Advertiser Disclosure While this page may contain offers from our partners, our opinions are our own.

The top money-making apps for students this fall

Alex Sheehan

Aug 26, 2019 — 4 min read

Find some great options if you’re looking to build your bank account in your free time.

Strapped for cash in college? You’re not alone.

More than 64% of undergrads will run out of money at least one semester during their time in school.

Luckily, we live in a time where the internet and the gig economy have made it easier than ever to earn some extra money.

Not sure where to start? Try one of these money-making apps. You can use most of them to earn cash while you’re in-between classes or hanging out in your dorm.

1. Ibotta

Kicking off the list of apps that give you money is Ibotta, a shopping rewards program. Here’s how it works: You go shopping, you upload a photo of your receipt to the app, and Ibotta finds rebates for you. You need to wait until you hit $20 before you can cash out, but you can choose PayPal, Venmo or gift cards as currency.

2. Acorns

Acorns is one of the best money-making apps for long-term savings. It won’t pay for any immediate needs, but if you’re looking ahead beyond graduation, this is one way to set yourself up for financial freedom. Acorns invests your spare change into long-term savings accounts and investments that should pay off in the long run. It’s a cool way to dip your toes into the proverbial investing pond.

3. Shopkick

iOS 4.7 stars

Android 4.3 stars

Like Ibotta, you have to go shopping if you want to earn money from Shopkick. Earn “kicks,” the shopping rewards app currency, for shopping in-app or using it in-store. You can also perform secret shopping-esque tasks assigned by the app for extra kicks. You won’t get cold hard cash from Shop

4. Uber

  • iOS 4.7 stars (#1 in the Travel category)
  • Android 4.2 stars

There are a couple of ways to make money with Uber, both of which involve driving. You could be a “traditional” Uber driver; even if you don’t have a car, the company has introduced leasing-type programs for car-less drivers. Not interested in extensive interaction with people? Deliver food for Uber Eats. There’s bound to be endless demand in a college town.

5. Google Opinion Rewards

Google Opinion Rewards is an app that pays you money in the form of Google Play or PayPal credits. You can’t use it to pick up your bar tab, but you can use it to download music, apps, books and more. Just spend some time doing surveys, or let Google spy on you more than they already do, to start earning.

6. Slidejoy

Slidejoy is unique from others on this list of apps that make you money, and it’s a much more passive approach. All you have to do is unlock your phone. Here’s how it works: When you download the app, Slidejoy becomes your phone’s lock screen. Each time you unlock your phone, you earn points. The best part is you can transfer your earnings to PayPal, choose a gift card or donate your earnings to a cause close to your heart.

7. BookScouter

Got textbooks collecting dust? Turn them into cash with BookScouter. List your used textbooks (or non-academic books) on the marketplace in exchange for cash. If you’re extra motivated, you can scour eBay for cheap books and flip them on BookScouter. One person made $750/month on the app. That’s not chump change!

8. Foap

Ever wonder what to do with all the photos you’ve taken on your phone? Put them up for sale on Foap. There are a few ways to earn money, including missions and their marketplace. Missions are great for in-between classes or on the weekends or you can cull shots from your library.

9. iPoll

Another survey option on the list of money-earning apps, iPoll qualifies you for online surveys based on your background. Most are on the shorter side and will net anywhere from $0.40–$1.50 each, though there is the occasional high-paying survey (these will typically take more time). Plus, the payout is via PayPal, gift cards or even airline miles. (Pro tip: You can save those for spring break!)

10. Swagbucks

There are a lot of ways to earn money with Swagbucks: get rewards for shopping, answering surveys or even watching videos. Earn SwagBucks (SBs) that you can redeem for your earnings. Though there’s no minimum payout, one downside is that payment is only in gift cards — this is no get-rich-quick scheme.

No matter which option you choose, there are plenty of money-making apps out there to help you earn cash back throughout the semester. To stay on top of all the latest news, don’t forget to follow our experts on Facebook and Twitter.