

There is no specific requirement for becoming an online tutor. But you’ll benefit a lot from having a solid understanding and expertise in the subjects you plan to teach. Online teachers, on average, earn $57,344 every year in the United States. Glassdoor’s 2023 survey reveals this. However, how much you’re paid will depend on your expertise and experience. 

Chegg Tutors, Skooli, Wyzant, and eTutorWorld are some online tutoring sites where you can apply for online tutoring. 

Offer Pet-Sitting Services

If you’re majoring in veterinary medicine or are fond of animals, there’s no better way to earn extra money than by offering pet-sitting services. Pet parents often look for people who can care for their pets, especially dogs, in their absence. 

Pet-sitting is not only a fun and fulfilling activity but also lucrative. You can earn as much as $40 per hour. Pet parents commonly use marketplaces like Rover, Wag!, and Pawshake to find pet sitters. You can sign up as a pet sitter on these websites and get paid to stay with people’s pets. 

Become a Delivery Driver

Jobs for delivering food, groceries, and couriers are plentiful on the market, and these people are paid fairly well. You can make good use of your vehicle and earn extra money by becoming a delivery driver. 

Working as a delivery driver has become a popular side hustle among college students. The flexibility of choosing your working hours is a significant benefit of working as a delivery driver. 

On average, a delivery driver earns between $12.08 and $29.37 per hour in the U.S. You can sign up as a food delivery driver on food delivery platforms like Postmates, Uber Eats, Instacart, and DoorDash. 

Postmates and DoorDash also offer courier delivery services. If you aren’t interested in delivering food, you can register as a courier delivery driver. FedEx, Amazon, Fort Gordon, and UPS are other courier delivery companies where you can work as a courier delivery driver. 

Putting it all together, a side hustle is a good way for college students to earn extra money to meet expenses. Side hustles also help students gain practical experience and develop skills that will be useful in future careers. 

Other side hustles worth exploring are editor or proofreader, graphic designer, and social media manager. Whatever you choose as a side hustle, make sure you balance your time effectively. Or else it will affect your academic performance.

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