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16 Legit Online Jobs For College Students to Make Extra Money in 2021

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If you are looking for the best online jobs to earn money as a student, and don’t know where to start, this list of 16 legit online jobs for college students will help you a great deal.

These are some of the best online jobs for college students that you can do right from your dorm room or at home.

These opportunities are also flexible and you can work any time of the day, day or night, and put in as few/many hours as you want.

The income varies for each of these opportunities but most will make you good cash.

Going to college is super expensive and for some students, making extra income is more appealing compared to amassing debt burdens early in life.

Some interesting statistics from educationdata.org indicate that 43% of college students acquire some form of debt while in college, and 15% of Americans have outstanding undergraduate student debt. In total, 42.9 million Americans owe about $1.71 trillion in student debt.

If you have already accrued some debt, don’t worry- you can always make some extra money and reduce the amount of debt you owe.

These legit online jobs for college students are more focused and unique and allow for convenience, flexibility, and potential for higher income.

Unlike local jobs, you also get to decide how much you want to earn per hour. You can even start your own online business on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork.

Best legit online jobs to make extra money as a college student 

1. Freelance Writer

Make extra money online as a college student through freelance writing jobs from HireWriters Company
HireWriters homepage

Freelance writing is top on my list of the best online jobs for college students as you can actually make a living out of it, without working an extra job.

Freelance writing involves creating SEO content for blogs and websites.

To start off, you need some basic SEO skills, language proficiency, a stable internet connectivity, laptop, and great research skills.

Contrary to what most people think, you rarely need to be a subject-matter expert on a particular topic, for you to talk about it. Your great online research skills can compensate for this.

One of the greatest things about freelance writing is that you can set your rates, as high as you need.

Of course, your skills will need to match your rates and most freelance writers often increase their rates as they gain more experience in the field.

Freelance writing can earn you anywhere from $15/ hour (beginners) to $65/ hour for experienced freelance content writers.

There are hundreds of content mills that hire freelance writers such as Textbroker or HireWriters.

You can also approach freelancer platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr, where you get more control over your rates, and how you work with clients.

Check out my freelance writing workshop where I share more on how to start a freelance writing business from scratch.

2. Freelance Editor and Proofreader

Editor and Proofreader jobs are legit online jobs for college students that pay well
Editing and proofreading

Working as a freelance editor and proofreader involves checking text and and other types of content for errors before sharing or publishing.

Editing involves making changes to the structure and language use in the written content. Improvements to grammar and style are also a part of the editing process.

Proofreading is the last stage in checking text for errors before it’s shared or published. Proofreading involves correcting inconsistencies and minor errors-such as punctuation, format, and capitalization.

If you want to know how to start earning while in college as a proofreader, Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere is an experienced proofreader who helps new proofreaders know how to make money online proofreading.

Caitlin makes over $50,000 just by proofreading content from home. Proofreading is one of the best online jobs fro college students since you can still make money while sharpening your grammar.

Check out Caitlin’s Free General Proofreading Intro Workshop that shows you how to make money proofreading content from home.

3. On-Demand Gigs

We’re living in the gig economy, which makes it easy for people to find help and pay individuals to do certain tasks.

One of the gig companies you can work with to make money as a college student is Quad Jobs.

Quad Jobs allows students to find gigs such as babysitting, delivery, dog walking, social media, graphic design, cleaning, and more. It’s free to use QuadJobs as a college student, and employers pay you at a mutually agreed-upon rate.

Other on-demand gig jobs include;

4. Online Tutor

While most people confuse tutoring for teaching, tutoring is all about providing extra help to your student in a subject. This means that a tutor supplements a teacher’s work.

If you have particular skills or knowledge in a given topic/ subject/ language, you can actually make some good money in your free time while in college as an online tutor.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are hoping to gain particular knowledge in a subject and are willing to pay you to tutor them.

You will need a good pair of headphones, a working computer, and stable internet to start you off in making money online as a tutor.

