College can get expensive. It’s not just the rising costs of tuition that students need to worry about—just about everything is more costly these days. From toilet paper to pizza, the price tags of the most basic supplies needed for college keep going up. Sooner or later, most students start to feel their budget is stretching too thin, which almost always raises the question, “how can I make extra money in college?”

In this article, we’ll talk about how students can make money taking surveys. It’s one of the easiest ways we know of to pull in some extra money or gift cards for essentials. Plus, it’s a gig that can fit into any student’s schedule. Read on for all the details. 

Aren’t Paid Online Surveys Just Another Scam?

Scammers have given the online survey industry a bad name. And there are plenty of fraudulent sites that will make inflated claims about ridiculously high earnings. Some even try to charge membership fees, robbing people of what little they already have. However, real, legitimate survey sites still exist, and they are the perfect chance for college students to make a little extra money for minimal effort.

Why You Need Extra Income in Collegeperson standing near brown concrete wall

Every student’s budget will look different, of course. However, even if you are eligible for financial aid, there are still many expenses that a student loan or financial aid package won’t cover. Here are just a few examples:


If you are not living on campus, you will need to factor in the cost of gas or transportation when going back and forth to school. If you have a car, you’ll have to have insurance, and you’ll also need to consider vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Books and Class Supplies

Some books and supplies may be covered by financial aid, while others may not. Books are usually not cheap, so make sure you know the cost of any textbooks and class supplies you may need to pay for outright.

Concerts, Football Games, and Other Campus Events

While there are many free events at most colleges, you still may need some cash to get into certain campus events. Plus, if you want food or drinks, you’ll want to have some spare change on hand for refreshments. The same goes for any off-campus events you wish to attend. 

Room Supplies

If you’re living at home during school, this factor won’t apply. But whether you are renting an apartment or staying in the dorms, you’ll probably want to pick up a few necessities. Bedding, rugs, and lamps are an example. You can decorate cheaply and shop at second-hand stores, but you may still want a few new items to make things cozier. Taking surveys for Amazon gift cards is a great way to furnish your dorm room.


At some point during the school year, you’ll probably need to get some new clothes. Shoes wear out quickly if you do a lot of walking, and— depending on the climate—you might need to pick up winter gear, too. Of course, you’ll want to have some cash on hand to purchase necessary clothing items. At the very least, you’ll probably need to replenish socks and underwear.

Can I Earn a Lot of Money With Paid Surveys?

That depends on what you consider a lot. If you’re planning on trying to pay your way through college with surveys, you’re out of luck. But if you need some extra cash to spend on items from the list above, you’ll find paid surveys to be a great option. Surveys typically pay between $1.00 and $3.00 per completed survey, and the extra money adds up fast!

What Are the Most Ideal Jobs for College Students?three men and laughing two women walking side by side

The best jobs for students are those that are highly flexible. Schedules change from semester to semester, and during finals week, juggling work and school can be a challenge. Therefore, a job that offers flexible hours and schedules is preferred.

It’s not easy to find a truly flexible part-time gig, but here are a few ideas other students have implemented:

Delivery Driver

Delivering groceries or restaurant food through Fresh Express, Doordash, Grubhub, UberEats, and other platforms can be a decent way to make some cash.

Rideshare Driver

You’ll need to meet the requirements, but some students find Joining Uber or Lyft offers a flexible part-time income.

Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

If you like pets, this can be a great side gig. People are always looking for trustworthy and reliable pet sitters and dog walkers. 


Another tried-and-true gig for college students, babysitting, is a part-time job that never goes out of style.

Sell Stuff Online

If you have a collection of items to unload, consider selling your unwanted things online. Ebay is a great place to sell collectibles, while Poshmark is an excellent platform to make money for clothes you no longer wear.

Paid Online Surveys

We’ll go into more detail below, but we have found the most flexible option of all is for students to take online surveys for money. Keep reading for more information.

How to Balance School and a Job

Balancing college classes and a job is one of the most significant issues facing college students. If you don’t devote enough time to your studies, you won’t do well in school. But if you don’t work, you won’t be able to afford the things you need. The trick is to find a side gig that works with your schedule.

Paid Surveys Are the Best Optionperson using MacBook

If you’re looking for the most flexible way to make money as a college student, paid surveys are the answer. With a reputable survey site, you can earn cash or even take surveys for gift cards, and you can work on your own time.

For example, if you have 20 minutes to kill between classes, you can do a survey or two then. Or maybe you’re an early bird who likes to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before starting your day. A survey or two in the morning is a great way to start the day on a bright note. 

You can complete surveys anytime you want, 24/7, and all you need is your computer, a tablet, or smartphone and a data or wifi connection.

How Do Paid Surveys Work?

Paid surveys are part of the larger market research industry. Companies are always looking for input from consumers since it helps them decide what products and services to introduce to the marketplace. Online surveys are the key to obtaining this data, and many companies offer a financial incentive to make sure they get it.

So, how do online surveys work? You only need to join a reputable survey site and start taking surveys right away. The surveys themselves can be all different lengths, and you will be compensated with points that you can convert to cash or gift cards. There’s really no catch—it’s simple to get started. Once you have reached the threshold you’ll need to cash out your earnings; you can do so at any time. The best sites will have multiple ways for you to get paid.

Joining Branded Surveys

Naturally, we think Branded Surveys is the best survey site in the industry. They’ve been around for many years and have been paying college students (and others) consistently for a long time. You always want to ensure that any site you join has solid user reviews to back it up, and Branded Surveys has that. In fact, they have over 41,000 reviews and a rating of excellent on TrustPilot. With so many scammers in the industry, it makes sense to go with a legit survey site that people genuinely trust. 

To get started with Branded Surveys, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps:

  • Go to the Branded Surveys Site and sign up using your own information. (If you’ve heard from other sources to use a fake name, those sources are incorrect. Using your factual information is the only way you can get paid.)
  • Once you’ve filled out the required information, check your email for confirmation. Once you’ve confirmed your membership, you’re in!
  • Now you can start taking surveys. The first surveys available to you will be profile surveys. Fill these out as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Not only will you be paid for these initial questionnaires, but the survey site will use them to match you with the best survey opportunities in the future.
  • After you’ve finished your profile surveys, you can start in with regular surveys. Simply choose what looks interesting to you and dive in.
  • As soon as you’ve accumulated enough points from taking surveys, you can cash out your earnings. It really is that easy.

Branded will let you take surveys for Paypal money, Branded Pay (an online payment platform), or gift cards. If you choose to go with gift cards, rest assured you will have many to choose from. Not only can you take surveys for Amazon gift cards, but you can also choose from dozens of national retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, services, hotels, and more.

Closing Thoughts

What are you waiting for? As a college student looking for extra cash, you can’t go wrong by checking out a reputable paid online survey site like Branded Surveys. You’ll have the chance to make some spare cash whenever and wherever you want, and you can keep doing it over and over anytime you need some spending money.