OPINION: College students need more ways to earn money

Making money in between classes, events, hangouts and club meetings can seem impossible. It’s no surprise that 6.6 million students nationwide cannot receive transcripts due to unpaid bills, according to an article published by The Hechinger Report. 

I’ve tried just about every “get rich quick” scheme in the book, and after many failures, I’ve compiled a list of the most legitimate ways to make money without breaking the law or selling your organs on the black market. Whether you’re looking to pay the bills or just have some extra spending money, here are some of the best and safest ways to earn money quickly.

One of the most popular ways to earn money for college students is to apply for scholarships. This one is obvious, but it’s still a pain in the neck. The trick is to fill out as many local scholarships as possible, while also playing to your strengths. 

If you’re a Black ceramics student, find as many scholarships as you can pertaining to Black students in fine arts. If you’re a LGBTQ+ engineering student, find scholarships directed towards those qualities. The more specific you are, the less competition there will be for those scholarships.

Over the past few years, I’ve toyed with every “cash back” app that you can imagine. Only one has stuck with me – Fetch Rewards. Every time you go grocery shopping, to the mall, or make any kind of purchase, scan your receipt using the Fetch Rewards app and collect points. 

Every 1,000 points is a dollar, and starting at 3,000 points you can redeem gift cards from hundreds of stores like Target, Adidas, Amazon and more. The best part is, it’s totally free and you are guaranteed at least 25 points per receipt. It doesn’t sound like much, but it allows me two or three free Starbucks drinks a month. 

Another way to earn money is to save your change. This may sound silly but you can save more money the longer you do it. In our ever-progressing world, cash and coins are becoming more and more uncommon. 

So much so that most people don’t stop when they drop the occasional quarter or penny. Yes, you may feel like a change goblin collecting lost coins, but in the long run you’ll have made enough extra money that otherwise would have gone to waste.

If you have junk that you need to get rid of, then you can simply just sell it. Facebook Marketplace is a haven for getting rid of items you no longer find useful. Old clothes, stored away decorations, kitchenware and regretful impulse purchases can be sold quickly and effortlessly. 

If you don’t need it, a fellow broke college student probably will. I like to meet my buyers on campus for security and so I don’t have to spend money on gas. I always recommend bringing a friend, meeting in a public place or letting someone know that you are meeting up with a stranger. 

Last but not least, you can earn money by donating plasma. This is my favorite and most efficient money making secret. I currently donate plasma twice a week at CSL Plasma, located at 4836 S. Broadway here in Wichita. 

For new donors, they pay $100 for your first session, $125 for your second, and then $100 again for the next six. It takes only an hour or two and you walk out of the building with money on a reloadable credit card, which is incredibly easy to set up. If you don’t mind needles, I strongly recommend giving them a visit or a call. Your wallet will thank you.