How To Make Money In College Without A Job

It might sound impossible to most, but making money in college without a job isn’t too far-fetched as one would think, legally too I might add.

This does take a little more creativity and grit than having the typical “day job”, but if done correctly you should see great results and have a flexible schedule to fit your school around. (being why you’re probably here in the first place, or to party, whichever one.)

(being why you’re probably here in the first place, or to party, whichever one.)

Learning how to make money in college without a job can be anything from having to learn a new skill to just using a dead asset (something of value you weren’t using), to flat out getting creative…

…and I’m going to try and cover as many as I can with some added training and tips to get you started.

I did it myself and still until this day have ideas I wish I could have pursued but didn’t get too, so maybe my missed opportunities can become your next ventures???

How To Make Money In College Without A Job 

How To Make Money In College Without A Job

We’re going to be breaking this into two categories

  • Online
  • Offline/Getting Creative

Simple right? On top of this, I’ll also be offering so further in-depth articles to further the lists if you need some more inspiration…

…and like I said earlier, some training for some of those “learned skills” just because.

(I’m going to stick to most of the heavy hitters, things I think can seriously be something or help you, I would rather the list be smaller and offer additional resources rather than jam useless info. in here just so my list can go from a top 8 or 10 to a 30. (practically every blog out there))

Online Money Making Opportunities

Web Design

Selling Online (There’s More Than You Think)

I’m sure you’ve probably heard it time and time again, but there’s no way I can leave out one of the most viable source’s of online income out.

…and there’s more than one way to do it.

  • You have the heavy hitter (bigger investment with big potential/ higher risk)
    • Private labeling (building a physical products brand)
  • You have the intro (smaller investment with scalable potential/ typically lower risk)
    • Retail & Online Arbitrage (selling other company’s products online for a profit)

and then there’s the…

  • I just need temporary cash (selling whatever you can/ lowest risk with lesser potential)
    • Selling things you don’t use (pretty much explains itself)

So let’s get into them (feel free to scroll to whichever one or all that interest you)

Private Labeling | Building A Brand

Sound intimidating? Well, it can be if you don’t know what you’re doing, I’m not saying you need to build the next Nike or Apple, but you’ll need to hustle like you are.

DISCLAIMER: 1. Not for those who are tight on money. 2. This isn’t a “get rich quick” kind of thing, it takes work, but the results can far outweigh the effort if done correctly. 

In a nutshell, private labeling is the practice of sourcing and labeling a product under a brand name you correct to which you then sell online or in retail as your own brand.

It’s what big businesses do all the time (“Made In China”), you source with a supplier, they manufacture your products, and then you market and sell the units for a profit.

Of course, there is more that goes into this than just this, there are TONS of details to fill the cracks but this can be a great way to have a healthy cash flow coming in.

What you need to get started:

  • Anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000 in start-up capital (for product manufacturing, shipping, marketing, etc.)
  • An online store to sell on. (I highly recommend Amazon and using their Fulfillment Program)
  • Website- Not always necessary but it helps credibility and brand authority.

Sound like something that’s for you or just want to learn more? Here’s a free guide on how to sell Private Label on Amazon.

Retail & Online Arbitrage

Two very similar but different things, this is something I’ve always been a fan of for those just starting out and want to get their feet wet with selling online.

It usually takes a low investment to get started (typically anywhere from $50-$200) and can scale quickly from there.

So what is it? 

Retail and Online Arbitrage are both the practice of purchasing other company’s products at a low/discounted price and selling them online for a profit.

The only difference being how you source the products Retail being in store and online well…being online.

Here’s a little rundown on how the process works…

I usually recommend online to start since it’s more convenient for most.

You’ll start off by looking online or in store for products that are marked down or are on some type of special promotion (50% off, clearance, buy 1 get 1 free, etc.)

Once you find a potential opportunity you’ll gauge your potential profit margins online (again Amazon is king).

If the product is showing to be selling on Amazon for at least double the purchase price you’ll then go one step further and check the demand, using a sales software. (in training)

From here you’ll purchase the amount of inventory matching the sales demand (if it’s selling 30 online per month, then purchase no more than 30).

Then you sell your inventory and repeat.

(Now this is a very, very vague way of explaining it, but this is just to give you a picture of what it’s like if you’re looking for some detailed training here’s step by step how I practice Online Arbitrage Using Amazon.)

What you’ll need…

  • $50 – $200 in start-up capital
  • Boxes to ship products (if you’re practicing retail)
  • Sticker paper (for shipping labels if you’re practicing retail)

Still on the fence? Find out how these two brothers from the UK made $30,000 in their first month practicing Online Arbitrage on Amazon with only a $200 investment.

I Just Need Temporary Cash…

Well, it’s about as simple as it gets here, this is if you are just looking to flip for some quick cash maybe for books, rent, or you just have no money to spend in the first place.

Look around and find things you don’t use or can live without (the more serious the situation, the more you can live without it).

Ever heard the expression, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”? This couldn’t be more true, just because you have no use for it doesn’t mean someone else could.

Some great places to sell your stuff online:

  • PoshMark– A relatively new app (at least at the writing of this article) where you can sell clothing and accessories all through their online store. (it’s kind of like a craigslist but less creepy and you don’t have to meet the person to sell it)
  • Craigslist– Even though you have to be careful when selling things on here (bring someone with you) this can be a great way to sell something locally. (great if the item is too large or bulky to ship)
  • Swappa– Great for selling smartphones and electronics, just need to go through a quick verification process and get your product approved by Swappa staff (got to make sure your device is legit).
  • Facebook– Might not be something you first thought of but your buyer might be one simple post away. Can’t hurt to try at least.

