Side Hustle For College Students: 26 Ways To Earn Money

Embarking on the journey of higher education can be thrilling, but for many college students, it also comes with a hefty price tag.

Join the world of side hustles, which are flexible and often profitable opportunities that let you make additional money while maintaining your academic obligations.

This blog post is your go-to guide for exploring popular and unique side hustle ideas tailored specifically for busy college schedules. So whether you’re looking to make a few dollars or build valuable experience, let’s dive in and uncover the perfect side gig that complements your academic pursuits!

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Popular Side Hustles For College Students

As a college student, you often face financial challenges as you balance tuition, housing, food, and other expenses.

A side hustle can provide additional income to help offset these costs and ease financial strain. Besides, a side hustle can also offer opportunities to gain valuable skills and experience, build networks, and explore potential career paths.

Engaging in a side hustle can also teach you valuable time management, communication, and entrepreneurial skills that can be beneficial throughout your academic and professional lives.

If you are a looking for side hustle ideas for students, here are some that can bring in extra cash:

Rideshare And Delivery Services

One of the most popular side hustles for college students is working as a rideshare or delivery driver. Services like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash offer flexible schedules that fit perfectly with a busy college schedule.

Side hustle for college students

Not only can you earn extra cash by driving passengers, grocery shopping or delivering food, but you can also enjoy the convenience of setting your own hours and location. In cities where public transportation may not be as reliable or accessible, rideshare services can also provide an essential service to commuters.

Freelancing And Online Services

One great way for college students to make some extra cash is by freelancing or doing online services. This type of work can be done from anywhere, which is perfect for students with busy schedules who may not have time for a traditional part-time job.

There are tons of opportunities out there, from writing and graphic design to virtual assistant tasks and social media management.

Some popular platforms for finding freelance work include Fiverr, Upwork, and (If you are getting started on Upwork, here are some great cover letter tips to put you on the path to success).

Tutoring And Teaching

Tutoring and teaching is a popular side hustle for college students because it allows you to use your knowledge and skills to help others while earning extra money.

You can offer tutoring services in various subjects, such as math, science, language arts, or even music lessons. Tutoring gigs can come from fellow classmates struggling with a particular subject or through referrals from high school students in the local community. Many colleges also have tutoring centers that hire college student tutors.

In addition to traditional tutoring services, you can also offer online coaching and create online courses on platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.

If you are bilingual, you may also offer translation and language services for businesses or individuals looking to learn a new language.

Pet-sitting And Dog-walking

Pet-sitting and dog-walking can be a great side hustle for college students who love animals. With so many busy pet owners in need of assistance, this type of work is always in demand. The best part about it is that you get to spend time with cute and cuddly pets while earning some extra cash.

To start your pet-sitting or dog-walking business, you’ll want to create flyers to advertise your services around campus or post ads on social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace. You can also reach out to local businesses and community centers who may be looking for someone reliable to provide these services. As a college student, you can offer competitive rates that are more affordable than professional pet care services.

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Retail And Customer Service

Retail and customer service jobs provide opportunities to work in local businesses, stores, or restaurants.

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For example, working as a sales associate at a clothing store or serving customers at a restaurant can pay decent money while providing valuable experience interacting with customers and managing inventory.

Retail and customer service positions are also flexible in terms of scheduling. Many businesses offer part-time shifts that fit well with the busy schedules of college students. This is particularly useful during seasonal peaks such as holiday shopping when there may be an increased demand for temporary staff.

Write resumes and cover letters

Every college student will eventually require a resume and cover letter. Why not capitalize on this demand by turning resumé writing into a side hustle? Decide how much you want to charge each document after creating a few practice resumes (and remember that a record number of companies nowadays complain that they no longer receive well-written cover letters and CVs).

Become an Influencer

Many often associate the term “influencer” with someone who has given up all privacy in exchange for a loyal following, but you don’t have to make yourself the center of attention to be a great influencer. Managing social media is a fantastic side business concept with lots of space for creativity.

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For example, if you don’t like the spotlight, you could consider building an Instagram following for your dog or your photographs. There are a few options for monetizing your Instagram account, including sponsored posts, Instagram takeovers, and online store sales.

We have helpful guides on making money on Instagram and TikTok if you are getting started.

Event Planning And Coordination

Event planning and coordination is a great side hustle for college students who are well-organized, detail-oriented, and have a passion for creating memorable experiences.

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Some popular events that require planning and coordination include weddings, birthdays, corporate parties, and charity fundraisers. As an event planner, you would be responsible for managing all aspects of the event, from selecting vendors to managing logistics on the day-of.

