College, for many, is a time of self discovery and memorable moments. New knowledge, opportunities, and experiences translate to new beginnings. Most people even say college was the best years of their lives!
While being a college student can be full of excitement, it’s also usually associated with debt. High costs for tuition, books, and housing make it difficult to cover everything out of pocket. Even as classes shift online, expenses remain relatively unchanged.
With loans piling up year after year, it can become quite stressful for students to focus in class and find a part-time gig. Plus, a search for online job opportunities for college students typically yields results for baristas or other in-person roles.
If you’re a student in the current economy, then you’re in luck! Because you don’t need to turn to traditional, full-time jobs to make money anymore. In fact, you can earn extra money freelancing on your own schedule from the comfort of your dorm! All you’ll need is a laptop and an internet connection, and you’d be surprised just how much you can actually make.
This article covers 15 of the best online jobs for college students, to help you make money remotely while in school. Let’s cover some of the basics before diving in.
Can You Actually Work From Your Dorm?
Working from your dorm or apartment is completely possible, but it’s up to you to make it happen. Try designating an area for your desk to focus and be productive.
Remember, your work will happen on your schedule, so it’s important to find time for it. You’ll probably make the most progress with fewer distractions, so try working when your roommates aren’t making noise or at home. If they’re a constant distraction, consider working from the library or a coffee shop on campus.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll still be putting in a lot of hours and effort to build a business of your own. Consistency, self-motivation, and persistence are key, especially when you’re feeling stuck.
How Much Money Do You Need?
Motivations for starting a business or a part-time gig can vary. While some students are looking for extra cash for weekend parties, others might be seeking larger amounts to pay off loans. Start by determining your purpose and setting goals for weekly earnings. This way, you can hold yourself more accountable for meeting a certain net income with your online business.
How Much Does it Cost to Start an Online Business?
Online jobs and online businesses are two options for you to start making money, all from your own dorm. We’re outlining both in this article, but let’s clarify how much it’ll cost to start each.
- Online jobs — If you’re starting an online job, it should never cost you anything. If an employer asks for you to pay them a fee, purchase a product, or opt into something that’ll cost you, then it’s a scam.
- Online businesses — Starting an online business is more involved than a job. The ideas we’ve listed in this article all come at a low cost, but can make you tons of money!
Before starting an online job or business, there’s a couple things you need to consider. This includes your school schedule and natural talents. We’ve answered some of the common questions related to them below.
What’s Your School Schedule Like?
When you’re in college, you typically don’t have classes all day, which leaves lots of gaps in your schedule. You might spend some of this free time with friends, going out to eat, or throwing parties with your classmates. The amount of time you designate to your business, however, will dictate how quickly you can grow — and potentially earn.
As soon as you have your school schedule in place, set a goal for weekly hours that you’ll designate solely towards your online job or business. If you can, plan your schedules in advance so you can keep your work hours more consistent as your semesters go by. Once you’ve determined the hours you’ll work, you can start calculating how much you’re earning by the hour.
Where Do Your Skills Lie?
Do you have any specific talents? Are you skilled in a certain line of work or activity? These skills are what you should invest in to grow your company. Whether you’re tech savvy or creative, identify what comes naturally to you. Consider your passions and long-term career goals.
15 Ways to Make Money as a Student
1. Freelance writer & editor
Writing is everything, and companies are always looking for it. From blog posts and social media content, to articles, whitepapers, reports, and other types of sales and marketing copy, writing is a great way to make extra money from your dorm.
As a college student, you’ve had your fair share of writing assignments, so it should come relatively easily to you. Depending on your skill level and available hours, you can rack up some serious change writing for brands on a weekly basis.
Some sites will require you to take a grammar test or upload samples of your writing. Others may just ask for your resume or background information on your experiences. Look into freelance writing opportunities on FlexJobs or Freelance Writing. Certain sites, like FlexJobs, will charge a small monthly fee for using their platform. But, this money goes towards vetting employers to ensure you’re only seeing jobs that are high-quality and flexible to your schedule.
