Are there established businesses in the area that could boost their business by being able to deliver? Become their delivery service.
If you go to a rural or suburban school, where students need transportation to do simple things and you have a car, start a transportation service.
If you’re attending college on scholarship and know a subject very well, start a tutoring service for local elementary or high school students. Like you, they’re goal is academic excellence so help these students attain their ultimate goal.
Career counseling service
If you’re a good communicator think about going to the on-campus career center and meeting some of the employers and recruiters who work there. Learn what makes for a strong counselor and then become a career coach and counselor to other students. Tip: It’ll be more successful if you market services to their parents.
Personal training service
Are you athletic and into sports? Think about starting a personal training service either at the on-campus facility or a local fitness facility.
Late night food service and delivery
If you go to a college in an area where late night food establishments aren’t available or there is only one that doesn’t have a great variety (like the Huddle House, which was the only place open at night at the first college I attended) providing this service will be profitable.
If you like to party and channel your inner Diddy, learn how to promote and establish a network of deejays that will attract party people to your events. It’s never a bad option to acquire a new skill, so try your hand at deejaying, too.
Onboarding service for international students
Many students from other countries attend American colleges and universities. For those who have not lived in America for awhile or for those who have lived in homogenous neighborhoods until attending college, the college experience may be overwhelming. If you enjoy meeting new people and are compassionate perhaps you can work with the office of student affairs at your school to create a welcoming service and hospitality program for international students.
Résumé writing service
Are you good at finding the best angles to present information? Start a résumé writing service helping students put their experience in the best possible format and phrasing to attract interview and career opportunities.
Have you always been considered a fashion icon on the yard? Help students improve their image in general or for professional interviews.
Hair styling and grooming services
Provide hair cuts or hair styling as a mobile barber or stylist.
Group travel service
Do you like traveling and have a knack for planning? Put together student travel packages for Spring Break, study abroad programs and other purposes for which students might want to travel.
Student awards program
Everyone is looking for a way to get ahead in today’s competitive job market. Team up with student affairs or the student government association to start an on-campus student awards program where students are rated and awarded in certain categories that are relevant to future career success. Charge an entry fee and look for sponsors. This is a cool way for students to get recognized for their accomplishments and serves as a nice addition to their—and your—resume.
Performing arts troupe
Did you sing, dance or act in high school? Put on plays or performances at your college or university, or beyond the campus community. You can profit off of ticket sales for this local America’s Got Talent-type contest.
Dog walking or pet care service
If you love animals, starting a dog walking or pet care business could be worthwhile.
Get good use out of that accounting or finance major by offering to keep books for a few local businesses or remotely with online customers.
Organizing a de-cluttering service
Are you really organized? Help others get coordinated and get paid for it!
Saving on the fly is like not saving at all. The best savers are serious about financial planning.
Photography and video services
If you have a great eye for composing scenes and images consider starting a photography and video service. You can offer headshots to students and faculty while helping local businesses produce and upload digital materials online.
Do you always get compliments on your style? Consider starting a mobile boutique selling to your classmates, professors, campus staffers and locals. No need for advertising because you’re a walking billboard.
Place an ad in your college or small local newspaper offering to sell people’s valuable (no longer used) items on eBay in exchange for a fee. Busy people who don’t have time — or don’t want to take the time to do this — will jump on it. (I did.)
Buy a local foreclosure, furnish it and rent out rooms
If your parents are planning to pay your dorm fees for the year or pay for an apartment, ask them to buy a local foreclosure for you instead. The national average for dormitory fees is $3,000 per semester, which means your parents would pay $6,000 by the end of the year. Instead, find a foreclosure near your school for $60,000 or less and have your parents pay the down payment. Then, find three student renters and charge less than it would cost them to live in the dorm (say $2,750 – so you save them $500 for the year). Collect their payments for the semester upfront (the same way they would have paid their dorm fees upfront), so that’s $8,250. Use some of the money to furnish and pay the mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes, and manage the property. (This idea costs more than $200 but not to you personally and for your parents it’s a better deal if they were planning to pay dorm or apartment fees anyway. They’ll set you up with a place to live and a way to generate income so they won’t have to pay the dorm fees for the remaining time you’re in school.)
Note: All ideas listed are for informational purposes only. Please consult licensed attorneys, realtors and others before making final business decisions.