One way to get started in event planning is to offer your services as an assistant or intern at a local wedding or event planning company. This will give you hands-on experience working behind-the-scenes and exposure to different types of events.

Another option is to reach out directly to individuals in your community who are hosting events and offer your services at a discounted rate or even pro bono initially in order to build up your portfolio.

With some experience under your belt, you can then start marketing yourself as a freelance event planner on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram or through websites like Eventbrite.

Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is one of those side jobs that fit in the passive income category. This hustle idea pays well over the long-term.

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Affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s goods or services on your website in exchange for a cut of any sales made as a result of your recommendations (usually through a unique link or code). This is a fantastic method for integrating side businesses.

Go into affiliate marketing if you have a podcast, are an influencer, or operate your own online store. It’s a fantastic method to generate more money as you pursue your passions or another side business.

Nevertheless, before you can begin earning money with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to go through a learning curve. Finding the perfect brand to collaborate with is just as important as finding the ideal product to sell. Your commission will probably be much lesser if you decide to promote ecommerce companies as an affiliate than if you were to simply dropship them yourself.

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Lawn Care And Landscaping

Lawn care and landscaping can be a great side hustle for college students who enjoy spending time outdoors.

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You can offer services such as mowing lawns, trimming hedges, and planting flowers to earn a few extra bucks in just an hour. According to an article on The Balance Small Business website, the average cost of lawn mowing ranges from $30 to $80 depending on the size of the lawn.

To get started with lawn care and landscaping, you will need some basic tools such as a lawnmower, weed trimmer, pruning shears, gloves, and safety glasses. You can advertise your services online or by distributing flyers in your neighborhood.

Cutting grass is one of the top 10 best side hustles according to an article published on So why not put your passion for gardening into practice and make some extra cash?

Personal Shopping And Styling

Another unique side hustle option for college students is personal shopping and styling. If fashion and style are your passions, then this could be the perfect job for you! As a personal shopper/stylist, you’ll help clients find outfits that fit their body type, personality, and occasion.

You can start by networking with fellow students or putting up flyers around campus offering your services. Alternatively, you can also set up an online presence via social media platforms such as Instagram to showcase your work and attract potential clients from beyond the college campus.

Regardless of your level of experience in fashion styling or design, creating positive customer experiences is what matters most for repeat business.

Sell a digital product

You can sell non-physical assets like digital goods over the internet frequently without having to replenish your stock (like selling digital downloads on Etsy). We’re talking about items like software, eBooks, stock images, films, plans, Documents, and subscription/membership websites.

There are extremely low overhead costs, which is a fantastic perk of running a side business selling digital goods. An eBook only needs to be written once, but you may sell it a thousand times without incurring additional production costs (check out our guide to writing an eBook).

Also, unlike selling physical goods, you don’t need to have a stock of digital goods, therefore there is no requirement for physical locations or warehouses to hold them. It is much more flexible as a result.

Home Cleaning And Management

One of the most straightforward and reliable side hustles for college students is home cleaning and management.

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Many busy working professionals or families don’t have enough time to keep their homes tidy, so there is always a demand for someone who can do it for them. You can offer services such as vacuuming, dusting, organizing closets, doing laundry, and washing dishes.

To get started with this side hustle, you will need some basic cleaning supplies and equipment such as a vacuum cleaner, mop bucket, sponges, scrub brushes, and gloves. You can advertise your services on social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or even post flyers around your local community centers or universities’ admissions offices.

Overall, if you appreciate cleaning up areas such as homes/apartments/dormitories, starting up House Cleaning & Management services might be just what you need to make a decent living while keeping your hectic college schedule in mind!

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Vacation Rental Services

Vacation Rental Services involves managing properties and handling guests for property owners who are out of town or unable to manage them themselves.

As a vacation rental service provider, you’ll be responsible for everything from cleaning the property to handling check-ins and outs. This side gig can pay good money, especially if you live in a busy tourist destination.

Many people look for reliable professionals who can take care of their properties while they’re away, and if you do an excellent job, they’ll recommend your services to others looking for similar help.

Get a job on campus

Almost every college will provide careers exclusively for students. In general, these employment will pay more than working elsewhere off-campus. These positions are often advertised on your college or university’s website. A college campus employment frequently pays more than the statutory minimum wage.

Haul Junk

Some people choose not to deal with the hassle of selling used things online or at a flea market. Instead, they want the garbage removed. If you have your own pickup truck, you may offer to pick up and transport away other people’s garbage.