If writing something from scratch isn’t your thing, you can still make tons of money as an editor. Proofreading skills, attention to detail, and a keen eye for sharpening a narrative is what you’ll need to get the job done.
2. Online surveys
If you want to make an impact in your community and across the globe, you can do it right from your dorm as an online survey taker. Sites like Survey Junkie make it easy for people to voice their opinions with big brands, influencing the products and services you use every single day.
At Survey Junkie, you can make a real impact. We believe in equal representation and we’ve created our platform to help amplify your voice. Plus, getting started is super simple.
All you’ll need to do is sign up for an account, verify it’s really you, and complete your profile to get matched with surveys most relevant to your interests and experiences. You’ll get points for successfully completing surveys on your time and schedule — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These points are redeemable for cash or gift cards at retailers like Target and Amazon!
Whether you’re in your dorm or walking to the campus coffee shop, you can get paid to take surveys from anywhere on any device. What’s the best part? We have the lowest payout threshold, which means you can cash out after earning just $5!
3. Graphic design
If design is your thing, you can start a graphic design business from your dorm. Offering your expertise as a freelancer, all you’ll need is a laptop, software, and creative skills to build beautiful websites, logos, brochures — you name it!
Most universities and colleges offer free downloads of software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as long as you’re a student. You can take advantage of these perks and start designing with zero money invested.
As you get more clients, you can start building your portfolio and showcasing your designs on your personal website. Leveraging the skills you already have
4. Video & audio captioning
Video and audio transcribing is a great way to make money online as a student, because it requires nothing but a laptop. Your responsibility is to listen to the video and audio recordings and convert them into text. While it’s relatively simple, you do have to make sure what you’re writing is completely accurate.
Transcriptionists typically charge between $15 to $30 an hour, depending on their level of skill. According to Rev, those seasoned in the art of transcribing can make about $1,500 a month!
Get started by looking up opportunities on TranscribeMe, Rev, Scribie, or Typists. Certain job boards may require a transcription assessment before you can start working.
5. Data entry
This is a perfect option for students who are new to working and don’t have a vast amount of experience. As a Data Entry Clerk, your job is to maintain the databases for the company. This involves entering, compiling, sorting, and organizing information for others to use. You may also be asked to transcribe physical or scanned paperwork into raw digital files.
Before starting a data entry job, you should be comfortable working in spreadsheets. Software like Microsoft Office Word and Excel, as well as Google Docs and Sheets are what you’ll likely be working in.
You’ve probably used a software like this before in the past, but it may be helpful to do a quick refresher course in Excel or Google Sheets so your job will be a lot easier to accomplish. Check out Ziprecruiter for open roles.
6. Web developer
Being a web developer will pay you more, but it definitely requires more expertise in the field. Web developers are usually responsible for creating and testing websites and troubleshooting technical problems. They work closely with different teams, including graphic designers.
You can make $22 to $30 an hour as a web developer, and your pay will increase as you gain more experience. Another option is charging a flat fee for projects to maximize your profits.
Search for web developer positions on job portals like LinkedIn, StackOverflow, GitHub, and CyberCoders.
Do you have a polished speaking voice? If you answered yes, then you can make money as a voiceover artist. Earn money by applying your natural talent to video and audio content.
Companies are looking for voiceover talent to narrate how-to videos, audiobooks, documentaries, and other content for medical, educational, and business use. All you’ll need is a pair of headphones, a microphone, and an audio recording software.
Average base pay is usually around $20 an hour. Offer your services to brands and professionals on Upwork and Fiverr.
8. Video editing
If creative software is something you can navigate, you can earn money as a video editor — right from your dorm room. Video is everything right now, whether you’re a business owner or social media influencer. Since most people don’t have the skills for video editing, they’re willing to pay so someone can do it for them.
As a video editor, you’ll be expected to manipulate film snippets, trim footage and create sequences of video, layer in audio, dialogue graphics, and special effects, as well as create rough and final cuts.
