15 Business Ideas For College Students

15 Business Ideas For College Students

Are you often taking shifts to make extra college money? Maybe you're a part-time student while holding down a full-time job in your major? Or perhaps you graduated years ago but are still looking for ways to earn cash. Finding extra income can challenge college students, especially online ideas like affiliate marketing and drop-shipping.

College is a great time to start your first business. Students have certainly achieved success starting businesses while they went to school and still made it on time to class in the morning.

Success stories of college dropouts like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) wander around in our heads, inspiring us to follow in their footsteps, but students reading this article should also know the college-related business ideas readily available to them.

While in college, you're young and energetic and probably have a ton of free time. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost two-thirds of all entrepreneurs are between 20 and 34.

What's more, as an entrepreneur in college, everything's on your side. Your costs are low, you have few responsibilities, you can work on your business as much or as little as you want, and your classmates and professors make for a great support network. The only problem is coming up with a good idea for your business and the initial capital to a certain degree.

Going to school and running a business simultaneously may sound impossible — but I can assure you it's not. There are plenty of great business ideas for college students like you.

A quote from professional academic writer Joan Young, who works at AdvancedWriters.com, says, "Many students are very talented writers. They possess advanced writing and editing skills. Every essay or some more complex paper comes easy. Therefore, it makes sense to work as an academic writer". You might be able to tutor other students, teach an instrument or help people with their resumes and cover letters.

The best way to get started is to take an inventory of the skills you currently have. Then, think about the business models that would work with your unique set of skills.

If this sounds like you, it's time to get creative. If you can spend even just a few hours a week working on side businesses, these 15 Internet business ideas are ideal for you.

Pet sitting

If you love pets and live on or near a college campus, consider starting a pet sitting service. You can earn $30 an hour (and maybe more) if you start now!

Pet sitting usually involves going to someone else's house to care for furry loved ones. Pet sitting could even involve living in someone's house while the client is away. You have to think about the types of services you'll provide and the types of animals you'll take care of, but generally, pet sitting is a low-cost, high-pleasure, and low-pressure business idea.


As with pet sitting, babysitting isn't a job for everyone. If you already have kids in your life, though, it might be a natural fit for you to watch other children.

Meal sharing

If you're comfortable having strangers in your home and confident you're on the right side of the law, check out if these meal-sharing options can work.

Depending on your platform choice, guest capacity, and local market, you can expect to rake in anywhere from $40 to a few hundred dollars per meal after accounting for expenses.

Maybe you want to sell your baked goods at local fairs and markets. Perhaps you can teach others to cook online with services like Skillshare or Udemy. Or maybe you want to start a catering business out of your dorm room. Meal sharing can be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Freelance writing

A lot of students write as part of their coursework. But why not get paid while at it? Many sites will pay you to write articles on a variety of topics. For instance, Listverse pays roughly $90 per listicle after its editorial team accepts it. This could be a great side hustle if you have a flair for the written word.

Sell on eBay

If you are particularly crafty or have a good selection of vintage items, consider selling them on eBay. Both sites allow you to set up a shop, take payments, and post items for sale quickly and easily.

You can also sell handmade jewelry or vintage posters through the site. Selling electronics and gadgets that you have used but are still in good condition can rake in some cash on the go.

Sell your college notes

Students are always looking for notes online to help with their studies, and there are plenty of sites available to host them. Note seller websites like Stuvia will pay you for your notes — typically at a higher rate than others. Just when you thought your college notes were useless.


If you study something that others want to know more about — fitness, marketing, cooking — start a blog sharing that knowledge with others. You don't need to be an expert in anything to share information — even if it's just linked to other resources, you find useful Blogging on any topic that interests you, like travel, fashion, finance, etc. How do you monetize this, you ask? Your point of view may be what most clients want in their website to push their sales through the roof.

Graphic design

This is a pretty easy place to start if you have an eye for design. There are plenty of small businesses that need logos, posters, and other design elements but don't have the resources to hire someone full-time.


Help others learn what you already know by becoming a tutor. You can post flyers around campus or share that you're available to help others with their homework on social media.


If something about your life makes for good video content (e.g., your school's sports team), consider getting into YouTube to make money off of ads and partnerships with brands.

Personal finance consultant

With student loans being such a huge part of many people's lives, financial literacy is greatly needed on most college campuses.

  1. Writing eBooks on a topic that interests you and selling it online on the Amazon Kindle store etc.
  2. Become a social media manager or a financial consultant for small businesses or start-ups.
  3. Create an online course to teach something you are good at, like baking, singing, painting, finance, etc.

Social media

You can use your social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for advertising products for well-known brands. If you are a cook, you can advertise gadgets from leading brands by doing live shows as you cook using the gadget.

Offer delivery services

If you own a bike or even a car, you can start your delivery services. And during weekends or evenings, you can do deliveries for companies such as McDonald's and beer combos. You can do coffee, snacks, and newspaper delivery in the morning.

The queue for other people

Most people hate queuing. You can solve this problem by offering to queue for them for a small fee.

Teach a language

If you are bilingual, you can start online classes via Zoom or Skype and teach people the new language. This business idea does not tie you to one particular area, but you can get people enthusiastic about learning the new language from any corner of the world.


If you are a college student and want to start a business, you should know this is the best time. Why?

  • First reason: You have plenty of time to manage your business from your dorm room or campus. If you don't have a job yet, you have all the time to grow your business.
  • Second reason: Most universities provide many resources for students who want to start a business or get extra cash.

One of the most common questions we get from young entrepreneurs is, "I want to start a business. What should I do?"

This is a good question and one that we wish more people would ask.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question. The best business idea for you will be related to something you love and enjoy spending time doing. This means different things for different people.

For some, a business will be related to an activity they love or have a passion for photography, sports, cooking, or music. For others, it will be related to something that interests them but isn't their favorite thing in the world: marketing, financial management, or computer programming.

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