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How to Make Money as a Student in Nigeria(College or University)

How to Make Money as a Student in Nigeria(College or University)
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A business can be quite easy depending on a wide number of factors. However, running a small business whose targets are students as customers can be quite tricky. Figuring out what most college students need, and being able to provide it at the lowest possible cost can go a long way in making sure your business succeeds  in your college or university. But it gets harder when you don’t understand the ways on what’s on how to make money as a student in Nigeria (College or University). This is why I would be sharing today ways by which you can make money as a college student.

Let’s start off with the big question:

 What do college students want or need?

Before an average Nigerian student decides what to take to college or the university, they consider their potential full semester experience. They begin to paint a mental picture of how their stay on campus would go for that semester, and after identifying these basic needs, they pen down their college checklist on a piece of paper or on their gadgets and list out items like feeding allowances, dorm room essentials, academic essentials, miscellaneous charges, data subscription and general college essentials.

Now, your ability to accurately identify and provide what college students need while on campus for the academic semester or year, will ensure your small business on campus remains profitable all through the targeted period.


Here Are Top 10 Ways on how to make money as a student in Nigeria (College or University):

how to make money as a student in Nigeria (College or University)

1). Textbooks:

Most Nigerian lecturers would recommend college students to own at least one textbook for every course taken in a semester. A smart student who takes their courses and semester seriously always makes sure to purchase the required textbooks, quite a big number of other students buy just a few while the totally unserious students don’t buy any text at all.

Students mostly prefer to buy their textbooks from the college bookstore which in majority of cases usually cost more, but would divert their purchase if they can get them cheaper somewhere else on or off campus. Setting up a bookstore on campus that sells cheap new textbooks or used (old) textbooks will get students coming your way to buy the books they need for the semester.

Should in case the book at hand is a limited edition or is too expensive, you can offer a textbook rental service to the college students. Some would rent a textbook for a price more than 10 times lower than the original price just for the semester. Textbook rentals are getting popular in countries like the United States of America, but in Nigeria for instance, most students naturally prefer to buy or get them from their seniors for free rather than rent them.

Aside from selling textbooks in a physical store, you can also sell them online by setting up a blog or posting in school forums. Selling textbooks online works efficiently western countries but who is to say that it won’t work in African countries such as Nigeria?.

If college or university students compare textbook prices between yours and what is sold in their college campuses, and discover yours to be a whole lot cheaper, you’d gain quite a good number of customers; as long as what you sell costs a lot less.


2). Tuition:

If you own, co-own or you run a school, a college, or are even a tutor centre, you should totally give this a shot. Why? because college and high school fees are on an ever rising storm. The average cost of a privately owned college’s tuition never reduces but stays up. It only gets higher each year. This rising trend in every tuition fee affects negatively the student’s financial capacity to pay, but favours the owners of the colleges, University and schools in general.

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The same goes for tutors. Private tutors can easily increase the cost of their tuition fees slightly, if they notice the general market costs are getting higher. Since their rendered service is from their intellectual prowess and not by acquiring some physical or digital product, the increase in their home tuition fee works in their favour. If a good number of parents are edging for a reduction in the cost of home tuition fees, a slight adjustment to the trend wouldn’t hurt or be too difficult for the home tutors because, what they offer is a service and not a product.

Having the power to increase tuition fees, whether for a university, a high school, a college, online tutoring, or home tutoring is a great way to earn more income when your finance needs it.

3). Food:

Every human needs food (it’s one of our primary needs as humans; we need to feed)! This is why a lot of people take out time to carefully prepare meals through the day for themselves, friends, and their families.

The stress and time taking requirement in meal preparation affects most college students heavily. Most of us (college students) hate to cook! This reason pushes us to patronise canteens and fast-food restaurants around campus than cook ourselves.

You can easily set up a small business in the university, by offering food services to college students. Preparing meals that can be easily carried away (a well packed meal/ takeaway) based on popular college recipes that students regularly go for would place your small business on the minds of many university students whenever they want to get a quick meal. Make sure the college food you sell smells great, tastes like heaven, and leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the students.

With a consistent premium meal service delivery, your college restaurant would be bound for success. Additionally, you can offer home delivery services and charge a lil extra for that.


4). Hostel:

Whenever a new semester or academic year begins, students are always on the watch for good accommodation on campus. A lot of hostel booking are done as early online as soon as the semester starts, via the university portal.

When the student rooms are filled up, those that are yet to get rooms have no other choice than to secure a student accommodation in privately held hostels.

In many Federal and state owned universities in Nigeria for instance, most students prefer to get student apartments off campus. Research has shown that students usually prefer cheap accommodation, and would pay year-in year-out as long as the hostels are far better and more secure than the ones on campus.

Setting up an off-campus university accommodation is a great way to take advantage of something college students need, to create a lucrative business opportunity. This is yet another untapped niche on how to make money as a student in Nigeria


5). School Supplies:

how to make money as a student in Nigeria (College or University)

School supplies are a very important need for every student in a primary school, college, high school, and even the university. When the semester is about to get on, many parents run around trying to get various “back to school supplies” for their kids. Students in colleges and universities usually prefer to get their school supplies themselves.

