The college experience is as much about eating ramen noodles and being broke as it is going to class. But it doesn’t have to be.
Consider these 10 odd ways to earn money while you’re in school.
1.) Become a research subject
Colleges and universities are regularly seeking people for research studies. This can range from questionnaires to testing drugs. Sure, there could be some risk with some of these studies, but you could make anywhere from $10 an hour to hundreds.
Grigory Lukin, author of “Go to college without going broke,” says there’s nothing shameful about doing this.
“You’ll help advance science, make some cash and possibly become part of a footnote in medical history,” Lukin says.
The best places to find studies in your area are your local post-secondary schools, Craigslist or gpgp.net.
2.) Take surveys
Many companies need information and it could be a quick way for you to earn extra dough. It’s not much money (sometimes as low as $1), but it adds up.
Surveyors can sometimes be found at malls or grocery stores. But most of the opportunities you’ll find are online, on job boards and on a number of websites. Make sure the company is legitimate first.
3.) Do odd jobs for people
People have money and are willing to give it to you for doing annoying tasks they don’t want to do. Ask around. Maybe your neighbor will pay you $20 to mow his lawn. Check the “ETC” section on Craigslist. There are people out there who will pay you to walk dogs or do their grocery shopping.
4.) Donate plasma
Plasma, the liquid component of your blood, is needed to treat a number of medical conditions and it’s something you can afford to get rid of. You can earn over $30 and are allowed to donate twice a week. There are over 330 license plasma collection centers in America. As long as you’re 18, at least 110 pounds, and haven’t had a tattoo in the last year, then you should be good to go.
5.) Clean for a sorority or fraternity
Fraternities and sororities typically have weekly events and will often hire a few people to clean or cook. It’s usually nothing more than setting up a table and sweeping a floor. But if you can sacrifice a few hours, you can earn some easy cash and most likely a free meal in the process.
6.) Get on Google AdSense
If you’re a blogger, you should get set up with Google AdSense. You can make money each time someone clicks on an advertisement. It’s simple. You apply for Google AdSense, and once approved, add in an HTML code to your blog. Relevant ads will pop up on your blog and you get a portion of the money earned.
7.) Buy something and sell it for more
The best way to do this is buy a new technology — one that is bound to sell out quick — and then sell it to those poor souls who weren’t able to buy it. Lukin did this when the PS3 came out. He hired his roommates to wait in line with him for a couple days and sold the consoles on eBay for much more. It’s always a risk, since you may lose money, but one that is well worth it, Lukin says.
“There is no limit to how much money you can make if you find a niche and work hard at exploiting it,” Lukin says. If you’re a business major, you can look at it as a learning experience.
8.) Become a secret shopper
Many legitimate companies pay people to shop at their stores and share about the experience. The best place to look is the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website. A general rule of thumb: if they make you pay up front, it’s probably a scam.
9.) Perform on the streets
The legality of busking (street performance) is debatable and varies by location, but it can be a great way to fund your coffee addiction.
Gio Andollo, who performs under the name GioSafari, has been busking in New York City since 2009 — on the streets, in parks, and on the subway.
“Busking is a lot of fun but it’s also a lot of work,” Andollo says. “A performance must be compelling to take people’s eyes away from smartphones and billboard advertisements.”
10.) Become a ChaCha guide
ChaCha is a mobile and online service where people ask questions and get quick replies from real people. If you become a guide, you can make anywhere from two cents to twenty cents per task. You work as little or as much as you want and get paid to answer questions such as “What is a good pick up line?”
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