College is expensive. And while, contrary to popular belief, the majority of students eat more than just ramen noodles and soy sauce (we also like to get fancy and microwave a lemongrass and chili Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soup), budgets can get tight.
To supplement incomes sucked dry by tuition payments and food plans, many students may take up a side hustle. The setup allows a busy student to earn some extra money without the pressure of actual employment.
If you’re looking to increase your weekly cash flow while avoiding a second or third job, try one of these common routes.
Trading bodily fluids for Benjamins (okay, Jacksons) is the bread and butter of the college student side hustle market.
A donor can schedule two appointments per week at Biomat/Grifols on Center St. and make an average of up to $200 per month.
After an initial two and a half hour appointment, which includes a physical, each subsequent appointment will take around one and a half hours. Weight determines the amount of plasma donated.
“If you keep your body really hydrated, then it really doesn’t take that long to donate,” said Kalen Booth, a transfer student from Wyoming who regularly donates plasma. “It’s pretty worth it, plus it’s for a good cause. It makes medicine that really helps people.”
To donate, you’ll need a valid photo ID, proof of Social Security number and a recent bill or official document for proof of address.
Before the appointment, drink plenty of fluids and eat a high-protein meal a few hours beforehand.
Rate: $25-$50 per hour, or 12-24 Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soups per hour.
Baby / house / pet sitting
People keep lots of stuff around, and sometimes they’ll pay you to take care of it. When people leave their pets, kids or house alone, you can jump on the opportunity to make a few bucks.
Dietetics major Desiray Layton makes an extra $100 every few weeks by watching people’s dogs when they leave town.
The cheapest place in town to board a dog charges $20 per night, she said, so she charges half the rate and maintains a loyal client base.
“If the person trusts you to watch their dogs or clean for them, it is good money to earn,” Layton said. “When you dog sit, make sure to leave the house cleaner than when the people left.”
In this business, it really is about who you know. Networking is key, whether it’s at church, on Care.com or with your mother’s coworkers.
Rates are negotiable, so establish your baseline up front.
Rate: Average of $5-$10 per hour, or four to eight Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soups per hour.
Take advantage of your status on a college campus and sign up for departmental studies. These usually involve a few hours of your time, and you may be compensated with cash or with a drawing entry.
Opportunities are circulated on social media and through Campus Announcements for Students emails, so keep an eye out. Currently, the psychology department is recruiting sexually active women for a Women’s Sexual Health & Coping study.
Finding yourself with an empty wallet and a room full of junk? List that too-small leather jacket, neglected ukulele or dusty family heirloom online and pass it on to a new, more loving owner.
Apps like Poshmark and Depop offer online thrift shopping, primarily for clothes. You can pick your price, and when the item sells, the platform takes a small cut.
Craigslist remains a go-to for online sales, and the new Facebook Marketplace platform lets people browse junk in their area as they scroll through cat videos and photos of grandchildren.
Assign a price to your piece of furniture, gadget or random household object, upload a photo, and you’re on your way to a wallet stuffed with bills.
“Take lots of pictures and tell if anything is wrong in the ad,” advised Jake Valdon, a graphic design major who hawks his stuff on Craigslist. “Price fairly and be able to negotiate.”
Rate: $3,900 per 2004 Chevy Impala, or 2,815 Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soups per 2004 Chevy Impala.