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These supplies could range from anything like provision sets, gadgets, new paints for rooms, to a few fashion items, to many other needed items. Since most students are always inclined to purchase these items, they mostly never buy them at home till they get to school.

Providing cheap school supplies to college students when a semester is starting would give your small business a boost in terms of customer acquisition, long-term customer retention, and sales.


6). Soda and Alcohol:

A lot of students cannot go a day without the consumption of bottled drinks such as a bottle of Fanta, Big Cola, or even any form of soda or alcohol. Soda (sugary water drinks) is probably one of the top things that eat-up a higher share of allowances belonging to most college students. With most meals they have, they drink a bottle of soda. Irrespective of the sugar contents these soft drinks contain, students would always choose to drink these together with their meals.

The same applies to a liquor shop. Most students spend their evenings at clubs drinking lots of alcohol. The Star Laga and Goldberg brand for instance is the most popular amongst individuals in their mid-20s in Nigeria. Irrespective of the fact that uncontrolled alcoholism and religion warns against this with consequences that are bad for any individual, selling liquor and alcohol as licensed by the government, and is still a great way to make a lot of money from college students above 18 years of age.

With a small business like a restaurant, selling various forms of alcohol and soda will increase your business revenues. Soda may not be something a big number of college students need, but it’s definitely something they can’t stop buying!


7). Laptops:

Almost every college student owns or needs a laptop computer. It may not be an high-end computer, but they need or own one. Getting students to purchase your laptop or computers could be a far stretch because of the high-costs, and the longevity of an already-owned computer.

This then puts the laptop deals opportunity on the freshmen. When new students (freshmen) get into college for their first year, part of what they’d acquire is a laptop computer. These computers usually cost a lot of money, and so, they mostly look for cheap laptops for students. Some go as far as trying to cut costs by comparing laptops. They sometimes do this by looking for the best laptop deals focused on refurbished laptops. While a few others go for gaming laptops.

Selling refurbished/ old/new  computers to college students may get a bit tricky because of their financial status, especially in a country like Nigeria, one thing you could do is to work through their college department to provide them cheap laptops to be fully repaid over a period of time.


8). Mobile Phones:

Mobile phones are the most personal devices owned by almost everyone regardless of social class, especially students. These smart devices are one of the most important things college students want and need. They strive to buy the latest mobile phones every time there’s a newer version on the market, irrespective of their financial status; you might call it “materialism” but hey… You only live once, isn’t that true?

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Many other more prudent students compare mobile phones prices and specs, and end up picking the best mobile phone deals they can find. While buying cheap mobile phones could have a heavy functionality downside than if you buy a premium device, many students frankly don’t care. In Nigeria, this is a large norm, but in countries in the western world, the situation is a bit different with so many college students clamouring for expensive Apple devices. The majority of students who use Apple devices are either into internet fraudster or prostitution.

If you’re setting up a small business on campus to sell mobile phones, ensure you have a lot of cheap mobile phones that comes with great features. An example of such devices are infinix mobile phones, Gionee and Techno mobile phones.

Offering the right phones for sale would ensure you constantly generate some passive cashflow with every passing semester.


9). Dorm Room Essentials:

Dorm room materials like electric lamps, bed sheets, rugs, curtains, and more are important things college students need. They always purchase these items to put their rooms or apartments in order. Some go as far as beautifying their rooms with even flashier unnecessary items (like dining table, wardrobe for couples etc.) .

Ladies are so creative with design that they constantly come up with spontaneous dorm room ideas, and so, a bulk of the time, their dorm bedding, decorations, and all always cost a lot of money. Their creative mind only puts more money in the bank for small business that sells cheap dorm room decorations that look fabulous.

If you set up a small business that focuses majorly on dorm room essentials, and locate it close to the female hostels; your business will BOOM in no time.


10). Parties:

how to make money as a student in Nigeria (College or University)

Many college students love to boogie down and get off their worries at parties. Most times not minding who’s hosting it, or what the party is about. At the sound of music, they’re already there.

Taking advantage of most college student’s cravings for parties, to sell some of your items is a smart business move. Why? Because at clubs and parties, they buy all types of things: from small chops, alcohol, to many other items they have a craving for.

Understanding and experiencing the college student’s behaviour at any party or night club will show you better insights into what they buy, and how they respond to products or services offered. This is another small business to consider on how to make money as a student in Nigeria.



The college or university student is a great individual that poses multiple business opportunities for small business owners. By studying them closely, watching what they do, how they do it, and why they do it, you can come up with several services and products that you’re sure they’d want to pay for.

Identifying what college students need wouldn’t just help you make better small business decisions on campus, but would ensure you have a constant flow of income.


What are your thoughts on these 10 ways on how to make money as a student in Nigeria? Let me know by leaving a comment below.


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