If you regularly read this blog, odds are good you know that one of its key messages is both simple and true: just about anyone can earn passive income. While you’ll need to do some work up front, you don’t need formal business experience to start a side gig that turns into a regular flow of nearly effortless income.
In other words, even if you’re a college student, you should still try to find ways to earn passive income. In fact, college is one of the best times to do so. Firstly, it’s obvious that the sooner you start making extra money on the side, the more you can save over time. On top of that, if you start early, you’ll have more opportunities to learn which passive income tactics work best. That means you’ll have more chances to refine your plan. And of course, when you’re a student, money can be tight. You may still have to work in a full- or part-time job while in college, but a passive income strategy can provide an extra cushion so you don’t have to worry about making ends meet.
Consider getting started with the following ideas. They’re perfect for a college student interested in earning passive income. Just remember that you shouldn’t rely on a stream of easy money for all your income. If you need money for food, books, and daily life, you should seek out a reliable job. You don’t want to depend solely on passive income streams, which may deliver inconsistent returns.
That said, if you’re in college and looking to earn a little extra money on the side, consider the following options:
Selling Study Resources
This is a particularly good idea if you’re a strong student who takes detailed notes. Hold on to them, and you could sell them to future students enrolling in courses you’ve already taken.
You obviously need to be careful when doing so. First, you may need to confirm with your university that this is allowed. The school might prohibit this if it could be argued that you’re providing students with answers to future assignments. In addition, remember that providing finished essays is a form of plagiarism. Focus more on your study materials. For example, maybe you’ve made flashcards for every unit of the general chemistry class all pre-med majors must take, or you took excellent, detailed notes during every lecture of your biology 101 course. You might be able to earn money from these resources—sites like StudySoup.com pay undergraduate students for quality class notes.
Because you will already be taking notes for your classes anyway, this idea qualifies as passive income. The only extra work you’ll do (virtually all “passive” income streams still require you to invest some time and effort at first) is putting your notes together into a well-formatted document.
Publish an Online Course
This is another idea worth keeping in mind if you perform well academically. After all, many strong students already earn extra money as tutors. While this can be an effective way to earn extra cash, it can also be time-consuming.
However, if you have the skills and knowledge to qualify as a tutor, you could simply put together a series of general tutoring sessions on a particular subject and publish them as an online course. Again, you should check your university’s policies to ensure this isn’t prohibited. You don’t want to publish an online course that claims to be the definitive guide to passing a specific class at a specific university. Keep in mind, too, that a class syllabus is considered the intellectual property of the instructor who created it. However, you can draw from many sources to create an original course that helps students improve their skills in a general subject area.
Of course, creating an online course involves some work. Luckily, once the course has been created and marketed, if it’s high-quality, it should attract regular customers.
Rent Out Your Space
Do you live off-campus? If so, there are likely times during the year when you return home, go on vacation, or are otherwise not around for a few days, if not weeks or months. You may be able to earn extra money during this time by subleasing your apartment or renting it out for shorter stays via Airbnb or a similar platform. You’ll have to check with your landlord to make sure this is allowed, but if it is, you can easily use your empty room to earn extra money.
Consider What You Can Sell
A college student can acquire a lot of stuff over the years, from clothes and accessories to furniture and décor. You may not use all this stuff all year, either—if you go home for the summer, for example, you won’t be using your dinnerware and microwave. Instead of paying to keep such items in a storage unit every time you pack up to move out, take the time to consider if any of those items are worth selling instead of keeping. You’ll free up space and make some extra money in the process.