From classwork, DIY, facial makeup lessons or knitting, to fun stuff like pencil art or digital painting- a whole pool of eager learners is looking to learn from you.

Find some free time and schedule your students. Three or four hours a day will be good for you to make some extra cash.

Tutoring is one of the most legit online jobs for college students as you can even tutor fellow college students .

Companies like Magic Ears hire undergraduate students while companies like VIPKids require you to be a graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

5. Online Surveys

Online surveys are among the best online jobs for college students but, you need to know the companies to work for.

Shady companies that don’t pay have tarnished the legitimacy of this opportunity.

Generally, surveys are easy to do and may only need 20 to 30 minutes to complete

Expect to make anywhere from $0.2 to $15 per survey on average but some surveys can earn you up to $100.

You will mostly work with online market research companies that will pay you to share your thoughts or views about particular products or services on request.

No need to worry about the products or services that surveys may ask you to review because they are often things that you already use or know about.

One of the best survey companies that pay the highest is Vindale Research but you have to join focus group meetings in person for you to participate.

6. Data Entry

data entry jobs are legit online jobs for college students as they don't need any experience
data entry jobs

The “standard” meaning for data entry is- manually inputting data that is either numerical, alphabetical, or symbolic into a company’s system.

Data entry mainly involves transferring data from one source to another. You may be asked to move data that is either handwritten or in audio form- into another form, mostly electronic.

Data entry is a great way to earn online for college students as it doesn’t require strenuous mental engagement.

Data entry jobs fall in the class of legit online jobs for college students that require little to no experience.

In some instances, you may only need to take a typing speed test to prove that you are fast at typing. It may feel monotonous to some people, but you can earn anywhere from $15-$20/ hour.

7. Stock Photographer

Stock photography is a great way to make extra money online as a college student.
stock photography online jobs

Stock photos on websites such as Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Pexels are in high demand. Just like online tutoring and freelance writing, you can make money as a college student selling stock photos.

If you know your way around photography and videography, you can create a great business model even with your smartphone.

In addition, there are lots of free beginner photography courses you could use. Professional cameras are also affordable nowadays, and you could start making money right off the bat.

If photography is a passion and you have an artistic allure, you could also explore freelance photography and book for weekend/ weekday events and parties- depending on your schedule.

Creating an online portfolio for your photography business would be a plus for your business. This is one of the best online jobs for college students as you have no cap over the money you make, and you can actually turn this side hustle into a full career.

8. Social Media Marketing

social media marketing is one of the best online jobs for college students as the income potential is unlimited
social media marketing

Every business now realizes the need for social media as a great channel for marketing.

However, the digital market is constantly growing and changing and most business owners don’t know how to keep up.

If you are comfortable using social media and know a thing or two digital marketing, you could easily make $30/ hour creating and managing social media campaigns for local organizations or businesses near you.

Social media marketing isn’t just one of the best online jobs for college students. It’s also a bankable and fun career that is appealing and highly sought after in the digital world.

You can make extra money while in college through social media marketing.

It’s one of the jobs that can be fully remote and you can just run your social media marketing business in your college dorm room.

Tools such as HootSuite are great for helping you manage different social media platforms for your clients and schedule posts to automate social media management.

9. English Teacher Online

ESL teaching can be a great way to earn extra cash while in college. English is one of the most in-demand languages globally and you can teach part-time to people who want to learn english.

While some companies require yo to have a teaching licence, there are many other companies that don’t require any type of formality or English nativity for you to work with them.

The work might be time-consuming and might need some getting used to it, but you earn anywhere between $12-$25 per hour.

You will need to have a stable internet connection, a quiet working space, and Skype or other preferred video calling platforms. Fiverr and tutor.com is a great place to make money as an ESL teacher while in college.

10. Online Seller

There isn’t too much room in your dorm as a college student. You could make a good deal of cash through online selling. All you need to do is create an account on online seller marketplaces such as eBay, sell off your clutter, and make some money.

Online selling is one of the legit online jobs for college students that can make you a significant income without any prior experience.

