Between tuition, books, housing and basic expenses, the cost of education keeps rising. With such high prices, most students need to supplement their income with part-time work. But demanding class schedules and study obligations limit options.
Luckily, advances in technology have created new remote work opportunities ideal for students looking to earn money online from their dorm or apartment on flexible schedules. This guide explores some of the best virtual money making ideas for students along with key considerations for each opportunity.
Table of Contents
1. Provide Virtual Tutoring
- Convenient – Tutor students virtually at times that fit your schedule without needing to commute.
- Lucrative – Tutors can earn attractive hourly rates, often $20-$50+ per hour depending on expertise.
- Resume builder – Private tutoring experience enhances your skills and professional credentials.
- Make an impact – Help other students improve their grades and academic confidence.
2. Take Paid Online Surveys
In your downtime between classes, taking online surveys is an easy way to earn a small stream of cash quickly. Some key perks:
- Earn casually – Surveys can be taken anytime, anywhere through your computer or smartphone.
- Quick payouts – Many survey sites enable cashing out your earnings instantly via PayPal when thresholds are met.
- Interesting topics – Share your opinions on products, entertainment, politics, brands and more.
- Reputable – Trusted survey platforms like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars have collectively paid members over $1 billion.
While no get-rich quick scheme, occasional survey completion is an effortless way to profit during small breaks in your daily routine.
3. Freelance Your Skills Online
- Build a portfolio – Complete real assignments to demonstrate abilities to future employers.
- Gain marketable skills – Develop in-demand capabilities like coding, copywriting, SEO, data entry, and more.
- Flexible schedule – Work when it fits your classes and study schedule.
- Well-paying – Many freelancers earn over $25+ per hour. Rates rise as you build your profile and client feedback.
- Global access – Connect with clients worldwide rather than just locally thanks to digital access.
With skills like writing, programming, data analysis, social media marketing and more, freelancing gives students a professional means to monetize expertise from their dorm room.
4. Resell Items Online
Frequent thrift stores and garage sales for unique vintage items or designer goods to resell for profit on platforms like eBay, Poshmark, and Craigslist. Advantages include:
- Profit from resale mania – The popularity of buying second-hand goods online continues rising.
- Low startup costs – Just the price of acquiring inventory. You likely already have the tech needed.
- Work from your dorm – Source, photograph, list, and ship items all from your room without a dedicated workspace.
- Set your schedule – Put in time thrifting and managing listings when it fits your classes.
- Unlimited earning potential – Income scales directly in proportion to the quality and volume of items you source and sell.
With some shopping savvy and the ability to ship orders promptly, reselling thrifted merchandise provides flexible income, passive sales, and useful business experience.
5. Teach Music, Language, or Academic Lessons Online
- Leverage your expertise – Earn by teaching knowledge you already possess rather than needing to learn something new.
- Set your schedule – Control when and how often you tutor based on your changing availability.
- Make a difference – Provide a valuable service helping others master new abilities.
- Build teaching skills – Lesson instruction experience adds to your resume and improves public speaking abilities.
- Convenient – Give lessons remotely using video chat software. No commute required.
Online platforms reduce barriers making it easier than ever to start teaching your innate skills and knowledge while benefiting others. Turn what you know into earnings.
6. Sell Your Notes Online
Many platforms enable selling your engaging class notes to fellow students in need of quality study aids and references. Some top note selling sites include:
- Stuvia – Global note marketplace used by over 4 million students. Sellers keep 70% of earnings.
- Nexus Notes – Popular student-run platform taking just 35% commission on note sales.
- StudySoup – Leading academic sharing community. Pays up to $500 per uploaded document.
- Course Hero – Up to $42 per uploaded resource. Can also apply to tutor live.
For great note takers, selling your course notes provides a means to monetize your hard work while helping fellow students learn. Every good deed pays off!
7. Become a Virtual Assistant
Provide administrative or research assistance online to busy professionals and businesses. Common virtual assistant duties include:
- Scheduling appointments and managing calendars
- Responding to emails
- Researching topics online
- Making travel arrangements
- Transcribing dictations
- Managing social media accounts
Perks for students include:
- Well-paying – VA’s often earn $15-$25 per hour, especially after gaining experience and ratings.
- Flexible – Block off time in your schedule when you’re available to handle client requests rather than working set office hours.
- Great resume builder – The organizational skills developed look impressive to future employers.
8. Teach English Online
For qualified students open to working early mornings or evenings, teaching English online to students overseas is lucrative and incredibly popular. Pros include:
- Convenient – Teach from your dorm room or apartment rather than needing to commute to a school.
- $15-$25 USD per hour – Earn attractive base pay rates, with ability to earn even more through incentives and bonuses.
- Resume booster – Gain valuable teaching experience managing virtual classrooms from campus rather than just studying theory.
Popular programs like VIPKid, SayABC, Palfish, Sidetrain, and Magic Ears simplify the process of getting hired and scheduled with eager students abroad looking to practice conversational English. The pay and flexibility make teaching ESL a perfect remote work option for students.
9. Enter Competitions and Contests
A fun way students can potentially earn lump sums of extra cash is through sweepstakes and contests offering prizes for everything from random drawings to Instagram photo contests to scholarships and more. Some popular daily and ongoing competitions include:
- Online-Sweepstakes.com – Compiles contests giving away gift cards, cash jackpots, cars, vacations and other prizes into an easy to browse list.
