15 Summer Money Making Ideas For College Students

Believe it or not, summer can be a really tough time for students to get jobs. Why? Because many employers look at the time frame the student can work (2-3 months), and then turndown student candidates.

Why hire a student when there is someone else that would stay around for longer? Heck, it takes 1-2 months just to train someone well – by the time we finish training, they’re gone.

But college student’s shouldn’t give up – especially this summer with the job shortage taking hold nationwide. There are plenty of ways for college students to make money over the summer. Here are 15 money making ideas for college students that they can do over the summer even if they can’t get a “real” job.

1. Search The Internet

Do you search the Internet for stuff? Want to get paid for it? There are two main companies that pay you for doing online tasks like searching the Internet. The more tasks you complete, the more you get paid. Even better, both of these companies offer bonuses just for signing up.

Swagbucks is a site that lets you earn points called SB for doing various online tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and using their search engine. When using their search engine, you get SB points after several searches, usually in the amount of 10-15 SB. You can start cashing out the SB points at the 500 points mark.

If you sign up for Swagbucks through THIS LINK you can earn a $5 bonus!

Another option is InboxDollars. Similar to Swagbucks, they offer cash bonuses for searching the web or shopping online. Just for signing up with THIS LINK you can earn a $5 bonus!

2. Become An Online Tutor

This has become one of my favorite new ways to make money online – especially for college students. There are several companies now that allow you to teach online. Specifically, these companies allow college students (and those with college degrees) to teach English online.

If you’re good at English, and would feel comfortable teaching English online, check out VIP Kid and teach English online for a good hourly rate.

3. Sell Stuff On eBay Or Amazon

Selling stuff on eBay was one of the first ways I ever made money online. I used to sell everything old in my house. I soon started selling on Amazon as well, simply focusing around music, movies, and books.

Selling on eBay eventually turned into a very large side business for me, and was earning me about $3,000 per year – very part time.

Get started selling on Amazon here.

Get started selling on eBay here.

Check out Etsy if you want to sell things you make.

4. Fill Out Online Surveys

Believe it or not, there are companies out there that will pay you to take online surveys. The reason? They simply want your opinion. All you have to do is register, and these companies will contact you when they have a survey that fits your profile. Typically these are online market research surveys for big brands.

Some of the most popular online survey sites include:

  • Survey Junkie – Earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts and opinions.
  • Swagbucks Surveys – Swagbucks now has a dedicated survey section, and you can get $5 just for signing up.
  • Opinion Outpost – Earn cash for filling out surveys.

5. Do Small Online Tasks On Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a great potential way to earn money. The gigs on this site pay incredibly low amounts – less than a nickel typically. However, they take seconds, and you can typically earn around $6 per hour if you keep at it.

I put together a full guide on how to maximize the amount of money you make by leveraging tools and forums. Check it out here: How To Make Money With Amazon’s MTurk.

6. Deliver Food By Car or Even Bike

Another of my favorite ways for college students to earn money over the summer is to deliver food. The great thing about this is you just pick up and drop off food, and you don’t have to have people in your car! Also, if you don’t have a car, you could even deliver food and make money with a bike or scooter.

Two of my favorite apps for delivery are Door Dash and Instacart.

Both of these apps allow you to deliver on your own terms. You accept an order, get the food, deliver it, and get paid. It’s an awesome way to get paid on your own terms. Check out our full Door Dash review here.

Get started with Door Dash here.

Get started with Instacart here.

7. Drive For Uber or Lyft

If you’re home for the summer and have a car, you could make money simply by driving people around. All you need is a car and some spare time. This could earn you several hundred per week if you are in an area where ride-on-demand is popular. Plus, you never know how many fun people you could meet.

You can easily sign up with Uber and start driving people around as a side hustle. You’ll make what you put into it. Harry at The Ride Share Guy has a lot of great resources about getting started.

We’ve also noticed that Lyft is running an lot of incentives to get drivers to sign up. Make sure you check out Lyft and see if they have any great offers.

8. Deliver Groceries and More!

Instacart is an on-demand delivery service where you get paid around deliver groceries and food. That’s not bad.

With Instacart, you deliver on your own time. You might deliver groceries, restaurant orders, and more! This is a great summer gig for students because you do it on your own time – download the app, get signed up, and only take deliveries when you’re able to. 

So, for flexibility this summer, this is a great option! Sign up and deliver with Instacart today >>

9. Join Agent Anything And Do Random Tasks

Agent Anything is a site that outsources tasks, but is more geared to students. People post projects on the site and you can make offers on how much you’re willing to pay to help. Most gigs on the site earn anywhere from $20 to $100, but some earn more. However, they are usually pretty quick and easy jobs.

Think of this as another version of Task Rabbit, but one focused towards young adults.

10. Babysit Or Housesit

Babysitting and housesitting are two great ways to make money while you’re home on summer vacation. Both require no long term commitment, and they both can earn you good money.

Start by asking friends, family, and neighbors if they need anyone to help. If they don’t, you could always consider posting to a site like Care.com and looking for work there. Finding work through friends and family is typically easier, but looking online opens up more options.

11. Become a Dog Walker

Another great way to earn money, especially if you love animals, is to become a dog walker. In many cities people are looking for individuals to walk their dogs and pets. Even in more suburban areas, people are looking to hire others to spend time with their pets – especially when the owners have a busy schedule.

Once again, the best way to find work is to talk to friends and neighbors, but there are services online that can also help. You can look for dog walking work on Care.com and Rover

12. Start A Summer Moving Service

Another great way to make extra money during the summer is to start a moving service. This job is even better if you can get 1-2 friends to join you.

The best way to look for gigs is to post on Craigslist as a moving service. People will contact you, and you can negotiate the rate. Remember, you’ll likely have to rent a U-Haul truck, pay for gas, and spend a lot of time for each client. Price yourself accordingly.

13. Do House Painting Or Handyman Work

You can also look for house painting or handyman work. Many people start looking to do home improvements once summer arrives, and if you are willing to put in the manual labor, this could be a great way to earn money.

There are a few ways to go about it: 1) do the work on your own from start to finish by contacting individuals and setting up deals. 2) you can join a company that you are affiliated with, you do the sales, and the painting, but they provide the infrastructure, billing, supplies, and more. 3) you go and work for a company as summer/on-demand labor.

A great place to start is Handy, an app that connects people looking for work with those needing it.

14. Be A Part Of A Medical Survey

This is one of our favorite unique ways to make money, and it can earn you hundreds or even thousands of dollars for your time. Given that you have time on your side for the summer, you could be a great candidate to participate in medical studies. Check your local schools or hospitals and see if they have any information on studies you can be a part of. The higher paying studies are the ones that require overnight stays.

15. Get Paid To Be Someone’s Friend

If you want to go out and do a fun activity – like eat dinner or watch a movie – but don’t have anyone to do it with, you could join a service like Rentafriend.com, where you can get paid to become someone’s friend for a period of time. This is strictly platonic stuff here, so don’t think about it any other way please.

Final Thoughts

Just because getting a summer job at a big company or retailer is difficult, that doesn’t mean that you can’t work and earn money. There are lots of ways to earn money during the summer, you just have to find it. And who knows, some of these gigs might turn into side hustles that you can do during college when you go back in the fall.

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