Many college students struggle with debt and expenses on a day-to-day basis. The cost of university education has skyrocketed over the past century, while wages have not kept pace for most people. College is one of the most significant investments of your life into your education, skills, and future career.
It makes sense that you should want to get the most out of your investment. It means finding a way to work for yourself, either as a side gig or a full-time business idea.
Side hustles and entrepreneurship can be intimidating and risky, but they can also pay off big time if you find something that works.
Here are the top thirteen side hustles that college students should consider starting:
Many intelligent and capable college students choose tutoring as a side hustle that works well. There are good reasons for this: It's flexible, it takes little to no startup capital, and you can tutor almost any student in almost any subject.
If you find the right market, the earning potential can be significant, especially if you have a firm grasp of a subject and the ability to convey material.
It may help you offer telecommuting sessions from your dorm room if possible. It will save you time commuting and allow you to take more clients who may not be nearby.
2. Social Media Manager
Many companies need a little help gaining traction on social media, but they don't have the time or knowledge to do it themselves. This is where you come in as a college student with a knack for creating engaging posts, coming up with new ideas and strategies, and managing accounts.
Depending on the company's needs and your skill set, you can offer part-time or full-time work.
3. Professional Blogger
If you love expressing your passion for a topic in writing, blogging could be the perfect side hustle that gives you the freedom to choose what to blog about. It can be helpful because it allows you to maintain control over your schedule and income fluctuations while giving you the flexibility to pursue other goals and interests.
A common and potentially lucrative blog topic is travel, so you may want to think about how you can tailor your writing style and content to this audience.
4. Ghostwriting Service
Ghostwriting is an excellent way for college students with solid writing skills to earn money through their words by putting those skills into use in a well-paid format and widely in demand.
Ghostwriting can take many forms, such as book writing or blog content creation. You may also get the opportunity to interview an expert on a given topic and create something based on their expertise and your writing ability.
For college students with some extra time and money to invest, this can be an area with high potential for earning more income in the future. It takes some time and practice to get good at it, but over the long run, you could end up with significantly higher earnings or savings than if you had your money sitting in a bank account.
6. Freelance Writing
It is another potentially lucrative side hustle for college students who love to write. This may be an area where you can do well by offering part-time or full-time work, depending on the market and your schedule.
Finding highly in demand topics is helpful because it will allow you to charge more for your time, but there are always opportunities in niche topics for those willing to put in the research.
7. Flip Domain Names
This business idea can allow you to pursue your entrepreneurial spirit without taking much risk or requiring much startup capital. With this side hustle, it's possible to find domain names that have expired and are available for purchase at a relatively low price.
You can then try to sell those domains at a higher price, with the potential for some successful domain flips leading to large profits. It takes some patience and research but can be worth it if you find the right deals and make the most out of them.
8. Freelance Graphic Design
Another potentially lucrative side hustle is freelance graphic design, allowing you to build a portfolio of professional work and gain experience in a growing field.
With this type of side hustle, it's helpful to have access to clients who need your services either on or off-campus, but you can also leverage social media and look for remote opportunities.
9. Editing Services
College students who have strong English and writing skills may find side hustle opportunities as editors or proofreaders.
With this type of side hustle, you'll need to define your niche and target audience to charge more for your services. It can also be helpful if you focus on a specific area such as science or literature to become an expert in a field and command more money.
10. Tutor for Standardized Exams
You can earn extra money by tutoring people taking standardized college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT.
It is another side hustle idea that can be especially helpful if you provide tutoring to people taking exams for college entrance, which will allow you to build a list of potential repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
11. Web Developer/Designer
College students with web design and development skills may find opportunities to help others with their websites and online content through this side hustle idea.
You'll need some experience in web design or coding, but you can quickly get started using free resources found on the internet. You might even try building your portfolio website as your first project to build up your reputation and skills.
12. Repair Electronics
Students who are good with their hands and have strong technical skills may get side hustle opportunities by repairing electronics.
Many things can go wrong with electronic devices, so you'll quickly find demand for your services no matter what type of phone or laptop you own. And, if done well, repairing old devices such as iPhones and laptops for resale can also be a lucrative source of income.
13. WordPress Consulting
Another side hustle idea that college students with web design and development skills may use is consulting for others who want to learn how to create or improve their WordPress websites.
You'll need some experience and knowledge of WordPress to make this side hustle idea work, but it can be an effective way to guide others who are willing to pay for your help.
Getting started with any or all of these college side hustle ideas can be a great way to make extra money during your time in school and pay for your expenses.
The key is to figure out which idea(s) you're best at and enjoy the most, then focus on that area and look for opportunities where you can jump in and start generating income. You may even find that some of these side hustle ideas become your career when you graduate college, in which case it pays off to get started early!