Side hustles for college students

Cory Sparks, Editor in Chief

Just like many of those who will end up reading this, I am a college student who owes the university thousands of dollars per year while dedicating 20-40 hours a week to school-related activities.

Whether it be class, homework, special events or a study group, two things are for certain when it comes to college: it costs a fortune, and it’s time consuming.

The time consuming aspect prevents many students from working traditional eight hour shifts, with the exception of a rare weekday without classes or the weekend. Some students even work overnight, exchanging sleep for a paycheck that will go towards paying off debt.

This predicament is a perfect example of why side hustles, ways to make income without working a typical time-restricting shift, are extremely useful. Most side hustles have worker-determined hours, so one can balance their schedule on a week-by-week basis depending on how heavy their college workload is.

Food Delivery Driving

Whether it be with DoorDash, UberEats or another food delivery service, being a delivery driver is a phenomenal way to make some quick cash.

Drivers will typically get paid by the order, meaning the faster one completes the orders, the more money they will make. This does not mean that speeding is encouraged, but efficiently walking from one’s car to the houses of others while delivering will help a ton.

Since payment is by the order, the driver can stop delivering at any time. Moderately urban areas, such as Oshkosh, are great for food delivery drivers because the area is crowded enough to make business but not so condensed that traffic will hinder someone from completing orders in a fast manner.

As a DoorDash driver myself, I am making an average of $23.70 on 75 total orders. Most of these orders have been completed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but that city is comparable in size to Oshkosh.

Stock Trading

Stock trading is another potential source of income, but this is considered passive. Passive income is a way to earn money throughout the day without actively putting work in. With stocks, all one must do is put a buy order in and watch the share price of the stock grow.

I would personally recommend that one put their money into a stock that replicates the S&P 500, a measurement of the top 500 companies in the stock market.

According to Yahoo Finance, the S&P 500 has grown an average of greater than 10% a year since 1970.

Simply put, by putting money into stocks that replicate the S&P 500 (I use the Vanguard S&P 500 exchange-traded fund) and relying on the stocks’ past performance, one can expect a profit gain of roughly 10%.

Remember that compound interest applies here, so a 10% gain in year five will be larger than a 10% gain in year one.

Investing in stocks with dividends is also a way to assure profit. A dividend is a percentage of money that a stock will give back to its shareholder incrementally. Most stocks pay dividends over the course of a year.

For example, if someone buys five shares of a stock that pays back $2 per share, that company will pay the person $10 over the course of a year. That $10 can then be re-invested into the stock to guarantee a slightly larger dividend payment in the next year.

When it comes to collecting stock profits as a source of income, remember that these profits are taxed.

Online children’s books

Selling an online book for profit may sound like a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. Companies like Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) work with Amazon to create and distribute books while allowing the creator to enjoy a segment of the profits.

All that the creator has to do is to write and create the art for the children’s book before publishing a PDF copy of the correct dimensions online.

Once the content is reviewed for copyright infringement and passes other requirements, the creator’s book can be sent onto Amazon within one to two weeks.
The book is then able to be bought among the thousands of other children’s books out there, but the more buys a certain book gets, the higher the book rises in search relevancy. Promoting the book online to family, friends and even the public in general will allow your profit numbers to rise.

Additionally, the more books one creates, the more they are able to saturate the market and increase the chances that someone stumbles upon, and likes, what they’ve created.


How does it sound to get paid to talk about any topic that you want while having others listen to that conversation?

With the popularity of podcasting seeming higher than ever following the pandemic, this form of content distribution, if promoted correctly, is a huge money maker.

I personally use the platform Anchor to distribute my podcast, called “All Sports Now”. Anchor, which is owned by Spotify, allows podcasters to read a script promoting the platform for sponsorship money.

Anchor has a $15 cost per thousand sponsorship rate, meaning that for every thousand listens a podcast gets, a podcaster will make $15.

I started my podcast a year ago, made an instagram account (@all.sportsnow), a twitter account (@allsportsnowpod) and a YouTube account (“All Sports Now”) for it, and I have seen steady but promising growth.

Podcasts take patience and an initial investment in equipment such as microphones and possibly a webcam if one plans to exercise the visual aspect of the platform, but the room for growth is astronomical.


While YouTubers with millions of subscribers who are able to buy their own houses with their channel revenue may make the feat of making money off of the platform seem like an impossible one, the requirements aren’t too far fetched.

In order to qualify for monetization, a YouTuber must have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time over the course of the last year.

YouTube’s cost per thousand rate depends on engagement, location and many other factors, but once a creator reaches that initial threshold, they can begin to make money for content creation.

If a creator can garner a large enough audience, brands may reach out by offering money for a promotion of their product on the channel with a certain number of subscribers.

One thing to note with all of these side hustles, except for stock trading, is that one will typically have to file taxes for each source of income that brings in over $600 in a year. With stock trading, capital gains (profits from selling a stock) are taxed as ordinary income if sold in the same year.

These are just a few ways that I find helpful when it comes to racking in extra income as a busy college student, but countless other money-making options are just a Google search away.