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10 Ways To ‘Get That Bread’ In Happy Valley

Ever-increasing rent fees, expensive textbooks, and a hefty tuition can make budgeting savings and spending money challenging for students. But if you know where to look, campus and downtown are rife with opportunities to earn extra dough. 

Whether you need fast cash for groceries this week, that cute quarter zip you saw at McLanahan’s, or your next girls’ night, here are some ways to “get that bread” as the kids say.

Pay a visit to BioLife.

BioLife’s plasma donation center is a local source of quick income. Students can make an average of $260 a month if they donate regularly. The center organizes a number of promotions to retain its regular donators and entice new individuals every month.

Sell your clothes to Plato’s Closet.

We all have that collection of clothes in the back of our closets that we never wear, no matter how many times we insist we will. Let your used garb go and bring it to Plato’s Closet, where you can sell your clothes for cash on the spot.

Along with your sweaters and jeans, Plato’s Closet also takes shoes, bags, jewelry, phone cases, perfume, and unopened makeup. This might be a good bet if you’re not a fan of needles. 

Participate in research studies.

Penn State is a research hub, and labs across campus are constantly looking for paid volunteers to explore everything from linguistic responses to oxygen consumption.

Sell a football ticket…or any student ticket.

LionCash is better than no cash. You can sell a football ticket for anywhere between $10 and $60 on the student ticket exchange. The same goes for basketball, hockey, and other sports that issue season tickets, though the rates are obviously different.

Join Lion Tutors.

Help your peers and line your pockets by joining Lion Tutors. Sessions with a Lion Tutor aren’t cheap — tutors can make between $14 and $16 per hour and review the same material they’re helping with. You must, of course, be well-versed in your specific subject, and sessions often occupy a large chunk of time, but it would certainly be nice to make about double Pennsylvania’s minimum wage for a night. 

Sell your textbooks.

You can sell your books back at the end of each semester (or sooner if you’re really pressed for cash and not worried about your looming finals) at the Student Bookstore downtown or the Penn State Bookstore for instant cash. The returns may vary, but money is money.

You can also sell your books through eBay, Craigslist, Chegg, and Amazon if you’re willing to wait.

Share your notes.

Nittany Notes is not affiliated with the university, but the firm offers cash compensation for your class notes. For a day’s notes, the company offers around $10. This not only helps your wallet, but forces you to pay attention in class. All you need is Microsoft Word, which luckily for you is included in your tuition.

One Class is also not affiliated with any single university, but after uploading 15 files, users become eligible to receive gift cards as compensation for their notes. They must be typed and thorough, but other than that, it doesn’t get easier than uploading your notes before you even leave a lecture.

Recycle off campus.

You already do it every day on campus at places like the HUB, dining halls, and in your dorm, so why not get paid for it? Those five cent returns add up if you save your cans and water bottles for a few weeks at a time. Save the environment while getting money.

Get a job.

This is obviously more of a long term solution that can also add to your resume. Pennsylvania minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but some on-campus jobs start at $9. 

Places like Starbucks offer a free drink after every shift, the Penn State Bookstore gives a 35 percent discount on clothing, apparel, and at its pseudo-Starbucks Café, and a 25 percent discount on textbooks. If you work for campus dining — advertised as the highest paying employer on campus — you’ll have the opportunity to advance and make more money. 

Downtown jobs are a good option as well — retail positions often include added perks like discounts. Although you may not work the best hours at a restaurant, if you’re willing to work weekends, you can make tips on the spot.

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About the Author

Annmarie Sorensen

Annmarie's brain is comprised of quotes from The Office, Harry Potter, and Gilmore Girls. She lives off of Amy's GF Mac n Cheese because she has Celiac disease. She enjoys long walks to the fridge, the deli in Findlay Commons, and to her bed after her 9am. You can follow her on Twitter @aannmarieeee for additional political commentary and email her at [email protected]


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