Don’t Do Work Study: Alternative Freelancer Jobs for College Students

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Should you do work study? If you’re in college, you may think that it’s a good idea, but maybe you should reconsider just the same. After all, why do work study when you can earn some money on the side thanks to freelancer jobs?

The big attraction to work study is that it allows students who have financial need to get part-time jobs. In this way, they could partly pay for college costs. However, freelancing is more empowering because it instills values of independence, self-motivation and running your own business in young college students. Instead of depending on the federal government for job placement, you can rely on yourself by taking on freelancer jobs while still in school.

We’ve listed the best alternative freelancer jobs for college students right here.


What’s wrong with good, old-fashioned work with your hands? Answer: nothing! It’s great, can be lucrative, and really teaches young college students the value of a hard day’s work and being self-reliant. For a great alternative to work study, try landscaping, especially during the spring and summer.

During these seasons, yard crews are typically looking for additional, helping hands because work requirements increase in the spring and summer. Landscaping work can take on all forms. For example, you could be doing something as simple as mowing some grass or something more intensive like planting trees.


Students that have a knack and passion for writing—literature or English majors, for example—could find some great freelancing gigs as bloggers. Blogging is still one of the most popular ways for companies to create content, which is a major part of advertising, these days.

Places where blogging gigs are freely available abound on the Internet. Lists like this are common sources where students can apply for blogging gigs from a plethora of companies and sites looking to hire bloggers on a freelance basis.

While blogging won’t make you rich, obviously, it’s still an excellent way for college kids to earn some extra scratch on the side.

Online or In-Person Tutoring

This is such a no-brainer that it’s almost 100% obvious. Of course, to be a credible tutor, you’re going to need to have at least a decent GPA. This freelancing alternative is really ideal for students because only asks them to share knowledge that they’re already amassing in their college classes.

Plus, they’ll also come away with a feeling of satisfaction from having helped struggling students. To be an online tutor, look no farther than sites such as, which openly invite college students to apply to be tutors. To be an in-person tutor, all it usually takes is to advertise your services on sites like Craigslist.


College students that have an affinity for photography can try their hand at freelance photography, given that there are always things to shoot for money. There will always be weddings, bar mitzvahs, school events, concerts and other activities that need documentation.

If you’ve got a decently working DSLR, you can advertise your services as a freelance photographer and make some decent bucks. If you want to transition into photography later on as a career, you’ll even have some great shots for your portfolio.

Listings for freelance photography jobs abound all over the Internet, and finding them is as easy as checking databases like

Virtual Assistant

Thanks to today’s digital mentality, even personal assistants are doing their jobs remotely. Vitual assistants are those who remotely help professionals and businesses with administrative tasks like organization, data entry, customer service, research and even social media management.

The one, tiny drawback may be that college students may have to work around their clients’ schedules, as they’re sometimes expected to be available for their clients during the day. That might interfere with class times, but employers are usually more than happy to accommodate college students’ schedules, particularly if they’re getting a great deal on virtual assistant rates!

You can advertise your virtual assistant services on sites like these.

Work Study Doesn’t Have to Be the Only Choice

Here’s what’s vital for all college students: not to fall into the trap of thinking that work study is the only option. It may be tempting to think that, unfortunately, when so many of your peers are getting into federally funded, work-study programs.

However, the entrepreneur in you should disagree and find something more independent instead. Freelancing alternatives are just the answer for those college students looking to make some extra money on the side. And, hey, the bonus of taking on freelance work is that you actually control your own hours and schedule! Sounds like a win to us.

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