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Side Hustle Ideas: 5 Ways to Make Money in College

Rachel Dix-KesslerPublished on

side hustle ideas

College can be one of the greatest experiences you have in life and, unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive. A side hustle can be a great way to help offset the high costs often associated with attending college and provide you an opportunity to save along the way.

If you’re able to save, the extra money you make during your time in college can give you peace of mind once you start paying back your student loans, if you have them, and can even help you feel financially prepared once graduation rolls around. You could also use the money you earn to make interest payments while you are in school, which can reduce your debt burden after you graduate.

Whether you’re looking to earn extra spending money or just save along the way, here are five side hustles to consider taking on as a college student:

Become a note taker

If you enjoy taking notes, you might consider becoming a notetaker for your university. Certain colleges and universities offer compensation for a copy of your notes to share with other students. The requirements can range from submitting copies of your weekly lecture notes, chapter outlines or even study guides for tests.

Many Disability Resource Centers have set up peer note taking programs to benefit students who couldn’t make it to class or simply need additional note-taking support. There are also online note taking marketplaces that you could look into, such as Course Hero and Luvo.

Consider tutoring

Tutoring can be an efficient way to make extra money while mentoring your peers on a subject you’re truly passionate about. Many campuses have tutoring centers that you can apply to, or you can choose to work with online tutoring companies - such as Aim-for-A Tutoring, Homework Tutoring and Kaplan - via video services like Skype.

As a college student, there are a wide variety of tutoring opportunities available to you, including for tests like the ACT and SAT. However, if you have a favorite subject that you prefer to focus on then you can become a tutor exclusively on that subject matter.

Look into freelance opportunities

Freelancing opportunities are not only a good way to earn a little extra money, but are also an efficient way to bulk up your resume. If you love to write, start by looking into freelancing opportunities with your favorite outlets. In addition to earning extra money, freelancing can be useful to help you get your foot in the door while you’re still in school, and may even make your job hunt a little bit easier down the road.

Become a mystery shopper

Getting paid to shop almost seems too good to be true; however, if you become a mystery shopper, you can be compensated by businesses to help provide an accurate, unbiased description of the store’s customer service. Participating businesses provide you with the money needed to order a meal in a restaurant, or perhaps purchase a dress from your favorite store, and simply ask that you provide a review of your experience in return. As a mystery shopper, you can get your shopping fix without spending the extra cash you earn from your side hustle.

Join the ride-sharing economy

College students typically count on ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft to help them get to and from their destinations safely at all times of the day. If you enjoy driving and meeting new people, the ride-sharing economy might be the best side gig for you. The flexible hours ride-sharing services offer are also perfect for college students who have a busy schedule to work around.

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Rachel Dix-Kessler is the Consumer Advocate of personal finance comparison website, finder.com. In her role of Consumer Advocate, she analyzes and reports on the spending and savings habits of Americans. Rachel is passionate about studying financial trends in order to provide actionable advice that encourages more people to talk about, and understand, their own personal finances.