- The Balance Everyday – Researches and compiles an updated list of current legitimate sweepstakes to consider entering each month.
- Contest Girl – Category-based index of competitions focused on providing affordable family fun rather than million dollar jackpots.
While many prizes offered fall on the smaller side, entering a few quick competitions in your downtime can lead to nice perks and occasionally lucrative payouts.
10. Get Cash Back When Online Shopping
One effortless way for students to earn a bit of money back is using cash back apps and browser extensions that give you a percentage of your purchase amounts from select online stores and services. Popular options include:
- Rakuten – Provides up to 40% cash back at thousands of participating retailers. Pays members via PayPal or check.
- Honey – Finds coupon codes and applies cash back offers automatically at checkout when you shop online.
- TopCashback – Gives new members $10 signup bonus. Provides up to 10% cash back at popular apparel, travel, food ordering, and electronics merchants.
- Swagbucks – Earn their virtual “SB” currency through online shopping, surveys, games, and more. SB can be cashed out for gift cards or Paypal.
While cash back earnings will accumulate slowly, even passive savings of 1-2% back will add up over time to provide a source of easy supplemental income as you do your normal browsing and shopping online.
Key Considerations When Earning Money as a Student
When evaluating money making ideas, be sure to:
- Check payout timing – Ensure websites and apps align with when you actually need funds rather than delayed payment schedules.
- Assess tax implications – Depending on amounts earned, taxes may need to be filed on income. Understand requirements.
- Compare hourly pay rates – Calculate expected hourly wages to determine if opportunities are worthwhile for your time investment.
- Factor in skill level required – Choose gigs well-matched to your current abilities. Avoid overly advanced skills with steep learning curves.
- Evaluate schedule flexibility – Give preference to opportunities allowing you to set your own work hours vs. rigid shifts.
Choosing opportunities providing the best logistical fit for your financial needs, skill set and dynamic academic schedule ensures earning money enhances rather than detracts from your student experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Student Side Jobs
What jobs pay well without a degree?
Some of the highest paying jobs accessible without needing a bachelor’s degree include:
- Rideshare driver – Can earn $20-$30 per hour with promotions and surge pricing.
- Sales associate – Retail sales averages $15-$20 per hour. Commission opportunities boost earnings.
- Waiter/waitress – Hourly wages plus tips can reach $20+ per hour at higher end restaurants.
- Administrative assistant – Office admin jobs tend to pay $14-$19 per hour on average.
- Real estate agent – Commission-based but six figure income potential once established.
- Personal trainer – Gym trainers can make $40 per hour or more over time by building clientele.
- Freelance work – Rates of $15-$50+ per hour possible in writing, design, programming etc.
What jobs can a college student do remotely?
Remote gigs ideal for college students include:
- Online tutoring in academic subjects
- Teaching English to students abroad
- Freelance writing and virtual assistant services
- Programming, web design, and data entry
- Online research and data collection
- Transcription and captioning of audio/video files
- Customer service roles via phone, email or live chat
- Pizza delivery driver for apps like DoorDash or UberEats
- Paid online surveys and product testing
Thanks to technology, students can earn part-time income working from their dorm room or apartment with total schedule flexibility.
How many hours should college students work?
Most experts recommend college students work no more than 10-15 hours per week. Benefits of limited hours:
- Prevents taking on more than you can handle alongside classes.
- Reduces risk of burnout compared to working full-time while attending school.
- Helps maintain strong academic performance since studies remain the priority.
- Allows time for extracurricular activities, socializing, and adequate sleep.
For the typical full-time student, 10-12 hours per week spread over a few short but consistent shifts tends to be a sustainable balance.
How much do Uber drivers make?
Uber driver income varies significantly by location, peak hours worked, whether you drive passengers or food delivery, and other factors. On average, drivers earn:
- $14-$18 per hour before deducting expenses like gas and vehicle wear.
- $8-$12 per hour after deducting approx. 30% for expenses.
- $15-$25 per hour during peak high demand times with promotions.
- $10-$15 per hour when just doing food delivery rather than passengers.
Drivers can boost earnings significantly by working Friday nights, concerts, sporting events and other busy times. But hourly pay across all hours worked tends to average in the $15 range in most metro areas.
What are the easiest online jobs for students?
Some of the most convenient online jobs for students include:
- Completing paid surveys during study breaks
- Freelance virtual assistant administrative tasks
- Online tutoring in academic subjects you already excel at
- Participating in research studies and product tests
- Transcribing audio and video files
- Data entry working through batches of records
- Captioning or translation roles utilizing your language skills
- Selling arts & crafts or used items you already own on eBay
Look for opportunities allowing you to work at your own pace, on your own schedule, using skills you already possess. This minimizes the learning curve allowing you to earn money online easily.
Final Tips for Student Side Jobs
Finding a productive way to supplement college costs can ensure you avoid debt and graduate on solid financial footing. But be sure any job enhances rather than distracts from academics. Your classes and future career remain the priority.
With so many virtual side jobs available now, students can conveniently earn income doing meaningful work tied to their strengths and interests without compromising study time. Work smart by selecting opportunities providing the best logistical and financial fit based on your unique skills and circumstances.
College passes quickly. Invest energy in maximizing every opportunity for academic and personal growth during this special time, not just making money. With online income streams, you can reduce financial stress without losing focus on getting the most out of your irreplaceable years on campus surrounded by discovery and collaboration.