Luq Mughal, a 21-year-old University of Utah student, recently paid his college bill with 2,000 one-dollar bills to protest the ever-rising costs of tuition. In-state undergraduate tuition has more than doubled at his school in the last 10 years, from about $2,700 in 2002-03 to more than $6,500 today, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The good news for college students is that tuition hikes are slowing. The bad news is that they are still trending upward. Tuition and fees increased across the board at public four-year schools by 2.9 percent in 2013, according to U.S. News & World Report. That number, however, represents the smallest year-to-year increase in nearly 40 years.
Students must come up with creative ways to make extra money not only to cover tuition costs, but to have the funds necessary to enjoy the college experience.
Job seekers can use the same strategies to keep themselves afloat during an extended job search. Here are unconventional options to explore:
Its not often you can participate in a money-making venture and potentially save someone’s life at the same time. Donating plasma is a bit more time-consuming than donating blood, as you will likely lie around watching television for two hours with needles in your hands. Donors can expect to receive anywhere from $20 to $45 per donation, usually paid in cash.
Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you try to donate. The American Red Cross recommends donating blood no more than once every 56 days and plasma every 28 days. Drink several glasses of water and fruit juice afterward to help your body replenish what was taken out.
Start a Cleaning Service
Launching a cleaning service can fulfill an on-campus need as well as one in the community, but first you must decide if this kind of work is for you. It’s a dirty job that requires a lot of kneeling and bending.
If you’re still a “go,” set up a website where potential customers can read up on your services, rates and credentials. Post the results of your background check, so customers know they are dealing with an honest individual. Check with your local Small Business Administration office regarding any business licensing requirements and become familiar with tax processes and provisions.
Supplies, marketing and transportation all come at a cost, but they don’t necessarily have to break the bank. A credit card or small student loan can get you the startup funds. If you receive regular structured settlement payments, consider contacting a company like J.G. Wentworth about potentially buying your future payments for a lump sum of cash now. Those funds could then be used to help launch your new business.
Take Part in Clinical Trials/Research
Many universities have medical schools with research facilities in need of test subjects. Stop by or call and ask about any upcoming trials on campus. The amount of money you’ll make depends entirely on the time commitment and the risk involved in the study. You can also check out ClinicalTrials.gov to find studies in your area not necessarily affiliated with the university.
The more open you are to try different approaches, the easier it will be to make extra money in college or while unemployed.