You can make between $20 to $45 an hour, if you’re a beginner that is! Professional video editing ranges between $75 to a whopping $150 an hour! The more experience you have, the more you can showcase through your portfolio and charge to clients.
You must be proficient in editing tools like Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. Showcase your services on freelancer sites like Upwork, FlexJobs, and Fiverr.
9. Selling art
Do your friends praise your artwork? Do you enjoy letting your creative juices flow as an escape from your study schedule? You should consider selling your art for a profit.
In the past, you might have had to sell in physical art galleries or home decor stores. Today, you can sell your art digitally, all across the world! Whether you’re shipping tangible artwork or digital files for your customers to print themselves, you can make a side hustle doing it.
Showcasing your artwork through social media is a great way to gain awareness and build your personal brand. The amount you make depends on what products you sell and how much time you dedicate every week to creating new pieces. Check out sites like Etsy or Redbubble to get your artwork printed on different products.
10. Teaching a foreign language
Being bilingual is a skill that most people don’t have. If you know more than just English, look into becoming a language instructor. You can teach other students in your building or expand to others via online video chat.
This is an especially suitable option if you know a language that’s in demand, like Spanish or Chinese. You can charge between $10 to $35 per hour depending on your level of proficiency and the language you’re teaching.
It’s important to be fluent in this language, since students will expect to learn everything from basic grammar to advanced vocabulary. Sign up to teach on iTalki to get started.
11. Retail arbitration
Retail arbitrage may sound fancy, but don’t be intimidated. It’s the process of purchasing products that are priced lower in store, and reselling them online for a profit.
While this one will require you to leave your dorm, and isn’t solely online, it’s still a good way to make side money — especially if you’re already running errands. One option is to do some digging online to learn about different products and their prices. Alternatively, you can download the Amazon Seller app and scan products on the go to see if it’s cheaper in store.
If you’re fluent in a foreign language, you can make money translating documents for companies. As a freelance translator, you can translate everything from scripts to instruction manuals, charging around $30 per hour.
The more complex the project you work on, the more you can get paid. Of course, you’ll need to be fluent in two languages, so you can translate between the two. Post your services on freelance websites and accept the projects that you’re interested in.
13. PPC marketing
If you have an Instagram account, then you probably scroll through your feed multiple times a day. Ever notice the ads that appear seamlessly in your feed? Someone is in charge of creating and managing those ads, which is known as PPC or Pay-Per-Click marketing.
You don’t need any coding knowledge to get the job done, but you will need to be good with spreadsheets and software. Start by signing up for PPC marketing courses online to learn more about how it works, then offer your services to local businesses.
As your experience grows, you can apply for higher-paying projects. PPC marketers typically charge around $25 an hour.
14. Niche blogger
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, then this one’s for you. A niche site is just a regular site that’s more focused on a specific topic. Dive deep into the topic and start blogging about it to attract readers. You can monetize from the site using ads or affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing involves companies who are willing to pay you in exchange for recommending a product.
With a decent audience, consistent content, and excellent communication skills, you can make a few extra hundred dollars a month. If you work hard for it, you can even turn your site into a full business, but it’ll take time to build relationships and awareness before.
15. Music production
Do you love music and dreamt of making it in high school? If so, you can passive income producing and selling beats online. Musical artists may struggle to create their own beats, which is when they’ll turn to you.
Browse popular tracks on BeatStars, a popular marketplace where you can sell hip hop beats. Most sell around $20, which can add up pretty quickly.
You’ll need to learn how to produce beats using software like Logic. Then, you can upload your beats on platforms like Soundcloud to gain interest and followers. Finally, you can sell the beats you produce on BeatStars and make a profit doing one of your favorite hobbies!
Start Earning Money in College
As a college student, you can make tons of extra money directly from your dorm. This list acts as a starting point for you to take off from. Choose what fits your skills and passion and get started today!