Alternative ways of making money as a student

Ellie Lotton 25 August 2021
An influencer with their phone ready to record them at their desk.

There are plenty of ways to earn while you're studying, not all of which involve late shifts in a bar. Here are some examples:

According to a recent survey conducted by MagnifyMoney, around two out of five students consider dropping out of university because they can’t afford the financial burden that comes with it.

While most UK students are eligible for a tuition loan, many of them will spend a large chunk of their adult life paying off this debt. This could potentially act as a hurdle between them and their future goals. If you’re a student having trouble managing their finances, here are a few ideas for making money without having to worry about working late or missing any classes:

Taking part in research or online survey panels

Most market research companies will pay you for taking part in their research. They usually survey you to gauge your opinions about specific products or issues.

Student Hut’s Opinion Panel is one of the most rewarding online research panels for students. You receive credits after each completed survey, and students receive a £25 Amazon gift voucher when they reach 2,500 points. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another way to make easy money by promoting companies, offers, products, or other services on their social media and personal blogs. All you have to do is find affiliate links on trusted platforms such as Awin or ShareASale and share them with your followers and friends. If someone buys anything using your link, you’ll receive a commission fee.


Freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork let people earn cash via auctioned job listings. When someone posts work or a project, applicants can send them proposals highlighting their skills and experience. These platforms host a wide range of jobs, ranging from writing and graphic design to translation, sales and marketing, and much more.

Working on these freelance platforms gives students some opportunities to create a nice cash flow from the comfort of their homes.

Create content

Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are immensely popular with people of all ages. If you’re tech-savvy, and you have a niche interest or skill that’s worth sharing with the world, then you can use this to your advantage by creating a base of subscribers. If you’re at college or university, becoming a StudyTuber is an option. There’ll be plenty of people out there with an interest in where you’re studying or which subjects you’re covering.

If you build a large enough following, you’ll be able to monetise your channel. And if you have your own products you’d like to market, you’ll have your ready-made base of consumers. People have become overnight celebrities through these channels, sometimes earning vast amounts of cash in the process.

Just be aware that these channels can take a lot of time and commitment to build up, and not everybody can successfully make a career from them. Treat this as a hobby instead of a job to avoid disappointment.

Online trading

You don’t need a tonne of cash to start trading, as many online brokers will allow you to invest commission free. To get started, find online tutorials that can teach you about the stock market’s basic mechanisms

Many trading platforms allow you to set up demo accounts, which can help you understand the market before committing any funds to it. Here’s a list of the best stock tracking apps you can use to keep track of your investments and various assets.


Using your academic knowledge to help other students with their studies is another great earning method. Advertise lessons in the subjects you’re knowledgeable about across job boards, local libraries, and social media. Students can expect to make up to £20 an hour through tutoring.

Testing apps and websites

Some website and app developers will pay people to test and review their products to help them troubleshoot and improve issues. You can expect to earn around £5 to £15 for completing each user test, which normally doesn’t take more than 20-30 minutes to complete.


Publishing via the Amazon store is a great way for talented writers to make some cash. Articles and books written for adults and children alike can be published quickly on Amazon, with writers keeping up to 70% of their proceeds. Online publishing can be lucrative; creative students should consider it.

Do you have any side hustles? Join the Student Hut Community today to get access to our Opinion Panel. You'll get 1000 reward points for signing up.

Ellie Lotton 25 August 2021