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Odd Jobs: Quick, Easy Ways To Make Cash For The Summer

Amazingly, summer is approaching. By this point in the semester, you may be looking forward to putting away your books, heading home, and making some serious cash from your summer job. Whether you’ve struggled to keep your money in check this year, or simply found yourself wanting more pocket change, you’ve probably considered finding a job on campus. Though it’s likely too late to start on a new job here in State College for the semester, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make easy cash.

We’ve compiled the best odd jobs and opportunities if you’re looking to make a few bucks before enjoying your summer break.

Donate Plasma At Bio Life

If you are interested in making bank while also giving back to the community, donating your plasma to BioLife Plasma Services may be the solution. BioLife is an industry leader in the collection of high-quality plasma that is processed into life-saving plasma-based therapies. It operates numerous state-of-the-art plasma collection facilities throughout the United States, and one of them is right here in State College – specifically, 321 West Beaver Avenue.

As long as you’re not too squeamish, you should definitely look into the step-by-step program that enables you to donate your plasma, and receive compensation in return. Though you do not receive immediate gratification, successfully completing the initial pre-screening and official process is surely worth it to make some cash in the long-run. Knowing that you’re helping someone in need of plasma is great motivation, as well.


Join A Research Study

You may always hear about interesting research studies being conducted, but what about actually serving as a part of an interesting experiment? You can help conduct research for the teams here at Penn State and make some money along the way by signing up for one of the studies.

By visiting this signup page, you simply fill in your gender, age, and availability. From there, you select a study fitting your demographical information, many of which offer cash rewards or gift cards for participants. After your experiment, you will be compensated, and the studies are usually very simple and non-invasive.

For example, one of the experiments focuses on psychology and pubescent development. The volunteers take an online test, followed by supplying saliva samples.

“We are interested in the relationship between puberty and both psychological and behavioral development into adulthood,” the proposal reads. “Participation will take place in our lab in 220 Carpenter Building (behind the Lion Shrine). You will be eligible to complete this study twice, approximately two months apart, and will receive $15/session for your participation, for a total of $30.”

Many of the experiments take place in Carpenter, a convenient on-campus location.


Taste Food, Get Paid

Surely, you’ve been to the Creamery at least once if you’re a true Penn Stater, but you’ve probably only stuck around long enough to receive your ice cream cone. Have you ever wondered what the upstairs of the Food Science Building holds?

The Sensory Evaluation Center in the Penn State Department of Food Science has been conducting sensory evaluation and consumer tests for university researchers and food industries since 1972, and many of the studies take place right above the Creamery.

These sensory analyses use human senses to consistently measure food characteristics. For example, they examine the taste, texture, smell, and appearance of food products in a controlled environment. The Food Science department is often looking for volunteers to participate in simple taste tests, like sampling the sweetness of teas. The information collected is simple and helps the food industry in addressing consumer demands, and introducing new and improved products.

So why not sign up for a study and learn a little more about the food industry? Your visit to the Food Science Building doesn’t need to end after you finish your ice cream. Learn more specifics here.


Now that the weather in State College is warming up, don’t stay cooped up in your room when you can get out and make some quick cash. Whether you’re saving lives through donating plasma or helping our school conduct fascinating research, you can benefit this community and pocket some cash for your summer adventures with any of these odd jobs. If none of these pique your interest, there are plenty of weird services offered on Craigslist that may give you inspiration for a money-maker of your own.

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About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])

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