College is tough. Making money while you’re in college can be even tougher.
Full-time class schedules make it almost impossible to have a job and work decent hours. And even if you do find a job, you might not even be making that much money once you factor in the time and transportation to get there.
Let’s break the stigma of being a broke college student. Instead of traveling to a part-time job, learn how to earn an income online right from the comfort of your own dorm room.
1. Become A Virtual Assistant
If you’re one of the few college students who’s actually organized, you could get paid to organize someone else’s life as a virtual assistant. The job duties could be anything from helping with data entry, managing social media accounts or conducting research.
The pay varies depending on the job, but sites like People Per Hour let you browse available jobs or post your own skill.
2. Download Cash-Back Apps
You’re already spending money at the grocery store, and you could be getting paid for it! Download a cash-back app like Ibotta and scan your receipt when you get home. It gives you rebates depending on the products you bought.
Or, if you’re sitting in your room doing some online shopping, join Ebates before you checkout. This cash-back site gives you a certain percentage of cash back just for shopping. Right now, they’re offering 2.5% cash-back from American Eagle, 6% from Macy’s and 2% from Forever 21. It’s not a huge percentage, but it’s free money you wouldn’t have had otherwise! Plus, you’ll feel a little less guilty for shopping online. Just a little.
3. Flip Craigslist Freebies
This might not be the most glamorous option, but you will earn extra cash! If you find some good freebies on Craigslist, sell it for a profit on an app like Letgo or OfferUp.
You might also be able to use this method with your college’s local sell and trade groups -- if you haven’t joined yours on Facebook already, trust me, it’s out there. If anyone is giving stuff away for free, grab it and flip it online.
You might have to leave your dorm if the item is from Craigslist, but once you’ve got it in-hand, bring it home, take photos of it and wait for the offers to roll in.
4. Test Websites
Instead of binging another show on Netflix, use your laptop to make some actual money. Join websites like UserTest and UserFeel and you’ll get paid to test websites.
This is a pretty easy way to make money. All you do is click around on whatever website you’re assigned to and report back on the user experience. The pay is typically around $10 per website.
5. Sell Old Textbooks Online
As a recent grad, I know you’d be lying if you said you didn’t have any old textbooks lying around. For ones you were forced to buy, it feels wrong to give it up, but it’s also just taking up valuable space. And no, you aren’t going to need to crack open your Environmental Science textbook in two years -- we have Google.
Look up your book’s value on Bookscoutr and see what company will pay the most for that textbook.
6. Sell Your Photos
If you’re a self-proclaimed iPhone photographer, you should join Foap. It’s an online marketplace where users upload their smartphone photos, and brands buy them.
Whenever one of your photos sells, you get 50% of the profits. Foap doesn’t say exactly how much you’ll make, but the price seems to vary depending on how many pictures you’re selling.
7. Evaluate Search Engines
Sign up to be a search engine evaluator and get paid to clean up Google’s mess. You’ll be looking at how user-friendly and relevant specific search results are.
This work typically pays around $12 per hour, and the hours aren’t too strict. It’s a pretty easy way to use your free time to earn extra cash.
8. Become a Freelance Writer
Has english always been your best subject? Look into becoming a freelance writer for a topic you feel passionate about. Make sure you have a few writing samples before applying, maybe start your own blog and upload a few sample pieces of content to link to when you apply.
9. Take Surveys
I know, this isn’t the most glamorous way to earn extra cash, but it’s easy and doesn’t require leaving your room. Join a few online survey panels, like VIP Voice, Swagbucks and Ipsos panel. You’ll get an email when a survey for your demographic opens.
It might not be the fastest way to earn money, but it’s not too hard to earn a few $10 Amazon gift cards.
10. Get Rid of Anything You Don’t Use
Instead of having a cluttered room, you could be making money off of things you don’t use anymore.
Sell old clothes or household items through Letgo, OfferUp, or clothing-specific apps like Poshmark or Mercari. If you have old electronics, DVDs or video games, get rid of them with Decluttr.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be stuff sitting around your dorm -- is there anything you left back at home you won’t need anymore? Maybe it’s time to get rid of all those pairs of jeans from high school, or your homecoming dress you thought was so cute in 10th grade.
11. Serve As An Online Mock Juror
Finally, all the courtroom drama shows you’ve watched will be put to use! Lawyers need help to prepare for real cases, so they turn to a mock jury. You won’t get to hear both sides of the case, but you will be reviewing all the evidence from your computer.
Apply to be an online mock juror, and you’ll get an email when a case is available for your review. The work you get is based on location, so it’s hard to say exactly how much work you might receive, but the pay is anywhere from $10-$60 per hour.
12. Work As A Social Media Manager
Spending all your time on a social media platform can actually be translated into a skill. Look for social media management jobs. It’s helpful to be able to specialize in one platform, so pick the one you’re the most familiar with.
13. Become A Transcriptionist
Are you a fast typer? You could be earning $15-$25 per hour transcribing audio. This job is great for beginners -- it doesn’t require much experience to get started, and you can work whenever you have spare time.
With today’s gig economy, it isn’t too hard to find a side hustle. And making extra money while sitting in bed is even better!