How A Poor Starving College Student Can Make An Extra Buck Or Two

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Even if you work part time during your semester and full time during the summer, you may still be tight on money. Things like food, housing, and textbooks can add up quickly. However, there are a couple of creative ways to make more money so that you can have a pantry that isn't just filled with ramen noodles—take a look.

Clinical Research Trials

Since time is money, researchers of clinical trials are usually happy to pay their participants a fee. Clinical research is important because it helps scientists figure out if certain treatments, medications, and products/devices are effective and safe before they are used in clinical practices. If you already have a pre-existing condition, like diabetes or Crohn's disease, then these trials could be doubly beneficial. Not only would you be paid for your time, but you could be helping doctors find better ways to relieve your symptoms.

If you are in an otherwise healthy condition, you may think that research trials would be out of the picture. However, there are lots of research trials that healthy participants can join. For instance, one woman was able to make $12,000 by participating in a sleep study. Even if you cannot complete a trial, you may still get partial compensation.

There are many online databases that can direct you to different trials depending on your parameters. For instance, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) lets you parse through studies by geographical location, condition, or the trial length. Some databases will send you regular email notifications of trials in your area with questions you should ask yourself before participating. While finding the right trials could take a little legwork, it could be a great source of income. Contact a company, like International Clinical Research LLC, to get started.

Plasma Donation

While people have to volunteer to donate blood, researchers are happy to pay people for plasma since the process is a little more uncomfortable and complex. Also, one article at Stat News says that paying people for donated blood would be hazardous since unhealthy people would be tempted to donate and endanger the blood supply. Unlike blood, which is transferred to another person, plasma is usually broken down and processed, thus researchers are fine paying all sorts of people since it's difficult for plasma to become infected.

Like clinical trials, plasma donation could be a great way for you to make some pocket change during your semester. Some people are able to make about $400 a month. Some places may let you donate twice a week, while other places—like the American Red Cross—are more stringent will only let you donate once or twice a month.

To be eligible for plasma donation, you can't be underweight and, you usually need to bring a valid ID and your Social Security number. Even if you cannot donate plasma often, getting paid between $20 to $50 for one visit could help you offset some bills during the semester.

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