16 passive income ideas for college students

passive income ideas for college students

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College students might be notorious for spending all of their money on books, dorm room rent, and cheap pizza. But what do you do when your income exceeds your expenses? 

Passive income is a great way to build wealth, and it doesn’t always have to be hard work either. Here are 16 passive income ideas for college students.

Teach A Language Online

This can be a great way for students to earn some extra money and get better at their own language skills. Of course, it takes time and dedication, but if you’re passionate about the language, then it’s worth trying out. 

Do Some Freelance Writing

Many popular websites will pay you for your expertise or opinion on different topics—sites like Freelancer and Upwork. 

You’ll have to set up an account and build up your portfolio before making much money off of these sites, but they’re worth checking out.

Do Translations Online

A lot of companies like to hire freelancers for translation jobs. If this is a skill you have, you could earn some passive income by translating company documents and websites into other languages. This can be very handy if the business in question operates internationally or plans to expand its market.

If you’re really good at a task like this, you could even develop a relationship with the company and get work from them on an ongoing basis.

Dog sitting

Dog sitting is a great way to earn some passive income. In fact, if you live in a good area and have the room for it, starting your own dog sitting service could be an excellent way to make money while going to college. 

You can advertise your service through flyers, post on social media or even put up a webpage about it. 

Provide Gardening Services

Another great way to earn some income as a college student is to provide gardening services for other people. This could be something you do as a part-time job or even just on the weekends.

If you like plants and know your way around a garden, this can be a great way to bring in some extra money while also getting exercise.

Write and Sell Ebooks

If you have a great idea that lots of people will want to buy, you could write an ebook. 

Once you have it done, selling an ebook is simple. 

Just create a digital version or put your ebook online through Amazon and then use some of the free advertising methods out there to get your eyes on it. If people like your work, they’ll buy it. 

Do Freelance Work Online

Lots of companies hire freelancers to do various tasks online. 

This can be anything from doing odd jobs to writing content for their website. Not only will your services likely be in demand, but this is also another way to earn some passive income while going to college. You might even find that you enjoy it more than the work you do at your minimum wage job.

Sell Photos Online

If you have a good eye for photography, you can make some extra money selling your photos online. 

This is especially true of licensed photos as they can be used for things like stock images or advertisement campaigns. You can even offer photo packages to people who want printed pictures from their family reunions and weddings.

Get Paid To Shop

There are websites out there that pay people for shopping. The idea behind them is that they’ll allow you to buy things at certain stores, then they’ll give you a small percentage of the profit for it.

It’s not going to make you rich, but if you like shopping and need some extra money when you’re tight on your budget, getting paid to shop can be a great way to earn some passive income while going to college.

Taking Surveys 

Surveys can be a good way to make some extra money. It’s not going to make you rich, but if you can take advantage of free offers that pay cash for surveys without any obligations, then it might be worth your time to check them out.

There are lots of companies offering these types of things, so do your research and find the best one suited for you. 

App Development

Creating mobile apps can be a great way to build passive income.

You can even make money from apps by charging for them or promoting other companies, and using ads to get paid.

If you’re really good at app building, you might even find that you can charge people for the use of it on their website and other forms of advertising.

Start A Blog

If you have something great to say, start your own blog. Blogging is a great way to earn some passive income as the advertisements that appear on your site will bring in money while you’re out doing other things– like going to school.

Your blog needs to be interesting, but you’ll find that you can make good money with it if you can achieve this. Just make sure that whatever topic you choose has enough interest from people, or else it might be tougher for you to get profit from it.

Video Blogging

One thing that has become big in the last few years is video blogging. If you know how to blog but want to start making money with it, why not give video blogging a shot?

With websites like WordPress, Tumblr and YouTube already out there, all you have to do is come up with some content ideas and start recording yourself talking about them.

There are plenty of great video blogging websites out there, so do your research and see which ones you like the most. Once you’re able to find a few that seem worthwhile, start sharing your videos on them. Then get ready to be in charge of something creative while also being in control of what content gets put out as part of it.

You’ll have the final say on everything – from editing to uploading. You can even make some passive income just by providing professional information for clients or companies who need it.

Launch An Online Course

If you’re great at something, then why not try to teach it for profit?

There are lots of people out there who could use some help learning how to do things. If you can provide that in the form of an online course, then you might be able to make passive income while going to college. Some companies will even pay you just for having a blog where they can refer customers if they’re looking for assistance with what you specialize in.

Rent Your Car To Other People

You can earn some passive income by renting out your car to other people. If you have a car but don’t need it often or don’t want to use it at all, why not rent it out?

There are lots of companies that will help you do this if you sign up for them. Then when someone wants to rent from you, they’ll give you a call and set everything up with the details of where and when it’s being picked up. You just sit back and get paid while someone else is driving your car around.

It might be worth looking into if you’re studying in a place where there aren’t many local places offering rentals, and you’d rather not drive yourself around too much. 

Rent Your Parking Spot

If you have a parking spot near where you live or in the area where you go to school, why not rent it out to other people looking for one?

There are lots of sites online where people can search for parking spaces and then rent them out. 

You can make money from this by just letting others park in your space– if they’re willing to pay for it. You’ll probably start seeing other students at your school using this, so it’s good to be ahead of the game and get on these websites before they do.


There are plenty of ways to earn some passive income while you’re going to college. You just have to think about what you’re good at and then find a way to share it with others for them to benefit from it too. 

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