How to make money in college without hurting your GPA

By EB

How to make money in college? Don’t worry; we got you covered. In this post, we will discuss the best ways to make money in college without messing up your GPA.

Making money in college can be an overwhelming task. It is a juggle between your GPA and financial goals. For me, that wasn’t so easy. I studied Electrical Engineering, and having a side hustle almost de-railed my academics. Anyway, I have managed to do both (I repeat, it wasn’t that easy). I did my studies and succeeded in making money in college to start my own business after graduation.

To be honest, trying to make money in college can hurt your GPA. For some people, trying to make money while studying can be a stressful process. However, if you are a low-income student (like me, when I was at college), there might be no other option than trying to balance both your GPA and money.

Is it possible to make money in college without hurting your GPA?

Statistics about making money in college

  • The most common ways to make money in college are in the food service and retail industries.
  • If a student works full-time earning the minimum wage, they would only make $15,080 a year.
  • According to the NCES Statistics, the average cost of one year of college at a public college is $16,188 and $41,970 at a private college.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that students who worked less than 20 hours per week had an average GPA of 3.13, while nonworking students had an average GPA of 3.04.
  • However, students who worked more than 20 hours a week had a GPA of 2.95 on average.

How to make money in college by working online

Making money online is the easiest way to get started. It gives a lot of flexibility for you to manage your college work while making money. So, let us discuss some popular online money making methods that can help you to make money in college.

Additional reading: How to make money online

1. Start a money-making blog

Writing a blog is the most flexible way to make money online in college. Finding a couple of hours a day to write a blog post is not a hard thing to do when you are at college. Now I work 9-5, run a few online stores, and still, I find time to write this blog.

There are many different ways to monetize your blog. You can use an ad network (I am using Google Adsense on this blog) to make money by displaying ads on your blog. Also, you can use affiliate marketing to make money from your blog. With affiliate marketing, you can promote certain products in your posts and earn a commission for each sale you make. Check this post for best affiliate programs for bloggers.

2. Become a freelance blog writer to make money in college

Making money from your blog can take time. If you need to make money in college real fast, it is better to write blog posts for other websites. Maybe you will find another student, who is having a successful blog, to sell your blog posts.

I have a few online stores, and I pay around $25 per 500-word blog posts for these sites. Once you are familiar with the process, you can write a 500-word blog post in less than an hour. And, if you can do a great job writing fantastic blog posts, your clients will hire you again for more jobs. So, it will help you to make a recurring income in college.

3. Teach online and make money

This is one of the best ways to make money in college. If you can have a valid educational qualification, you can start tutoring online and easily make around $500+ per month by working for just two hours a day.

You can sign-up with an online tutoring platform like vipkidteachers or Chegg and start making money without messing up your GPA. Also, by teaching the subjects that are related to your courses, you can be good at your course content too. Do you know that the best way to learn is by teaching? So, start teaching and make money in college while getting better grades.

4. Create Udemy courses

I did this when I was at college too. You can create Udemy courses for the subjects that you are taking in college. So, in a way, you can excel these subjects while making money from Udemy. With Udemy you can earn money every time someone purchases your course. Trust me; if you are good at teaching, you can make a fortune out of this.

I have started creating Udemy courses with one of my friends at college. Even though I couldn’t stick to it, my friend saved up a lot of money to start his own IT training center after graduation. So, this is something I can highly recommend you to make money in college.

5. Do (VA) virtual assistant jobs to make money in college

When I was trying to make money to start a business; I worked day and night as a VA for a couple of local hotels. I have managed their booking sites, answering the customer reviews, and made around $200-$500 per month. When you are in college, $200 is a considerable amount of money.

So, if you have time and if you always stay online, you can find similar VA jobs to make money in college. You can find a lot of VA jobs in most of the e-commerce businesses. Join a freelancing platform like up work, Fiverr, or freelancer to find such jobs. Also, you can even directly call local small businesses to find VA jobs too. Hey, you can also join some e-commerce business owner’s groups on Facebook and message those who are looking for VAs too.

6. Start selling on eBay

Re-selling stuff on eBay is the best way to get started with e-commerce. Also, if you are looking for a method to make money in college without hurting your GPA, selling on eBay can be an excellent option for you. Selling on eBay doesn’t require a lot of time and effort. You can easily manage your business with your studies.

