top of page

Ways to Make Money Over the Summer for College Students

by Kyla Cruz

It was good while it lasted, with TikTok rolling out its creator fund and both Instagram and Facebook quickly following suit, many students were able to earn a steady paycheck. But after news broke that congress was once again threatening to ban TikTok, well, Meta made some changes.

According to Gizmodo, Facebook and Instagram influencers are losing access to a big moneymaking program that was previously paying out thousands of dollars per video. It was an effort to get more Instagram users interested in watching the social network’s short-form video format Reels.


I was speaking with a friend of mine who had a very good question, she asked, “How is congress concerned about our data now where Meta has been selling our data for years?” Of course, this does not come as a surprise because it’s true. The difference is Meta is owned by a United States citizen who is not using our data to infiltrate his homeland, that would be treason.

Our data is being sold for telemarketing purposes—in other words, Mark wants to get rich, not kill us. Whereas, countries like China having access to our data can be detrimental to our overall safety. They can tap into our phones, our money, and our resources and reroute things, therefore, endangering us and leaving us helpless. If they were to declare war, they would know all of our trade secrets and defeats us with ease. That is the difference.

Not to mention their algorithm is specially designed to keep us distracted for hours on end. No more reading books, no more studying, no more socializing for some. The average person spends over 90 minutes on the app when they could be doing other productive things. Plus, the version available to citizens in China is far more educational and their view time is limited. Additionally, TikTok has inspired so many men and women to alter their career goals—American children are now aspiring to be creators and influencers versus doctors or lawyers.

It's easy to think that content creators are raking in thousands of dollars a month, with their aesthetic videos and ASMR content, but the reality is, that ByteDance-owned company unveiled its new paywall that lets accounts charge to access certain videos. TikTok is paying influencers very little despite the number of views their videos seem to get. One user shared that the 1.4M views from her viral video earned her only $202 from the app. Yes, we know, with multiple videos that number can add up, but who wants that? Plus, after a while, that amount will be taxed.

Now, onto Meta, so much has changed on the Instagram app and creators are understandably frustrated: the company has put an end to Instagram and Instagram TV Live Bonuses, affiliate incentives, and Instagram TV ads. This year, they also killed their shopping tab and live shopping feature. So what does this mean for the average college student looking to make some money on the side?

Well, there are still a plethora of options available online. I believe the first is worth mentioning because it serves many benefits. Ah!Fare is an online platform where you can share content and charge a subscription price each month to your followers. It sounds risqué, but the platform was designed for users to have options and be able to expand their creativity without limitations. You keep 81% of your revenue and you choose when you’re paid.

Next, is sales! There are many freelance sales positions available today and for some reason, I find it odd that someone would rather head outside with a tripod, film content, edit it and then post it with their fingers crossed in hopes that it will go viral and they can earn $200. A sales position at a great company can earn you almost triple that from one sale. You can get dressed up, head out and speak to your neighbors, sell them a product or service, and make ends meet. That is far better than relying on social media to earn a living. Especially for college students.

In college, I worked for an ad agency where I set my own hours. On the weekends I would head out around the neighborhood and visit some local businesses where I sold them ads for magazine companies etc. On average I was making about $1,300/week. I loved doing that!

Don’t get me wrong it’s not for the weak. But it’s worth it! Also, it’s important to note that I am an introvert, but the way I see it is if I have a viral video online, the only way to accumulate more views is to interact with people in the digital space. If I am going to overcome my fear of socializing I want a juicy, fat check for it. Sales did that for me.

Not to mention the investment you have to make to become a content creator: the camera, the software (premiere pro), buying merch, and essentially running a business you aren’t sure is going to work out. I am hammering the sales job because it’s the same as being an influencer, yet so many people stray away from it to work more and earn less. It should be the other way around. Some sales jobs to consider:

  • Magazine Advertising Sales Rep

  • Car Sales – High-End Luxury Dealerships

  • Real Estate Sales – Need Qualifications/Certifications

  • Executive Headhunters

  • Medical Device Sales Representatives

Those are just a few, and there is real money to be made. That is money you can rely on and do not have to worry about the government taking your job away. You’re already doing the work, why not just change the title? Hopefully this article gave you a new perspective and who knows, maybe you’ll be my co-worker one day. Ciao for now.


bottom of page