Affiliate Marketing

Something you’ve probably heard of or probably haven’t either way, this is a great business model for self-expression, creativity, a little grit, and a low start up cost.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Affiliate Marketing, it’s a form of online marketing where company’s and people use affiliates (you) to market their products in return you get a percentage (commission) of every sale you get them.


You promote product -> Reader buys product you promoted -> Company gets a sale -> You get paid

You do these through affiliate programs where you’re given the tools you need and tracking link to promote a company’s products. (typically through a website you run and content you write)

Still scratching your head? Let’s go through a quick rundown…

Let’s say you’re a fitness buff and decide to promote fitness products, so you create a fitness website and decide to promote fitness supplements.

Think making a website is hard??? Here’s how you can make one for free in 4 easy steps.

You write an article “the top 10 supplements for muscle building” on your site and someone searches this in Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. and they click your site.

They read through your article and saw you had “Ultimate Muscle Mass 3,000” as the #1 supplement, so they click your link. (like the one above, nothing fancy).

They land on a page, Amazon, GNC, or wherever it’s sold and they decide to purchase the supplement.

Now let’s say the supplement was $50 and the company that sells it gives you a 8% commission, that’s $4 per sale made on that product.

Might not seem like much but say if you only sell a few per day, that’s $12 per day x 30 days per month = an extra $360 per month coming in from one post. Not half bad.

Multiply that by a handful of successful posts and you can have something good going here.

Want to learn more and how to get started? Here’s a free beginners guide to Affiliate Marketing on the house.

Utilizing Your Known Skills Online

Graphic Design

Straying away from the typical “business model” these are ways you can utilize a skill or ability you have.

First, one being for you creative types…yes you’re drawing skills can be used for more than just entertainment during a boring lecture.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is a great way for you to showcase your skills online for clients.

Good at making designs? You can try your hand at creating logos.

There are tons of people and businesses out there who are trying to become official with their own logo, it’s great for branding, repeatability, and almost expected these days, so the opportunity is there.

A great place to get started listing your services is

  • They’re an online service provider where creators (you) from all over the world list their services in things like logo creation, social media banner creation, video creation, logos, etc.

The next one up on the list is for you smarty pants…

Start A Tutoring Service

Do you get good grades (at least in one subject), that some people struggle with?

Well, this can be put to good use, even though everyone likes to laugh it off or push it aside, failing a class isn’t fun, especially in college.

It can further the time of your degree, hurt your GPA, and is just a waste of money, so look around for those who look like they might be struggling and offer some tutoring for a fixed price or per hour.

Now let’s get into some offline ideas….(Don’t worry I’ll drop a link to a further extensive list if you need more inspiration)

Offline Money Making Opportunities


To keep myself from repeating myself (I’m going to go over the 4 BEST ideas I think can apply to your potential interests and/or skills.)

Sell Your Notes

Might not be the most glamorous idea out there but hey, if you take good notes, you take good notes, why not share? For a price of course…

Since you’re in college here students can’t be paying an arm and a leg for notes, so keep the price reasonable (around $2-$5 per copy)

Also since just anybody can get a copy of someone else’s  notes you want to make sure yours are top notch to keep them coming.

The great thing about this is once you get them written it’s just making copies from there.

Car Detailing

It’s no secret that guys (and some girls) pay more attention to their car/trucks appearance than themselves, but the thing with this is, not everyone likes doing it.

So if you’re someone who loves fixing up and polishing their vehicle, this could be great for you.

Just charge with set packages and schedule appts. accordingly.

For example:

  • Bronze Wash- Wash, lather, rinse- $20
  • Silver Wash- Wash, lather, rinse, polish and shine tires- $30
  • Gold Wash- Wash, lather, rinse, polish and shine tires, clean interior- $40
  • Platinum Wash- Wash, lather, rinse, polish and shine tires, clean interior, full wax- $50

All you really need is a parking lot, access to water, and some cleaning supplies and you’re in business.

Party Promotion

This one is a little interesting and is actually more common than you think.

Parties are huge in college and the bigger the better, so why not be the one that puts them on?

If you have a fairly large following on social media and have friends that do also, get together and put the word out, then chip in for the place and whatever food, drinks, musicians, whatever you need.

Charge a set admission fee per attendee and you got something going. Clubs and establishments do it all the time just on a bigger scale, so it’s not a foreign concept.

All you need to worry about is the safety of those who attend (look into any liabilities and cover yourself legally prior to doing this) and ensure you come out in the green.

Makeup/Hair Services

Good at doing makeup and hair? Always getting compliments on the way you look?

Why not start sharing the beauty by offering some hair and makeup services.

Charge per client and post your work on social media and if you’re as good as you think you are than your work should speak for itself.

You’ll be surprised  how powerful word of mouth is with a happy client.

Need some more inspiration? Here’s 15 more offline (and online) entreprenurship ideas for college students

Wrapping Things Up…

Hopefully, this solidified the fact that you don’t need a job to make money in college, with the right idea, some action, and a little bit of grit you can make something happen.

Want to find out what played a big hand in how I got where I am today? (this knowledge has go to come from somewhere, right?) Check out the program I recommend to all my aspiring entrepreneurs looking to find their place.

Just click the link above or the banner below to check them out and learn more.

Until next time,

Tyler of Broke College Solutions

P.S. We have a serious Taco Bell addiction and the affiliate links on our site lets us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

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