How to make money as a student in college [2021]

Being a college student is enough of a challenge itself, but besides your academic endeavors you also need to eat, party and pay the bills. Some may say that money is the root of all evil, while others may deem it as a necessary evil. However, if you are in college you do need money. According to this 45.3 million student borrowers are in debt by an average of $37,691 each.

  • The 42.9 million Americans with federal student loan debt each owe an average $36,510 for their federal loans.
  • More than 35 million of these borrowers may qualify for student debt relief under the CARES Act of 2020.
  • 2.4 million borrowers owe an average of $57,083 each in private loans.
  • The average public university student borrows $30,030 to attain a bachelor’s degree.

You want to be a step ahead and pay your student debts while in college, while also enjoying the learning process. Therefore, you need to make money somehow, but you hit a wall – you don’t know where to start, what should you do. It’s 2021 and there are many ways to make money as a college student without working a full-time job.


Your passion can evolve into something fruitful, whether it’s programming, writing or voice acting. The Internet connects us, regardless of our nationality, country or cultural background, therefore you will find a service, solution or product suitable for someone else. There are many internet platforms that offer aspiring freelancers a place to grow and develop, while also making a significant amount of money. We will select just a few from the plethora of options


Fiverr connects freelancers with buyers through their “Gigs”.

Fiverr gigs are the services provided by the sellers (freelancers) on the site. The price of a gig can range from $5 to $10,000. You will find that most of the gigs start from just $5, but do not worry because you can offer extras, such as faster delivery and other customizables depending on the service that you provide. On Fiverr, you can make gigs in the following categories:

Graphics & Design, Music & Audio, Programming & Tech, Digital Marketing, Business, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Lifestyle

Surely, you can find something that you like and are good at to get the most out of Fiverr. Bare in mind that Fiverr takes 20% out of your rate!


What is Upwork? Upwork is a marketplace for freelancers from different areas, such as writing, graphic design, as well as web development. You can communicate directly with the clients, find projects, and get paid.

You can connect with legitimate employers by submitting proposals for jobs. Before applying to a job listing, keep in mind that you need a cover letter, your desired feed, and any a list of any questions or answers that you wish to provide the client with. Moreover, you can also send samples of your previous work.

On Upwork, similar to Fiverr, you can work with well known businesses. To get a better idea if your potential client is a trustworthy business, you can look them up on sites like Glassdoor.

Pricing on Upwork differs from Fiverr’s:

  • 20% for the first $500 that you bill.
  • 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10.000.
  • 5% for billings that exceed the $10.000 mark.

Personally, I find Upwork much more competitive than Fiverr. However, perseverance is key and you can definitely get going on there, too.


Businesses may use PeoplePerHour to select their desired freelancers, receive offers within minutes, and submit tasks for free. You can join the wide array of specialists that provide firms with expertise for every job. Design, online & mobile development, writing & translation, video, photo & audio, business assistance, admin, software development, marketing & social media, and so on are examples. Joining PPH will allow you to get your college side hustle ready in no time and work from the comfort of your home while studying.

Teaching Assistant Job (TA)

A teaching assistant offers support to the teacher responsible for a classroom. The main responsibilities of a teaching assistant (TA) are helping teachers with their lesson plans, ensuring that students understand the material and granting them the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge foundation, and making sure that the classroom environment is safe and welcoming.

You can apply for a teaching assistant position if you:

  • Have an associate’s degree in education or assistant teaching.
  • Completed an internship as a TA.
  • Volunteered during summer school.

According to a Teaching Assistant (TA) makes around $12.44 per hour in the United States and their most common benefits include:

  • Paid time off.
  • Loan forgiveness.
  • Professional development assistance.
  • 403 (B).

Sell on Etsy

Etsy is very straightforward and easy to start. Are you thinking about printing custom design t-shirts? If you are good at graphic design, you can also sell digital artwork on Etsy and make some beer money.

Just start uploading listings, make sure that you do a keyword analysis and target the desired audience . A good starting point is to have more than 15 listings. Additionally, get your key words in your title, description and keywords section.

If you are selling items you are enthusiastic about, your dedication is essentially meaningless unless there is a market for what you are creating. You must be realistic about your business and its possibilities, and the best way to do so is via research. Whether you want to sell anything on Etsy, see if anyone else is already selling it. How many do they have for sale? How much do they charge? Who is purchasing? When? How frequently? How easy are the listings to find? What marketing efforts have those sellers made? What did they miss that you could do better? How will you set yourself apart?

Translation Jobs

The world has become an open market and many organizations have businesses that are not restricted by geographical boundaries. Art transcends borders and many literary works of the past and present are translated into many languages ​​to help a wider audience.

The key to becoming a translator is to understand the context and meaning of the original work and then translate it into another language, without losing the integrity of the original work. It does not just mean replacing one word in another language with another. Word-for-word translation never works, because a word in one language can mean something, and its substitute in another language, if used, can change the meaning of the whole sentence. Slang and jargon must also be taken into account when translating anything.

Therefore, if you embark on your translation journey, you have to be prepared to be able to translate projects from a very wide spectrum of industries. I recommend starting your translation projects on Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.

Sign up for Lyft or Uber

Ridesharing is becoming much more popular than it was a few years ago. Uber and Lyft are two of the top giants in the industry, and the demand for drivers is rapidly growing as well. You can use your own car to transport people around, get paid per trip, and meet new people. These are great ways to make some extra pocket money!

Petsitter jobs

Pet sitters look after pets on a daily basis while their owners are away. They usually stay in the owner’s house so that the pets may stay in their accustomed surroundings. They may provide basic services to the owner, such as collecting mail and vacuuming pet hair, in addition to caring for their dogs.
Many pet sitters provide a regular dog walking service as well as pet sitting services on an as-needed basis when clients are away. Some pet sitters recruit extra employees to broaden their service area, increase the number of customers they can handle every week, and serve as a backup when they go on vacation or become ill.

BONUS – you can also do some cardio alongside the dogs!

Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube can be a great source for extra revenue! The worst part of starting your YouTube channel in my opinion is selecting a name for your channel. From then, the world is yours. It is time to make videos about every topic that you are passionate about and build up your fan base. It may take some time to get your channel monetized, but it can be a beautiful journey.

YouTube monetization requirements in 2021:

  • Follow every YouTube monetization policies.
  • Live in an eligible country or region.
  • Have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
  • Have more than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Have a linked AdSense account.

These ideas offer you a starting point. What is your favorite platform to freelance on?

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