Three Easy Ways to Make Money in College (Without Getting a Job)

1. Donate plasma at Biolife Plasma Services.

This is such an easy way to make $200+ per month and help save lives at the same time. After an initial physical exam and health history survey (usually takes about one hour), you will be entered into their system to start donating. From then on, each time you come in to donate, it should take no longer than one hour from start to finish. As you arrive at the donation center, you will fill out a quick health questionnaire in order to make sure you meet their donation qualifications. Following that, you will engage in a short health screening in which an employee will weigh you, check your protein and iron levels, check your blood pressure, and other vitals. If you pass, you will then move on to the donation chairs and continue with the process. Very minimal pain is involved. You can donate plasma up to twice a week with one day in between donations. You can make $20 on your first donation of the week and $30 on your second donation of the week. In addition, Biolife often has special offers in which the amount you can earn each month increases. For more information about how to get started or the process of the donation, visit  the Biolife website, or you may watch a short video which goes on the journey with a first time donor. 

2. Participate in research studies.

Although all research studies around campus are not offered for pay, many are! Take advantage of these great opportunities to make money and help other students and/or research teams accomplish their goals. Usually these research studies take anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour to complete, however length of the experiment and how often you will meet may vary. Typically, the experiment includes answers to a series of questions based on information provided, answering questions to a survey, or participating in some sort of activity. Most experiments are psychology based, in which you may find paid experiment opportunities on a bulletin board just at the top of the stairs on the second floor of the psychology building. You may find other experiment opportunities through the Wells Library, the sociology department, or many of your other classes.

3. Sell your textbooks.

As college students, we know how pricey textbooks can be. Usually when we buy them, we look for cheaper versions online than what we can find in the bookstores. Regardless if the books are brand new from the store, or a used online version, make sure to keep the books in good shape so they will be easier to sell again. You may go back online to sell those books, or odds are that you may also have friends or meet people who plan on taking the same class that you have already taken. These are both great ways to sell books to earn some extra cash. If you choose to use a website, first check After you enter the ISBN number of your book (usually easy to find in the first few pages), they will tell you which site will give you the best offer for buying your books and the links directly to those sites. You may also search the web for other sites which may not be included on

4. Save your money.

Saving money is the easiest way to make money. Try to only buy things that you need and try to cut back on those other purchases, such as eating out or shopping for clothes. It would be a good idea to keep track of all the purchases you make throughout the month, as well as, the money you make or receive throughout the month. This can be easy to do by simply making a note in your phone with the the item bought and the amount spent. Even small purchases can add up, but if you are keeping track of how much you are spending, you may be more likely to make better buying decisions as the month goes on. It is also a good good idea to keep your goals in mind. Do you want to study abroad or travel somewhere for spring break? It is wise to keep these plans on the forefront of your mind when making buying decisions. It'll help you save your money for something that you find more valuable than getting a pizza from Pizza X every weekend.


Here are a few other articles to help you find ways to make and save money while in college:

About The Author
Leah Stacy

Indiana University Class of 2017. Psychology major.