Finding and listing items for sale is easy and you could make consistent income online.

All you need is to buy second-hand items, mark up the price, list them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay, and sell them for quick bucks.

If you are artistic or love crafts- making money online as a college student through Etsy is easy. It’s easy to list and sell your items, and Etsy can be a great place for you to build your brand.

All you need is supplies to make your art, great pictures of your products, and presentable packaging for your art/ products.


11. Selling your College Notes

Sell college notes to make money online in college
College notes

While you don’t want to get caught selling term papers to your student friends, selling well-written lecture notes is a totally legal way of making money in college.

If you’ve perfected your note-taking skills, selling notes is one of the legit online jobs for college students that can make you good money.

Just make that your students get wind of your notes-selling business by using campus bulletins and online markets. 

You can settle for a term-by-term agreement with your students, or you can upload your notes on a weekly basis on a website and receive weekly payments.

Ensure that you get in touch with the campus student union and advisors first to avoid getting accused of plagiarism.

12. Amazon MTurk

MTurk is a crowdsourcing program by Amazon that hires for tasks such as data mining, data entry, and transcription.

MTurk jobs are legit online jobs for college students, but you may not make as much money.

Most of these jobs are often low-paying, but the high-paying jobs listed are taken up as fast as they come.

To get high-paying jobs, you will need to keep checking back often to land them.

You have to apply first and then get accepted to get these jobs.

Making money online as a college student through MTurk is not reliable due to inconsistency, but it’s worth it if you are looking for extra cash.

13. Start a Blog

Starting a blog is less of a job, and more of creating a business while in college.

Starting a blog is my personal favorite because it’s highly profitable and is also a great investment for your future.

I started this blog late 2019, and owing to the much I have made in the last 1 year, I only wish I had the foresight to start blogging earlier in life. 

You can earn as much as $4,000 per month in your first year of blogging. It’s one of the best online jobs for college students as you don’t have to focus 100% of your time to make money.

To start your own blogging business, you pick a niche, start your blog, and set yourself up as an expert. You then use affiliate programs, ads, online courses, and digital products to monetize your blog.

Affiliate marketing is all about promoting products from other companies on your blog and you get paid a commission on every sale.

Here are some of the reasons why blogging is a great idea for college students;

  • You can fit your blogging activities within your school schedule comfortably
  • It provides the privilege of meeting and interacting with people and opportunities that you couldn’t have met before
  • You need little money to start and run a blog
  • There’s no limit as to the topics you can blog about- and you will still make money out of it
  • There are a ton of ways that you can make money blogging

I have a huge guide that details every step on how you can start your blog this year.

What makes blogging great is that the income is actually passive, coming from more than 11 blog monetization methods that allow you to make money even while in class.

Cost: You can create a blog with a free domain name and a $2.95/ month hosting with Bluehost.

They are one of the best web hosting companies if you are creating a wordpress website.

For the easiest way to create a blog, the Wix Website builder is your best bet.

Wix is a great website builder for all types of websites. You can set up and launch a website with Wix in under 1 hour. They get you a great drag-and-drop- page builder that allows yout to buld a website even if you have no coding experience.

Why Wix is a great option for everyone in need of a website;

  • While you may have a great social media following, a website is your own platform. In case you use a social media platform to sell products/ services online- and the platform shadowbans you or dies off- you wil have a solid digital real estate to continue promoting your business
  • A website can can help you display your portfolio and act as a resume for your college sidehustles or career
  • You can create an ecommerce platform using Wix to sell your products online
  • You don’t need to know how to write code to create a website with Wix

14. Virtual Assistant

If you are the type of people who are highly organized, love sticky notes, and color- coded notes, then you could make extra income in college as a virtual assistant.

There are plenty of legit online jobs for college students as virtual assistants, even on Facebook groups such as the Virtual Assistant Savvies.

Virtual assistant gigs vary in terms of the type of work, skill-level needed, salary, and hours.

You could work as a generalist VA- taking care of everything from data entry, to managing social communities, to creating social media content, etc.

