The student loan crisis has been in the media frequently. While some students do waste money in college, a large number who take out hefty student loans do so because they need that money to pay for the basics like tuition and room and board. That money often doesn’t stretch enough to cover things like entertainment and clothing. If you are a college student (or know one who is), don’t despair. There are plenty of ways you can make some extra cash without being obligated to work a part-time job every week.
1. Buy used textbooks and sell them
You may have seen the signs from other college students offering to sell their college textbooks at a price lower than you could buy at the overpriced book store. If the price is right, you could buy them and then use a site like RentScouter.com to determine how much the books are worth and what company will offer you the most for your money. You could make $5 to $20 for every book you flip. Just make sure the books are in good condition and mark free inside to maximize the money you can make. Some students take this idea even further and buy textbooks on eBay just for the purpose of reselling.
2. Sell yourself or your time
Of course, I mean sell yourself within reason. More specifically, sell your plasma at a reputable facility. Giving plasma twice a week can earn you $40 to $80 depending on the location and your body size. Many college students do this; they simple study or watch a movie while donating. The entire process takes one to two hours. Another alternative is to look for research studies to participate in. Smart Money shares that one student participated in a university sleep study. In return for sleeping in a lab for two days and keeping a dream journal, she received $200. Not too bad.
3. Create a website asking for help
As more and more students find themselves deep in student loan debt, they create websites and blogs to document their journey (and ask for help). Joe Mihalic created a blog, No More Harvard Debt, to document his journey to get out of a lot of student loan debt quickly. Paying it off in less than two years gained him quite a bit of media attention, and I am guessing, money too. Likewise, Kelli Space graduated from Northwestern University with $200,000 in student loan debt. She set up the blog, twohundredthou.com to document her struggles to make the $800 a month payments and to unabashedly ask for donations. To date, she has received over $12,000 in donations. Student loans and financial aid may cover the basics of your college education, but if you are looking to generate a bit of extra money for living expenses, your choices are just limited by your imagination. Who would think complete strangers would donate money to help a woman pay down her student loan debt?
Kyle Taylor blogs about how he makes extra money in college at The Penny Hoarder. Check out his blog to get tons of ideas you’ve never thought of!