What can you sell on eBay to make money? Well, you can re-sell products from cheap marketplaces (like Aliexpress) on eBay for a higher price. If you are selling generic products, this process is not an illegal way to make money. Check this article about dropshipping. It explains how to re-sell products on eBay without having to spend any money.

7. Start an online business to make money in college

Starting an online business will not only help you to make money in college, but it will help you to build a sustainable business for your future too.

I had started my first online dropshipping store in college. Of course, that business failed. However, that was because I didn’t know much about online marketing back then. After learning a lot about online marketing, I have restarted a few online dropshipping stores. Now around 70% of my monthly income is generated from two of my online stores.

So, you can try to start your own online store. It is not an easy way to make money in college. However, that is a sustainable way to make money.

Here are some fantastic business ideas for you:

  1. Start selling jewelry online
  2. Start selling t-shirts online
  3. Sell socks online
  4. Start selling make-up online
  5. Start an online phone case business

8. Take surveys to make money

If you are looking for a method to make money in college without having to spend a lot of time and effort, this is a quick and easy method for you. You can take online surveys and make money. But you won’t be able to make a lot. For example, you can earn around $1 by completing a single survey. And, it takes around 5 minutes to complete a survey.

Here are some popular sites to make money from online surveys. You can even pick multiple sites to start making money online.

  1. surveyjunkie
  2. mypoints
  3. Swagbucks
  4. Inboxdollars
  5. Vindales

These methods to make money is useful, especially if you have to commute a lot. I can remember that back then I mindlessly took surveys while I was traveling on the bus. However, don’t choose such easy methods if you can do more. Otherwise, it will be a waste of your time.

If you are interested in finding more about such methods, read this article about online money making apps.

9. Become a voice actor

If you have a great voice, you can become a voice actor and make money in college. And, if you have a great cartoon or gaming voice, your money sack will be much heavier. If you think that you have a good voice, you can try finding a voice over jobs from platforms like voice and voice-bunny.

Also, you can list your gig on freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr to find some great voice over jobs. Who knows, that dramatic voice of yours can be your gateway to debt-free graduation.

10. Start a YouTube channel to make money in college

This 7-year-old YouTuber has made $22 million. So, why can’t you start your own YouTube channel and make money in college?

If you check the top YouTuber channels, you will realize that they are all in the entertainment field. So, you can casually start a prank channel or a DIY channel, with the help of your friends, to make money on YouTube while in college.

You don’t need to invest in a high-cost camera setup to get started. You can start making videos using your phone. Once you start monetizing your channel, you can re-invest and buy a better camera.

11. Participate in design competitions

If you have a knack for design (for example graphic design), you may be already thinking of starting your own business as a freelancing creative designer. However, no matter how talented you are, it is not easy to find clients first.

Some time ago, I did some logo designing to make money (still I do, occasionally). So, I tried to post my gig on freelancing sites and tried to find clients. However, that didn’t work. It is super crowded, and a lot of experienced freelancers are getting all the attention.

Then, I start working on design competitions. I had participated in 99deisgn logo competitions and won around 7 or 8 competitions. I was a level two designer, and now the prize money for a win is $471.

12. Become a translator to make money in college

If you know another language, you can easily find plenty of translator jobs in freelancing marketplaces. Also, if you are good with your grammar, you can become a proofreader too.

Sometimes you can even find jobs from a local translator. If you look around, you will find a batchmate who is already working as a translator. So, reach them and ask for some translation jobs. If you do it for a lesser amount of money, they can sell your work to their clients by keeping a profit. So, it will be a win-win situation for both of you.

How to make money in college by doing physical jobs

So far, we have discussed how to make money in college by doing online jobs. Although online jobs are easy and flexible, most of the time, physical jobs let you make money much quicker. So, let us discuss some popular physical jobs that you can do to make money in college.

13. Become a teaching assistant

Becoming a teaching assistant is one of the most popular jobs for college students to make money. As a teaching assistant (TA) you can assist a professor during a class, help students with the assignments, teach in lab classes, or even teach the entire classes.

