The Darling Nomadess: How to Make Money in College

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Make Money in College

Being a college student can be expensive, even outside of paying tuition! I was financially independent from my parents throughout my entire collegiate experience. I had to pay for tuition, sorority dues, food, rent, trips, and other various things on my own. I was extremely involved on my campus so I had a lot of expenses. This experience required me to get creative when it came to making money. If you're a broke college student, I hope that you'll find this post helpful as I share many of the ways I made money while in college (some are extreme and bizarre)!

how to make money in college

Freelance your skills! Are you a talented writer? Copywriter? Editor? How about graphic design? Finances and budgeting? Definitely check out Elance! This website will help you find companies looking for freelancers to assist with various projects. You're in college and building these skills so why not make some extra cash and build your resume?!

Be a Brand Ambassador! Many companies offer awesome perks for students who can represent their brand on campus. Many of these programs come with awesome incentives like free swag, exclusive discounts, and build your marketing and communication skills. I've worked with a few different companies that have me market an ambassador specific coupon code to my friends and once they use the coupon code, I get paid a certain percentage or fixed price of the sale. I've also worked with Bell Tower Books where I bought back books from students during finals week (similar to your college's bookstore but Bell Tower frequently gave a better deal!). Another option is to Facebook search for Brand Ambassador groups in your area. I was able to work with Sports Authority for a weekend asking customers to take a quick survey. This type of work makes great money and you don't have to commit more than a few days.

Get an On Campus Job - Your university should offer some sort of job search program for on campus jobs. I worked in our Telefundraising office for a few years and also worked at the dining hall. Many of my friends work as tour guides, tutors, and for the I.T. department!

Love kids? Babysit or Nanny! I was able to find a babysitting job that was flexible around my class hours or even just on weekends! I've found success with sites like

Get an Off Campus Job! The year before I went to college (I took a gap year), I did some waitressing which helped me save up a lot of cash. In college, I was able to find a job at a local telemarketing agency. Since I had previously worked with our telefundraising office, I already had some skills in cold calling. Also, telemarketing is great for college kids because many pay around $10/hour, much better than the minimum wage jobs on campus! These jobs also look great on a resume because many entry level jobs require you to be comfortable with cold calling.

Sell your stuff! My sophomore year I was almost kicked out of my sorority for not being able to afford the dues. So I boxed up almost all of my clothes and accessories and sold them to the nearest Plato's Closet and consignment shops. Nowadays, ThreadUP is also an option if you have a lot of name brand clothing!  I also sold my iPod and other electronics on Ebay. You can also consider selling your plasma; that pays $50 every time you go.

Start an Etsy Shop! Senior year I got back into pageants so I started an Etsy shop selling paintings to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network! Get crafty and just go for it. Sell hair bows, custom tee shirts, paintings, sorority crafts, whatever!

Be a guinea pig! I'm a huge fan of taking online surveys with Inbox Dollars and other survey companies! Many of the programs pay in cash or in free magazine subscriptions, free miles, gift cards, etc! I also participated in a few research studies which paid me cash as soon as I completed the study! You can often find these studies on your university. Definitely check with the psychology department. I also did a few with a dietetics study on fish. I basically got paid to eat tilapia.

Start a blog! Thanks to my beautiful darling readers, I was able to use the money I made from my blog during my last semester of college to pay for my rent! Thanks to you ladies, I wasn't left homeless on the streets. I wish I had started my blog sooner. There is a lot of opportunity and you learn so many skills such as HTML, marketing, social media, content writing, etc. You can find a lot of helpful tips and tricks to help your start your blog on Pinterest. Feel free to check out my Pinterest board dedicated to blogging resources!

How do you make money in college? If you're going to college this fall, are you getting a job?

With Love,

P.S. You might also want to check out my post on how to save money while shopping online!

Find more college advice here!


  1. This is excellent! I had two jobs when I went to university. Worked on campus at an advising center AND off campus at Olive Garden. With a full course load and two jobs, it was tough. But I did it :)

  2. I'm going into my junior year and work retail! Its definitely a great college shop - you learn a lot and your hours are really flexible!

    Pick Your Beau

  3. I've done a lot of these & actually met a great family through Sitter City. That's so cool that you were able to pay your rent with your blog $$! :)

  4. I love this! As an independent myself, I have to pay for all of my tuition, dues, rent, social expenses, etc. all on my own. For me to make money in college, I hold a job on campus, a job off campus, and I babysit. I do want to start getting into some freelance work as well as maybe doing brand ambassador jobs.

  5. I definitely take advantage of the big psychology department on campus. I can make around 40 extra bucks a month just doing a couple studies here and there.

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

  6. I've had to rely on summer jobs to make money in college. Or babysitting when I get home on breaks. It's hard though not have a source of income during the school year, but I've been focusing on classes and activities. Freelance has come in handy for me especially last year and this year! It's such an important way to build your skills This year, though, I need to start earning money during the school year, so I hope to do so through blogging and other things! :)

  7. Great tips! There are so many different ways to make money!

  8. Working during the summers and the school year if possible definitely helps! Plus, most businesses in college towns are really good at working with the crazy schedule that can come with being a student.

    Along the lines of surveys, I like to use feturepoints, a phone app that lets you download new apps for points, which can then be used for giftcards, etc. A pretty cool and fun way to make some easy money. Plus, you can find some cool new apps that way as well!

  9. I love this post Ashliegh!! Props to you for working so hard to support yourself through all 4 years of school!! You share so many great tips here! So happy to see you included babysitting. :-) I didn't babysitting during my freshman year (since I went to a different college that was located out in the country aka the boonies haha!!) but once I transferred schools my sorority was able to hook me up last year with some AWESOME babysitting jobs and it's such a great way to make money during the school year! This year sadly my fall schedule is crazy (an extra class and going back to my internship) so I can't baby-sit as much on weekdays anymore, but I'm still hoping to any weekends that I am free!

    I am trying hard too to start monetizing my blog more. I want to keep it first and foremost a fun hobby and to keep school my first priority, but hey if I can make some extra cash while having fun, why not?! :D

    xoxo A

  10. Babysitting and Nannying are the way to go!! :) It is such a release from everything school wise to get to go to a family's house and play games with the kiddos. They kind of become like your second family!

  11. Such good tips, Ash!! Bestow upon us your tips for making enough bank to pay off rent via blogging...that's incredible!



Hey there, Darling! I love hearing from my lovely readers! Leave a comment below or email me at! XOXO