Check out this Virtual Assistant course by Ludiah Onami that shapes you up into a highly-paid, highly sought-after VA.

15. Transcriptionist

Just like in freelance writing and proofreading working as a transcriptionist starts with a low rate and you build up as you gain more experience and build reputation in your job sites.

You don’t need any prior experience to be a transcriptionist, but a starter online transcription course can help you grow fast and earn higher rates.

Most transcription job sites will require you to do an assessment test before joining their team, to assess your skill levels.

Payouts are offered either through PayPal, Payoneer, or direct bank transfers.

Entry-level general transcriptionists earn $15-25 an hour. Specialization into complex and technical fields such as legal or medical can earn you more.

To get started and get legit online jobs for college students, all you need is a stable internet connection and solid typing skills.

16. Test Websites

If you lean more to the tech-savvy lot and have great communication skills, testing apps and websites is among the legit online jobs for college students that most people don’t talk about. 

A test runs between 5-25 minutes and you can earn $10 on average for every test.

Some companies may require a practice test before hiring you- to ensure that you are able to provide clear and detailed feedback.

Companies that hire user testers include;

What to Consider Before Starting to Make Extra Money as a College Student

Before making your pick, there are a few important things to consider when choosing from our list of the top 16 best online jobs for college students.

1. Can You Actually Work Online From Your Dorm Room?

If you live in a dorm, ensure that your room has a strong wifi connection and that you own a decent laptop. These are basic tools for everyone working online. 

Create time blocks with minimal roommate distractions so that you can focus on your college side hustle. Coffee shops and the library are a great productivity alternative if you can’t work in the dorm room.

While most legit online jobs for college students are flexible, you’ll need time to work and still make time for other things in college.

You’ll therefore need to be productive and consistent to make any meaningful income.

Understanding what you are capable of, will help you stay motivated. Biting more than you can chew will cripple your enthusiasm for earning while studying.

2. How much money do you need to make?

You could be aiming to pay your college fee all by yourself- or just looking for some extra cash for beer.

Whatever you want to accomplish by earning extra cash, start with setting goals for weekly earnings. 

Some online jobs pay more than others and you can therefore set the number of hours you need to work to make your net weekly earnings.

3. Consider your Schedule

Even with 15 credit hours, most students make it possible to have their Fridays and weeknights off.

The best online jobs for college students are those you can do when your schedule is open. The amount of time you have outside school and studies is a good determinant of how your work schedule looks like.

Great thing is, online jobs are flexible and can fit in your other schedules. Just don’t lose yourself to working more and neglecting your studies.

A loose schedule may inhibit your ability to focus on your studies and work. Create schedules for your online work so you will know how much you can make in a week.

4. Consider your skills and strengths

Are you artistic or digitally talented? Knowing what you’re good at can help you put your foot into a career that you wish to pursue after college and still make money out of the side-hustle.

Graphic designers can have a good start to their careers by working on Fiverr. If you want to follow the world of writing, a freelancing site such as Upwork can be a great place to test the waters of where you want to be in the future. The idea is that some of the legit online jobs for college students can turn into a career after you are done with college.

5. Starting Cost

Online hourly jobs shouldn’t cost you anything to start. Beware of online opportunities that require you to buy any products upfront or attend physical meetings. There’s a high likelihood that opportunities with such requirements are pyramid schemes.

Summary; Best Online Jobs for College Students

College students don’t have to stay broke. It doesn’t feel great to stay broke in a new town where people and opportunities feel new to you.

Even while college life is expensive, you don’t have to stay broke. The best online jobs for college students revolve around digital marketing, social media marketing, SEO, and ecommerce.

I’m sure you may have come across pretty successful students who are already making a consistent income in the fields mentioned above.

Whether you just need enough to cover your student loans, or you want extra income for a beer, you can begin making money in your cramped dorm room. Pick any one of these legit online jobs for college students and give it a shot.

Q: Have you tried making extra money as a college student using any one of these methods? Feel free to let me know what your experience has been like in the comments section.