If you have a goal for higher studies, being a TA can help you with many aspects of your goal (other than helping you to make money in college). For example, you can build a good relationship with your professors, help you to get hands-on experience in teaching, and sometimes you can even get credits for being a TA.

If you like to find a TA job to make money in college, reach a suitable professor and let them know that you are interested in a TA job. Some colleges even post TA vacancies in notice boards and college website.

14. Work as a research assistant to make money in college

If you are not good at teaching or working with students, it is much easier to become a research assistant and make money in college. Duties of a research assistant can vary depending on your college and subjects. Usually, the research assistants are supposed to help professors to conduct their research projects.

As a research assistant, you will have to conduct experiments, prepare and clean setups, or even do all the paper-work for the research (like writing the research paper).

Same as for the TA jobs, you can directly ask a professor for a research assistant job or check the college website or notice boards for the vacancies.

15. Become a dog walker/ dog sitter

If you want to make money in college while taking a little break from your academics, dog walking and dog sitting is a great way to do that. Also, if you love dogs and if you can’t have one, still you can enjoy their company by walking them for money.

You can use apps like Rover to find dog walking jobs in your neighborhood. Some reviews say part-time dog walkers make around $1000 per month with Rover and full-time dog walkers make $3300 per month. That is some decent amount of money for sure.

16. Find a part-time off-campus job

If you look around, you will find plenty of part-time jobs near colleges. For example, I worked in a local pub in my freshman year to make some money and of course for the drinks. Also, it is not uncommon for college students to work in local restaurants, gas-stations, IT centers, and even in cleaning services.

Let us get real; life is not easy for most of us. So, there is nothing wrong with working some extra hours off-campus to make money in college.

17. Find a job at campus services

If your classes are tight, sometimes you will not find it is easy to work outside. If that happens, you can try to find a job in campus services to make money in college.

For example, students usually work in the IT labs, maintenance department, campus banks, post-office, and in libraries. By start working inside the college, you can save much time.

Usually, the vacancies for such jobs are posted on the notice boards and college website.

18. Become an Uber or Lyft driver to make money

If you have a car, you can become an Uber or Lyft driver in free times to make money while in college. Also, there can be some other local taxi services near your college, where you can join as a part-time driver.

The best thing about becoming an Uber or Lyft driver is you can do it according to your timetable without messing up with your classes.

19. Find jobs on TaskRabbit

If you are good with handy work, you can make money by assembling IKEA furniture, mounting TVs, or by helping to move houses around the neighborhood of your college.

Apps like TaskRabbit can help you to find handy jobs in your area. Depending on your skills and where you live, you will be able to make a six-figure income per year. Isn’t that a great way to make money in college?

20. Become a delivery guy

There are online delivery services that you can join and start making money in college. For example, you can make $25 per hour by delivering on postmates or Amazon flex. Also, you can join popular food delivery services like uberEats and Doordash. The best thing is, most of the delivery jobs are available in the evening and night time. So, you can work on these delivery services and make money without clashing your classes.

21. Flip products for profit

I did this a lot when I was at college. I ordered electronics from marketplaces like Aliexpress or cash-back bonus sites like ebates and sold them to my friends by keeping a profit. When you are in a college, you quickly reach hundreds of people by just posting a flyer on a notice board.

To be honest, flipping products like that made me fall in love with online businesses. So, why don’t you try to do something similar to make money in college? Purchase a few products (to get discounts) and re-sell in college.

Make money in college – Final verdict

Yes, it is possible to make money in college. And, yes, it is possible to make money in college without hurting your GPA.

I personally believe that rather than walking out of the college with a massive debt on your shoulder; it is better to lay a foundation to become an entrepreneur while you are in college. By trying different methods to make money in college, you will find the taste of entrepreneurship.

When I was at college, I did VA jobs, did bartending, flipped products, designed logos, tried dropshipping, and did my best to make money. These methods gave me the courage and knowledge to start a few side hustles after graduation. And, these side-hustles make 70% of my money income now.

So, whether you are from a wealthy family or not, try to make money in college. It will lead you to live an independent life after graduation. And, even if you couldn’t get employment right after college, still you can expand your money making methods to make a living.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy your time at college. I spent a lot of my extra time to make money in college and eventually forget to enjoy college. So, I missed a lot. Manage your time between GPA, money, and friends.