Online Opportunities for Earning Additional Income

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students paid an average of $13,016 for college tuition in the 2018-19 school year. With room and board, the number rose to $24,623. Most classes require students to purchase books, adding even more to the cost of an education.

Scholarships help students pay for college, but these typically only apply to their tuition. Students often need additional money for living expenses, such as groceries, recreational activities, and cell phone bills.

To help pay for living expenses, many students pursue opportunities to earn additional income. The following article shares additional sources of income for students looking to make extra money while in college.

What Is an Additional Income?

Additional income gives many students the comfort and flexibility to enjoy activities outside of homework and classes. For some, this may include seeing a movie with friends or eating at an off-campus restaurant. For others, additional income may help buy weekly groceries or do laundry.

Many students see additional income as supplementary rather than a primary source of income while attending school full-time. Students often pursue temporary or seasonal jobs to make extra money during school breaks. Students may work over the summer as a camp counselor. They may also work as a retail sales associate or driver during winter break when stores need more holiday help.

Why Should You Consider Earning Additional Income?



Earning additional income can improve the quality of a student’s educational experience both socially and academically. Many students do not always consider the additional expenses when attending college. This can prevent them from pursuing extracurricular, academic, or recreational activities. Many require fees or purchases to participate. Sororities and fraternities may require members to pay dues to join or an art course may ask students to purchase their own supplies.

With a full schedule of classes and homework, students need additional income opportunities that do not take up too much time. Many jobs, including online opportunities, provide students with the flexibility to create their own schedule.

Ways To Earn Additional Income



The following list introduces tips to help students find opportunities to earn additional income. This list does not include every form of income available to college students. Rather, it includes a sample of online opportunities to help students begin their search. While searching for opportunities, students should also consider their situation, available time, and skillset.


  • Taking Surveys

    Many companies looking for feedback on their products pay people to take online surveys. Taking online surveys typically requires little to no education or skill. The surveys ask simple questions about products. Some websites require people to submit demographic information to determine if you qualify to take the survey. Paid survey sites include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and MyPoints. Sites such as Swagbucks allow you to complete surveys to earn gift cards while others, like Survey Junkie, use a points system.


  • Online Tutoring

    Online tutors typically help students improve their skills in specific subjects such as math, literature, and reading. Online tutors also help with SAT or ACT prep for high school students. Students tutoring online often set their own schedule and work remotely using video conferencing software. Tutoring centers on- and off-campus may hire college students. Students can also advertise their services on websites such as Wyzant and Care.com.


  • Editing or Proofreading

    Students with good writing and grammar skills may consider editing or proofreading to earn extra income. Editing corrects style and structure issues, while proofreading fixes misspellings and incorrect punctuation. Editors and proofreaders read different content such as student essays, user manuals, and medical transcription. Depending on the type of content, students need to know certain style guides. Beginner editors start at over $15 an hour while beginner proofreaders start at over $10 an hour.


  • Transcribing or Translating

    Freelance transcribing or translating can provide additional income for students. Transcription and translation jobs send audio or video files and ask for a text file in exchange. This might include medical or legal work. Transcription jobs require little to no skill, while translating requires knowledge of a particular language. Some clients ask transcribers and translators to attend training or download software. Transcriptionists earn up to $15 an hour while translators earn up to $25 an hour.


  • Graphic Design or Web Design

    Freelancing on a project basis can bring a graphic or web design student additional income. Clients may request students to provide a portfolio of previous work before hire. Graphic and web design freelancing jobs require access to software such as Adobe Creative Cloud. Beginner web designers and graphic designers earn about $30 per hour. Clients post web and graphic design jobs on websites such as Upwork and 99designs.


  • Seasonal Work

    Students with extra time during school breaks may pursue seasonal work. Some employers offer seasonal jobs on a short-term basis during busy times of year such as the holidays. Many retail stores require more employees during the holidays to help with the increase in sales and gift wrapping. Many jobs open in the summer too, such as camp counselors or tour guides. Students find seasonal jobs through online job listings such as Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.


  • Teaching or Library Assistant

    Some schools offer teaching and library assist positions for full-time students. Many of these positions provide additional income to juniors, seniors, or graduate students. Teaching assistants help professors with specific tasks like grading papers, helping with labs, or proctoring exams. Library assistants help with daily library tasks, such as checking books in and out or repairing books. Professors and libraries may only accept applicants enrolled in courses full time.


  • User Testing

    Students can easily get paid to test new websites. Testers help companies determine their website’s usability. Tests take up to 20 minutes. Students need a computer and internet access to test websites. Depending on the company, testers earn up to $10 per test. To find user testing jobs, visit websites such as UserTesting and Userbrain. Some sites require preliminary tests to begin paid user testing.


  • Working on Campus

    Many schools offer on-campus positions to students. Working on campus allows students to create a schedule around classes and school breaks. On-campus jobs include working for the school caterer and in the school gym. Some positions require certain skill sets or majors, such as communications or personal training. On-campus jobs also provide the opportunity to meet other students. Schools typically post open positions on the school website or student portal.


  • Data Entry

    Students looking for flexible, remote work may consider data entry. Data entry consists of inserting numerical, alphabetic, or symbolic data into a company’s system. Most data entry positions do not require specific educational background or experience. To enter data remotely, students need access to a computer. They also require typing skills. These jobs either pay hourly or per word. Students find data entry jobs on websites such as Clickworker.


  • Sell Used Textbooks

    Many students purchase used textbooks to save money. Selling used textbooks helps students earn back the money spent on books for classes. Depending on where they sell the books, students might even make a profit. Students sell their used textbooks directly to other students or try to sell them back to the school bookstore. Students also sell their used textbooks through Amazon, BookScouter, and Chegg.


  • Consider Applying for Work Study

    Students with financial need can apply for work study positions. Similar to on-campus jobs, work study jobs typically include working in student dining or as administrative aides. To obtain a work study position, students first apply for financial aid. Only students with an income level below a certain amount qualify for work study. Schools often limit work-study hours and generally pay minimum wage.


  • After School Programs

    After school programs offer students the ability to work with the community. Most after school programs occur in the afternoon, which allows students with morning classes to work. Students interested in teaching or social work may consider this job to gain experience, as well as earn additional income. Students may help youth with recreational activities and homework. Employers typically prefer applicants with experience working with children. Jobs at after school programs pay about $15 an hour depending on the organization.


Latest Posts

See All Posts
What is a Credit Score?

What is a Credit Score?

March 5, 2021   |   Staff Writers

College presents a vital time to build a credit score. For many learners, student loans make attending college possible, and credit card companies offer exclusive deals for individuals in their...

Best Online Master’s in Legal Studies Programs 2021

Best Online Master’s in Legal Studies Programs 2021

March 5, 2021   |   Staff Writers

Legal studies programs feature liberal arts coursework and general legal classes. Learners also complete specialized coursework on law and policy within a specific field or industry. Curricula vary considerably based...

Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Search for Online Colleges by Subject

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.