Making money in college can be a difficult task. Although on campus jobs vary from campus to campus, and the minimum wage varies from state to state, the number of hours that most students can afford to put into working a job in addition to their academic endeavors is minimal if they wish to maintain a competitive grade point average for entrance into graduate school programs. However, while living in college dorms myself, I found that there are a few “non traditional” ways that many college students try to make an extra dollar or two. These methods are generally all focused on allowing the students to use whatever free time they have to “work,” as opposed to actually having a set time that they report to their respective jobs sites. Here is an overview of some of the “jobs” that college students are “working” today.
1) Online Surveys: Through different online survey registries such as surveyspot.com or quickrewards.com, online surveys are an easy and mindless way for many college students to earn a few extra dollars here and there. Although most of these survey sites require a minimum earning value before a cashing out is allowed (for example, surveyspot.com requires a minimum equivalent of $10 in an account), the rewards often add up fairly quickly. While this sort of “work” is certainly neither very steady nor very high paying, it does offer the enormous advantage of convenience; students can fill out a $3.00 survey in between writing a paper and studying for an exam at 2:00am.
2) Avon, Mary Kay, and other similar sales products: Living in a college dorm is the perfect place for “hosting” cosmetic sales parties. Even though most college students don’t have much money lying around for frivolous uses, most girls have a few dollars that they are willing to spend on a new bottle of lip gloss or lotion, since these are products that they use regularly anyways. Most people are more willing to purchase quality items from people they know than from a department store, and many female college students have cashed in on this opportunity. While most of their sales are for small orders, these small orders add up to provide a little bit of income for very little inconvenience. After all, they usually just host these sales parties in their own dorm rooms.
3) Selling plasma: A somewhat controversial means of “income,” it is undeniable that the “plasma industry” has targeted college aged students. Young, healthy, and willing to sell their plasma for “easy money,” many college students are regulars at plasma centers. Often students make it a group ordeal, carpooling in large groups to get to the centers. Plasma centers in college towns often promote the “industry” to students by sending flyers to every student’s campus post office box, offering as much as $200 per month for regular plasma donors plus an additional $5.00 as an initial bonus.