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Side Hustles for College Students to Pay Student Loans – Forbes Advisor


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When you’re in college, it can be difficult to keep up with your student loan debt, especially if you have little time outside of class to generate income.

But starting the student loan repayment process early is one of the best ways to make your life after graduation easier. The sooner you pay off your student loans, the sooner you can focus on other financial goals, like buying a home or starting a business.

Even if you don’t have a lot of time outside of classes and studies, there are some side jobs and activities you can do to earn more and pay off your loans faster. Here’s a list of some of the best concerts for students, from remote work to in-person opportunities.

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If you prefer to work from home or wherever you are, there are plenty of remote jobs available, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses to move away altogether. Here are some home jobs to consider.

1. Website test

Website testing is a fairly simple but popular way for college students to earn extra money. Sites like User test pay $ 4 for a five-minute test, $ 10 for a 20-minute test, and between $ 30 and $ 120 for a live interview. All you need is a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and microphone.

Payments are made seven days after the end of the test and users are paid through PayPal.

2. Design for print-on-demand sites

If you’re creative, consider creating digital designs and uploading them to print-on-demand sites like RedBubble, Society6, and CafePress. All you have to do is create the design and choose which elements you want to print the design on. Common options include travel mugs, t-shirts, or phone cases.

Every time someone buys an item with your design, you get a percentage of the sales. You will need to market your store to find customers, but you can create multiple models and work on your own schedule. Additionally, you can use the designs as part of your portfolio to land a graphic design internship.

3. Independent

Freelance writing, graphic design, and web development are all great options for those interested in a sideline that they can do anywhere. Sites like Fifth and Upwork are good resources to start, but you can also ask your professors if they have any suggestions or if they know of anyone looking for a freelance writer.

4. Sale of category tickets

There are now more legitimate ways to sell your lecture notes on sites like Notes on the link and Studying Soup to earn extra money. Some college disability services departments will also pay students directly for their grades. Contact your college to see if this is an option.

6 best in-person side activities for students

If you are the type of person who enjoys going out and meeting people, then working locally at a job might be the best option. Here are six in-person side concerts for you to consider.

1. Take psychology studies

College psychology departments often conduct research studies that require hundreds or even thousands of respondents, and they typically pay students to participate, often between $ 10 and $ 20 an hour.

To find these concerts, visit your psychology department’s website and see if they list any opportunities. If you can’t find anything, contact the service directly and ask where you need to go. Some universities may only post these studies on a physical bulletin board that you will need to visit regularly to find new jobs.

2. Tutoring

If you enjoy teaching or have some knowledge in a specific subject, being a tutor can be a good side activity. Platforms such as Chegg, Rosetta Stone, and Varsity Tutors allow you to register to teach distance learning to students. You can also promote your tutoring services online and ask for referrals to avoid paying platform fees.

Remember to tutor high school students whose parents are willing to pay for higher grades and test scores. If you are a Spanish student, you can tutor Spanish high school students. If you have obtained a high score on the SAT, you can mentor students for this exam.

3. Resell objects and manuals

If you have extra items or furniture lying around, selling them online on sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, and eBay is a good way to earn extra money. Maybe your family has things they don’t use but also don’t have the time to post online? Take it out of their hands and sell it.

At the end of each semester, you can also resell your textbooks to students on campus or in your on-campus bookstore.

To save money, ask your friends to donate extra boxes and packaging so you don’t have to buy these materials.

4. Mystery shopping

Sites like BestMark allow you to sign up for mystery shopping opportunities, where you can visit and review restaurants, stores, cinemas and more. You will sign up for a mystery shopper job and then provide notes, photos or a video account of your experience.

5. Child care

If you enjoy looking after children, babysitting can be a lucrative and consistent sideline. Start by finding families you know in the area, like your teacher’s children. Sign up on a site like, where families can book directly with you. If you have experience in a particular area, offer to tutor children while you babysit.

6. Dog walk

Dog walking and animal sitting are great options for students as you can book jobs on your preferred schedule and have fun doing it, if you love animals.

Make yourself known on your social networks and tell all pet owners that you know you are available to sit. Find your neighborhood Facebook or NextDoor group and advertise your services.

You can also create a profile on and Charge lower prices when you first start, then gradually increase your rates as you get more reviews and repeat customers.

Benefits of having a secondary activity

Take out fewer student loans

Earning extra income through side activities can reduce the amount you need to borrow in student loans. Every dollar you don’t need to borrow is a dollar you don’t have to pay interest on.

If you have enough money to cover living expenses, you might even start paying off your student loan while you’re still in school. Contact your loan officer and ask them how to get started.

Pay for extracurriculars

If you have a side business, you can use the proceeds to pay for expenses like studying abroad, buying a car, or anything else you’d like to do but couldn’t afford before. If you want to backpack around Europe after graduation, starting a side business can cover airfare, hostels, and meals.

Develop relevant professional skills

The best side activity is one that will pay off both now and in the future. Try to find a job where you can develop skills relevant to your future job. For example, if you want to become a web developer, offer website building services.

Keep an open mind and look wide

Whatever you choose to accept as a side gig, it’s a chance for you to seek out lots of different opportunities before you graduate and get locked into a particular career.

Ask professors if they have heard of concerts on campus or other students if they need help with anything for money. Look for one-off instant jobs on sites like TaskRabbit where you can get paid for anything like setting up a TV or being a virtual assistant. There are many sites online, including LinkedIn, Indeed, and Facebook Marketplace, which will also post additional job postings.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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