You might also offer similar services if you have additional storage space and wish to sell the things at an online flea market. Both offers are excellent ways to supplement your income.

You may perform this work on the side and make a nice living. When setting your prices, consider the time it will take to travel to the collection site, to the junkyard, and dump the things.

Advertise on your car

By merely driving your car around town, you might be able to make some additional cash. Get in touch with a professional advertising firm, and they will assess your driving patterns, including where you go and how far you travel.

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The agency will “wrap” your automobile with the advertisements at no expense to you if you are a good fit for one of their advertisers. Agencies prefer modern vehicles, and drivers have to have a spotless driving record.

If this idea appeals to you, take extra care to associate with a trustworthy business. Numerous con artists set up schemes in this area in an effort to defraud you of thousands.

Start a YouTube channel

More than two billion people use YouTube every day, watching 250 million hours of video. It takes a long time to grow a YouTube following large enough to make money from commercials, so it’s preferable to discover a more immediate source of income than to wait for ads to become profitable. Fortunately, there are numerous methods to monetize YouTube besides sponsored commercials.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assisting is a great side hustle for college students, especially if you have excellent organizational and administrative skills. As a virtual assistant, you can work with clients from all walks of life, providing them with support for various tasks like email management, scheduling appointments, research and data entry. This is also an excellent choice for those who are experienced in social media management or copywriting.

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One significant advantage of virtual assisting is the low startup costs involved. All you need is a laptop computer, good internet connection and some standard office software tools which most college students already have. Virtual assistants charge on an hourly basis or per project fee depending on their service packages which makes it flexible for both the client and the VA.

If you are interested in becoming a virtual assistant but lack experience or knowledge about the field there are numerous online courses available to help hone your skills such as Udemy’s “Become A Virtual Assistant: Create A Successful VA Business.”

According to statics on side hustles, two-thirds of people with a side hustle say they automate some of their business processes; opting for automation tools will save time and increase productivity allowing VAs more valuable time earning money doing what they love best!

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Benefits Of Having A Side Hustle While In College

Having a side hustle while in college can provide financial freedom, improved time management skills, skill development and experience, as well as networking opportunities and building a professional reputation. Want to learn more about the benefits of having a side hustle in college? Keep reading!

Financial Freedom

Financial freedom is an important reason why college students should consider doing a side business. Tuition, books, housing, and other additional costs may quickly add up, making college expenditures daunting. A side gig alleviates these financial difficulties by offering an alternative source of income in addition to financial aid or part-time work.

Not only does having extra cash help cover necessary expenses, but it also provides freedom for students to enjoy experiences that may otherwise have been impossible due to financial constraints. For example, this might include going on a weekend trip with friends or attending campus events without stressing about one’s budget.

Furthermore, developing good financial habits early in life fosters long-term stability and promotes responsible money management skills that will prove invaluable in the future. Throughout your undergraduate years, developing financial flexibility with a side job can pave the path for more financial stability and freedom later in life.

Gaining Work Experience

One of the most notable advantages of having a side hustle for college students is the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, which can be immensely beneficial in building your career.

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College students often face a catch-22 situation when seeking employment after graduation, as many employers expect them to have prior work experience but finding jobs that provide such opportunities while still studying can be challenging. Side gigs offer an excellent solution by allowing students to acquire professional skills and industry knowledge without compromising their academics.

Furthermore, these experiences frequently expose students to real-life issues that help them polish problem-solving and leadership skills – attributes that prospective employers across sectors value.

In essence, collaborating on side projects not only enables young adults to earn extra cash but also equips them with practical expertise essential for navigating today’s competitive job market.

Developing Skills

One important benefit of having a side hustle as a college student is the opportunity to develop valuable skills outside of the classroom.

These skills can range from practical abilities like time management and organization, to more specific expertise in areas such as marketing or programming. By taking on a side job that aligns with your interests and career goals, you’ll be able to gain hands-on experience and build your confidence in these areas.

For instance, working as a freelance writer or web developer fosters communication and technical abilities, while offering tutoring services enhances teaching, organization and time management competencies.

Similarly, offering tutoring services can help improve communication and teaching skills which are highly sought after by employers. Whatever skillset you choose to develop through your side hustle, the experience gained will give you an edge when seeking employment post-graduation.

Overall, participating in a variety of side hustles allows college students to build a wide range of skills that may make them more employable in the corporate world once they graduate.

Networking Opportunities And Building A Professional Reputation

One of the biggest advantages of having a side hustle while in college is the opportunity to build your professional network and reputation. Your side hustle may open doors to new connections and give you valuable experience that can set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs after graduation.

