Working from Home as a College Student

College is demanding enough without having to worry about the demands of a job, but, for many college students a job is a necessity. In fact, 70 percent of students in college report feeling financially stressed.

Around half of full-time students and 80 percent of part-time students in college work at least one outside job. Many college students try to resolve the conflicts of working a demanding job and maintaining academic success in college by getting a job working from home, or their dorm, rather than at an employer’s facility. Of course, working from home is hard enough without all the distractions of college life, making it all the more challenging even for disciplined and self-motivated workers.

One key to working from home successfully as a college student is finding the right job to fit into your schedule. From there, organizing yourself and your time is essential to succeeding both at work and in school. Remember, earning an income now at the expense of your academic career only impairs your ability to achieve maximum success in the workplace after graduation. Therefore, find a job that suits your financial needs and allows you to prioritize your studies.

Scheduling Flexibility

College and university administrators recommend students only work between 10 and 15 hours per week. However, for many students, this limited amount is insufficient to bring in enough funds to cover expenses while in college. When you are trying to hold down a job while attending college, flexibility in your work schedule is paramount to succeeding in both areas. Your school schedule is most likely rigid and inflexible, so your work life must be able to compensate for and adapt to the demands of your academic life. For this reason, part-time jobs and milestone or deadline-based jobs are best for college students working from home. These are task-oriented rather than time-based jobs you can do on your own time whenever you see fit as long as you submit your assigned deliverables by the deadline. Freelance writing or editing work are examples of such jobs.


College life is filled with distractions, making it hard enough to study and complete school assignments, let alone work and complete assignments from your employer in the same environment. To work from home successfully as a college student requires tremendous discipline, self-motivation and the ability to block out distractions. You must prioritize your studies over all distractions such as parties and other social events, and still make time do all of the assigned work from your employer. If you find the dorm too distracting to do your work, remember you can perform almost any type of online job in a coffee shop, library, student union or even a park.

Good Jobs for College Students Working from Home

College students working from home can find many lucrative and flexible job opportunities online. Among some of the most popular and prevalent jobs available to college students working from home are the following:

  • Resume writer.
  • Transcriptionist or data entry clerk.
  • Online tutor.
  • Freelance editor, writer or niche blogger.
  • Usability tester.
  • Search engine evaluator.
  • Social media manager.
  • Virtual recruiter.
  • Virtual assistant.
  • Genealogist.

To find work-from-home jobs available in your area, start by checking out your school’s own job board. Many companies offering remote jobs specifically for college students will advertise with the colleges and universities near them to find students willing to take on these positions.

At-Home Income Alternatives for College Students

An alternative option to working is to apply for stipends, scholarships and grants through your school and other organizations. You can find and apply to many of these options easily right online through scholarship websites and other resources that are often provided by your school. Also available through many college and universities are internships, both within the school itself an in partnering businesses and organizations. Some internships may only earn you experience or academic credit, while others pay you a stipend and help you practice putting new skills into effect that will help you in your future career. Internships also allow you to start making contacts in your chosen industry, so that when you graduate college, you already have some way to gain employment in your field.

Another option is working gigs. A gig is a single event with a beginning and an end, making gigs a short, temporary source of income. By looking for short-term gigs instead of standard, ongoing jobs, you can take on commitments when you have the time for them and be free of any additional obligations when school takes precedence.

Students may also consider working jobs on campus, as these forms of employment are usually more conscious of a student’s busy schedule and more willing to work around it. However, on-campus jobs are usually in high demand and may be difficult to acquire without demonstrating financial need.

Time for Yourself

While working for a living is an admirable way to spend some of your spare time in college, it should not be how you spend all of your time. Part of academic success in college also requires taking time for yourself and attending to your basic physical needs, and your mental and emotional well-being. If you are not getting sufficient sleep, food or downtime, you may need to adjust your schedule a bit to allow yourself to have more of those essential breaks. If you do not give yourself at least some time to rest, you will eventually burn yourself out and your grades and work performance will start to slip.

For anyone to succeed in attending school and working a job from home at the same time, it is all about finding and maintaining the proper balance. If you ever feel overwhelmed while juggling a career and school life, consider spending time with a friend, taking a walk outside, sitting quietly for some deep breathing or simply taking a long, relaxing shower. If you have an athletic or artistic outlet, consider fitting in time for those hobbies as well to help restore and retain your ability to continue meeting all your obligations with excellence.

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