3 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for College Students

Affiliate Programs for College Students_Pretty Links

Attending college can be the most exciting, yet, stressful time of your life. Trying to balance your time between attending classes, studying for exams, and having something of an active social life. Not to mention, trying to find a way to pay for textbooks, tuition, and campus living expenses.

If you're like most college students who are always stressing out about money, we might have the perfect solution for you!

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way for college students to make money without the need to stock up on any goods. You don't even have to leave your dorm room! What's more, the money you make can be a nice passive income.

In this post, we'll discuss why affiliate marketing is perfect for college students. We'll then look at 3 options for your first affiliate program. Let's get into it!

Why College Students Should Consider Using Affiliate Marketing

The way affiliate marketing works is, you share a link to a product and get paid when people buy that product or sign up for whatever service the third-party company is offering.

How affiliate marketing works.

As a student, you likely have a large social circle and are social media savvy. Therefore, you have a great base from which to start promoting products. Perhaps you could make videos for TikTok or create a dedicated website. The possibilities are almost endless.

Plus, there are various tools to simplify your affiliate marketing journey. For example, our Pretty Links plugin can transform long and ugly affiliate links into clean and memorable URLs. Additionally, our tool can help you track your links' performance and automate your marketing.

Lastly, there are few setup costs, so you can start earning a regular passive income quickly and with minimal effort. As long as you can attract readers and earn their trust, you'll be well on the way to making a living.

3 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for College Students

There are plenty of affiliate marketing programs that can help you sell to fellow college students and other members of your social circle. Here are 3 of the best options!

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate marketing programs worldwide. Drawing its products from the world's biggest retailer, it offers millions of items for you to promote. The primary benefit of Amazon's affiliate program is the sheer number of products – from stationery to textbooks to dorm room essentials, the list could go on and on!

Dorm room organization products available on Amazon

As a bonus, Amazon's cookies are universal. Once somebody has clicked on your affiliate link, you'll receive a commission on everything they buy within the same session, not just the product you promoted.

The major downside however, is the low commission rates. Affiliates only receive 1-3% of most sales, depending on the product.

For example, physical video games only offer 1% commissions. In contrast, PCs and components will earn you 2.5%. Therefore, you might not make a huge income unless you have a large and engaged readership.

2. Grammarly

Grammarly is one of the most popular spelling and grammar tools available. It's proofreading, grammar-checking, and readability features make it an excellent product to promote to other college students:

Grammarly offers one of the best affiliate marketing programs for college students.

The Grammarly affiliate program has a decent conversion rate between 20% and 30%. Each free sign-up will make you $0.20. However, the real money is enticing people to sign-up for the paid Grammarly packages. These premium upgrades are worth $20.

You don't have to do much extra work with just one product to promote. The negative however, is the same. Once a potential lead has made their mind up about Grammarly, you don't have anything else to offer.

Another significant downside for students outside of the United States is, the program only pays in USD. You may lose out on bank fees and conversion rates in your local currency.

3. Canva Pro

Canva is known for its drag-and-drop software that makes designing easy. From posters to presentations, Canva likely has a template for it. Therefore, you can easily promote to college students studying arts, graphic design, or similar fields:

Canva affiliate program main page

Canva has a relatively new affiliate marketing program and excellent rates. It offers an 80% commission rate on the first two months of subscriptions. If the user decides to pay annually instead, you'll receive 25%, equivalent to $36. Canva also pays commissions for trial signups, rewarding you for each lead you convert.

However, you'll need a large existing audience to use the Canva affiliate program. It requests one million monthly visits and prioritizes design influencers and educators. Therefore, it's not the best choice if you're new to affiliate marketing.


Affiliate marketing is ideal for college students. It can offer a healthy income and reduce financial pressures. Plus, you can generate a relatively passive income from the comfort of your dorm room.

In summary, here are 3 affiliate programs for college students you should consider:

  1. Amazon Associates: A wide product selection, but generally low commission rates.
  2. Grammarly: Good rates for premium upgrades, but the program only pays in USD.
  3. Canva Pro: Excellent commission rates, but needs high traffic numbers.

Do you have any questions about affiliate marketing programs for college students? Let us know in the comments section!

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About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.



    Peter Tajedo

    January 6, 2023

    Great list John, I would like to add Fiverr.


    December 3, 2023

    I'm a college student, and I use Amazon associates to make a little extra cash on the side. I am also a member of the Mybookcart affiliate program. They sell used textbooks and pay a decent commission on sales.