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For example, if you’re tutoring or teaching, word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients could lead to more opportunities through referrals. Or, if you’re freelancing or providing online services, building a strong online presence with positive feedback from clients can help establish yourself as an expert and attract more business.

Networking is about more than simply discovering new career prospects; it’s also about learning from others and broadening your horizons. You may meet people from all backgrounds and sectors through your side hustles who can provide great insights into their profession. You can even discover new interests or hobbies that will help you achieve your work objectives in the future.

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How To Get Started With A Side Hustle

To get started with a side hustle, research and identify opportunities that align with your interests and skills, develop a business plan and branding strategy, build a network, market yourself effectively, manage your finances and taxes. Let’s look at each of these steps in detail

Research And Identify Opportunities

Before choosing a side hustle, it’s important to research and identify potential opportunities that align with your interests, skills, and availability.

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Start by exploring various job boards and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Upwork to see what types of services people are looking for in your area. You can also reach out to local businesses or community centers to inquire about any open positions they may have.

Consider tapping into your personal network as well. Fellow students might be looking for tutors in certain subjects or pet owners in need of a sitter while they’re away. Additionally, you could use social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to connect with potential clients or customers who may be interested in the services you offer.

Ultimately, finding the right side hustle comes down to identifying areas where there is demand and assessing how much value you can add through your own unique skills and experiences.

Develop A Business Plan And Branding Strategy

When starting a side hustle as a college student, it’s essential to develop a business plan and branding strategy.

Your business plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or formal; it could merely outline your goals, target audience, services, rates, and marketing strategies. Similarly, your branding strategy should reflect your unique selling proposition and resonate with your target audience. For example, if you’re offering tutoring services for high school students, you might want to use bright colors or educational themes in your logo and advertising materials.

Additionally, social media could be an effective tool for building brand awareness and attracting potential clients. Consider creating separate social media accounts for your side hustle and sharing relevant content that showcases your expertise and personality. You could also ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on your platforms or offer referral rewards for every new client they bring in.

Remember that both the business plan and branding strategy are crucial elements of any successful side gig—don’t overlook them! By taking the time to develop these components correctly early on in the process, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success as a college student entrepreneur.

Build A Network And Market Yourself Effectively

When it comes to side hustles for college students, building a strong network is crucial in finding new opportunities and clients.

Networking can be as simple as reaching out to friends and family or connecting with fellow students who may have similar interests. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can also be powerful tools in expanding your network and gaining exposure.

To effectively market yourself, it’s important to identify your unique skills and strengths that set you apart from others. Develop a personal brand by creating a website, business cards, or social media accounts that showcase your work and capabilities.

Manage Your Finances And Taxes

Managing your finances and taxes is crucial when it comes to running a successful side hustle in college.

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You need to keep track of all the money that’s coming in and going out, so you don’t end up with any unexpected surprises come tax time. You can use digital tools like QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets to help you stay organized.

In terms of taxes, it’s important to remember that even if you’re earning just a few dollars from your side hustle, you still need to report it on your tax return. Depending on how much you earn, you may also owe self-employment taxes. It’s best practice to consult with an accountant or tax professional who can guide you through the process and ensure that everything is done correctly.

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Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Side Hustle

Consider your personal interests, skills, and availability when choosing a side hustle that fits your busy college schedule. Also, take into account factors like your own schedule and time commitment, compensation and job security, as well as legal and financial considerations before making a decision.

Personal Interests, Skills, And Availability

When considering a side hustle, it’s important to take into account your personal interests, skills, and availability.

This will help you identify side hustles that not only pay well but are also enjoyable for you. For example, if you have strong writing skills and enjoy research, freelance writing or blogging could be a great option for you. On the other hand, if you love animals and spending time outdoors, pet-sitting or dog-walking might be more up your alley.

Scheduling And Time Commitment

When taking on a side hustle, one of the most important factors to consider is your schedule and time commitment.

As a college student, consider how much time and energy you can realistically commit to a side gig while still keeping up with school work. Some students may only have a few hours a week available while others may have more flexibility in their schedules.

Finding something that fits within your schedule is crucial to ensure success in both your academic and professional endeavors. Another factor to consider is the amount of effort required in setting up and maintaining the side hustle.

Starting an Etsy shop takes significantly more time than simply signing up for Uber or Lyft as a driver. Evaluate how much time and energy you’re willing to put into getting started versus focusing solely on earning extra cash right away.

