How to Make Money as a Broke College Student

How to Make Money as a Broke College Student

So you’re a broke college student — welcome to the club. From the insane tuition fees to ridiculously overpriced textbooks, making ends meet as a student likely seems impossible. But don’t lose hope.

Because in this blog post, we’re going to be exploring some ways to make money in college, even when you have no money. Whether it’s getting a part-time job, selling some of your stuff online, or finding ways to make a quick buck like participating in paid surveys or market research studies, you have some options.

Getting Part-Time Work on Campus

Getting Part-Time Work on Campus

As a broke college student, finding some on-campus jobs is one of the best ways to earn some cash. Many departments hire students for various roles, so check with your school’s career center to explore options and available jobs.

Food service or retail

Food service and retail gigs like working in the bookstore, cafeteria or campus shop are popular choices. Many college students choose retail because these jobs typically have flexible hours that work around your class schedule. You’re likely going to gain valuable experience in customer service and retail that you can throw on your resume.

Tutoring Your fellow students

If you have a talent for tutoring or teaching, think about becoming a teaching assistant or offering tutoring services to other students around your college campus. Not only will you earn money, but you will reinforce your knowledge in that subject. If your service becomes popular, even consider selling an online course on whichever topic.

Become a Resident advisor (RA)

Resident advisor (RA) roles are another option if you want free or discounted housing. RAs build community, enforce policy, and support student residents. The job usually comes with certain housing benefits.

Find internships

For the more ambitious, you could land an internship at an on-campus organization, research lab, or administrative department. Paid internships provide career experience, networking, and a paycheck of course. Some can even turn into a long-term job or lead to job offers that make even more money after your graduation.

With work readily available on most campus job boards, you have opportunities to start making money and gain some experience. While any job will require effort and time management, the benefits of work experience, extra money, and a flexible schedule around your classes are well worth it. College is meant to prepare you for your career, so make the most of opportunities for paid work experience that your school offers.

Find Gigs on TaskRabbit or Fiverr

Find Gigs on TaskRabbit or Fiverr

If you’re finding ways to earn cash in college without “real” employment, check websites like TaskRabbit or Fiverr. These platforms connect people who need help with small tasks with people who want to make a couple bucks in their spare time.


On TaskRabbit, sign up to do odd jobs like delivering groceries, helping someone move homes, cleaning houses, or do some house sitting. Jobs typically offer from $15 to $35 an hour. The great thing is you’re able to choose which tasks you want to take on based on your schedule and interests.


Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where people offer various services starting at $5. Here’re some popular gigs among college students:

  • Writing product reviews or blog posts: If you’re good with words, you could make decent money writing 500-word reviews or blog posts for $5 each.
  • Doing voiceovers or audio recordings: If you have a great speaking voice, offer to record custom voicemail greetings, audiobooks, or podcast introductions for clients.
  • Doing quick graphic or web design: If you have skills with apps like Photoshop or Canva, you could easily make $5 to $15 with things like creating logos, editing photos, designing flyers, or building websites for people or businesses.
  • Becoming part-time a virtual assistant: Freelancing as a virtual assistant involves completing various administrative tasks for an individual or business.

The important thing with these websites is building up good reviews and ratings so you can charge more for your gigs over time. While $5 tasks won’t make you rich, doing several a week can result in an easy $200 to $500 a month of extra money in your pocket.

Participate in Surveys and Market Research

To make some easy extra cash in college, start participating in surveys and market research studies.

Online Surveys

Sign up with survey sites like Surveyjunkie or Swagbucks. These sites allow you to take surveys in your spare time to earn cash and gift cards. The surveys typically take between 5 to 15 minutes to complete and you can earn between $1 to $5 for each one. The more surveys you take, the more you can make.

Participate in Focus Groups

Focus groups are in-person discussions, led by a moderator, where participants share thoughts on a new product concept or ad campaign. Companies often recruit college students for focus groups because they want feedback from their target demographic. Focus groups can pay very well, often between $50 to $200 for a one to two hour session. Check with local market research firms in your area to find opportunities.

Product Testing

Another way to make money is by testing new products, like software, mobile apps, websites, or even food and beverages. Companies are willing to pay people to use their new products and provide feedback.

Refer Friends to Earn More

Many survey and market research sites offer referral programs where you can earn bonuses for referring friends and family to sign up. You’ll get paid for any surveys or studies they participate in. This is an easy way to maximize your earnings by spreading the word about these money-making opportunities.

Start Reselling Items Online

Lastly — make money as a broke college student by reselling items online. You probably have a bunch of stuff lying around that you no longer need. Why not make some bucks by selling it?


Check your closet and pick up clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, or other accessories you don’t wear. Take photos of each item and list them on sites like Poshmark or eBay. Price items at about 40-50% of their retail value to make a quick sale.


Have a smartphone, tablet, gaming console, or other tech device collecting dust? These resell very well online. Wipe your device clean and take high quality photos showing it from different angles. Mention if it comes with any extras like a case, charger or headphones.


If you have textbooks from previous semesters, resell them on sites like Chegg or BookScouter. They make it easy to compare buyback offers to get the best price.

Other items

You can also resell furniture, home decor, musical instruments, sports equipment and more. Take photos from different angles, provide dimensions and specifics on the condition. Do some research to determine a competitive price for each item based on brand and demand.

Reselling items you already own is an easy way to earn extra money without much effort or investment. You get to free up space in your home while putting somee cash in your pocket.

Start Reselling Items Online

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