Remember: burnout is real! Be sure to prioritize self-care by taking breaks when needed and making time for activities that bring joy outside of work.

Compensation And Job Security

When deciding on a side hustle, it’s important to consider compensation and job security. While some gigs may offer quick cash, they could also be unreliable or have low pay rates. On the other hand, certain opportunities may provide stability and growth potential, but may require more time commitment upfront.

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For example, freelancing in graphic design or writing can offer higher pay rates, but often requires building up a portfolio and reputation first. On the other hand, working for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft can provide quick income with flexible hours but lacks job security since ridership can fluctuate.

It’s crucial to weigh these factors when choosing a side hustle that works well with your schedule and financial goals. When considering different options, research industry standards for compensation rates and read reviews from current or former workers to get an idea of job security.

Legal And Financial Considerations

As a college student, it’s important to consider the legal and financial aspects of any side hustle you undertake.

This means understanding tax laws, business licenses, insurance requirements, and liability issues. For example, if you plan to offer pet-sitting services, you may need special certifications or permits depending on your location.

Additionally, keeping track of your income and expenses is crucial for tax purposes and to avoid any surprises down the line. It’s also recommended that you create a separate bank account for your side hustle earnings to keep things organized. Taking these steps from the beginning can save you time and money in the long run.

Remember that every side hustle has its own unique set of legal and financial considerations. Do your due diligence by researching relevant regulations and consulting with professionals as needed before starting out.

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Tips For Balancing A Side Hustle And School Work

Prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively to balance a side hustle with school work. Take breaks and practice self-care, while utilizing resources and support systems available on campus to stay organized and motivated.

Prioritize Tasks And Manage Your Time Effectively

One of the most crucial skills for managing a side hustle while in college is effective time management. With a busy academic schedule and social life, it can be challenging to find the necessary time to dedicate to your side hustle.

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The key is to prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Create a daily or weekly plan that outlines all your responsibilities, including class schedules, study sessions, work commitments, and personal activities. By scheduling each activity according to its priority level, you’ll be able to balance your workload more efficiently.

Another useful tip for balancing schoolwork with a side hustle is breaking down large projects into smaller manageable tasks. This approach helps prevent procrastination and ensures that you’re making steady progress towards completing each task on time.

Be sure also to set realistic goals and deadlines that align with both your academic calendar and work schedule. Remember always; quality over quantity is much better when juggling multiple roles.

Take Breaks And Practice Self-Care

It is important for college students to prioritize self-care and take breaks while balancing a side hustle and school work.

Burnout and exhaustion can lead to decreased productivity and motivation, so it is crucial to step away from work every once in a while. Taking breaks can mean going for a walk or simply disconnecting from technology for a short period of time. It’s also important to practice good sleep hygiene by getting enough rest each night.

Additionally, practicing self-care goes beyond taking breaks. Eating well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring joy are all critical for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.

For example, joining a student organization related to one’s interests may be an excellent way both to socialize with like-minded individuals as well as engage in enjoyable activities that provide stress relief.

Setting up boundaries around your time, such as establishing specific hours allocated entirely for yourself where you don’t check emails/phone/anything work-related, might be helpful (unless you have agreed previously). This prevents burnout, which will surely reduce the quality of your production over time!

Utilize Resources And Support Systems

College life can be overwhelming, and balancing a side hustle with school work requires proper management. However, you don’t have to do it all by yourself.

Take advantage of the resources and support systems available to make your journey easier. Explore online job boards like Upwork or Fiverr for virtual odd jobs such as writing, data entry or web development. Check out your university’s admissions office for tutoring services that pay college students good money to tutor students in local high schools.


In conclusion, a side hustle can be an excellent solution for college students who are looking to earn some extra cash, gain work experience or build a network.

With so many side hustles available from rideshare services to online tutoring, there’s something for everyone. Having a side hustle allows you to develop invaluable skills like time management and communication while also making it easier to manage your finances and student loan debt.

Moreover, with the correct attitude and dedication, your side gig may develop into a full-time endeavor after graduation. So go ahead and explore the wide range of opportunities out there – who knows where your college side hustle might take you!

Before you leave

If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.

It’s helped me earn over $300,000 in the last 12 months alone:

Go here to see my no.1 recommendation for making money online

(This is a 100% free training)

Side Hustle For College Students: 26 Ways To Earn Money 49

David Fortune has been the editor since 2019. He is an expert at writing content on stock advisory services, side hustles, reviewing online business opportunities and many more topics. You can learn more about David on our about us page.

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