10 ways college kids can earn extra money around Atlanta

Illustration by Camille Bolos | The Signal

College students come from all walks of life, but if there is one thing that bonds all of us together, it is our lack of funds. We all work so hard to get a career that will take care of all our financial needs, but in the meantime, we are stuck with depressing bank account statements and five-digit tuition fees, leaving us all in dire need of a quick buck or two. If you are college broke and need some fast cash, here are 10 ways to make some money:


  1. Online Surveys

Online surveys are a popular and quick way to make some side cash.

From TV shows to corporate products, creators and brands need to know how their products and services are being received and are willing to compensate for your input. Get paid to try out and review new products and answer surveys.

The cash reward vary from survey to survey, but filling out these surveys consistently you can earn up to $250+ monthly.

Survey Junkie, Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks are some examples of the sites that offer these deals.


  1. Sell Your Old “Junk”

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but instead of throwing old possessions away, you can sell them. This method is pretty common, but most people don’t realize how easy and lucrative selling items you don’t need or want anymore can be.

There are people out there willing to buy everything from used clothes to old DVDs and video games to old cell phones and gently used textbooks.

Websites like Gazelle (cell phones, iPad), Bookscouter (textbooks), threadUP and Poshmark (used clothes) are good sites to get started selling your stuff, in addition to the more well-known sites like Amazon and eBay.


  1. Clinical Drug Testing

Desperate times call for extensive measures. Participating in clinical testing is a sure-fire way to put some money in your bank.

With pharmaceutical companies steadily putting out new medications, there is a constant demand for people willing to try them. Drug tests have the potential to pay upwards of hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the duration and type of test.

Check out Center Watch and Clinical Trials if you are interested in participating in studies of this nature.

Even though the human-testing is the final drug testing process and for the most part safe, make sure to be fully aware of any risks involved.


  1. Psychological Research Studies

We’ve all seen the flyers posted in the plaza and campus buildings asking for participants to be involved in a local research study. Along with the varying criteria, the flyer also mentions compensation for your time, which includes travel expenses if necessary.

Most of these studies take place on the Georgia State Downtown campus or near it and vary in time and difficulty. These research studies have varying requirements depending on what they need from the participants. Some studies require students to be 21 years of age, while others might need participants to have an illness of some sort or sleep a certain amount of hours every day.

I participated in one myself and took three different tests each lasting three hours at Georgia Tech and was compensated $100, easily worth it.


  1. EXCEN Recruiter

The Experimental Economic Center at Georgia State uses controlled experiments with human decision makers to support the research and the teaching of policy applications. You can apply on their website and subscribe to emails that let you know when you can attend these economic experiments at The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Questions are simple to answer. Sessions that last from 90 to 180 minutes could be putting $10-$12 dollars in your pocket every hour.

Sign up instructions are on the EXCEN web page and are easy to follow and get started.


  1. Test Websites

Sharing your thoughts on the websites you browse can get contribute to some extra money in your pocket.

Large companies from Wal-Mart to Apple need feedback on their websites and are willing to pay for it. You can be earning about $10 per test in about 15 minutes.

Getting started includes signing up with User Testing, visiting a website or app and then following the instructions to provide feedback. The $10 payments go to Paypal.  


  1. Focus Groups

Joining a focus group allows you to get paid for your opinion on subjects such as a new flavor of chips or a cereal box design.

Companies that need feedback will pay you to look at their products or services in order to improve the development of it.

You’ll most likely get paid $50-$75, but some focus groups will pay you $250 to $300 for your time, and it can be a fun way to raise that sinking account balance.

Some focus groups to check out are Focusscope, MindSwarms and Shugoll Research.


  1. Be a Movie Extra

Have you ever wanted to be in a movie or a meet a star? Then you should consider becoming a movie extra. Extras earn about $50 a day and could potentially earn more than that without doing much more than standing in the background.

ProjectCasting and CentralCasting are the sites to look at if you are interested in being an extra.


  1. Donating sperm/eggs


Although the time and mental cost can be high, egg donation can get you a good chunk of change. It’s not for everyone, but donors can earn upwards of $6,000-8,000 in Atlanta. Not everyone is chosen due to the extensive background checks and personality tests, but it is an effective way for eligible women to help their financial situation.

Emory Reproductive Center and Northeast Assisted Fertility are only some of the places in Atlanta you can go to apply to donate your eggs.


For men, donating sperm seems like an effortless way to get paid; however, the process is more difficult than you would expect.

There are specific requirements that sperm donors must meet to be eligible to give sperm. A few requirements include standing above 5’7, having post-secondary education or being enrolled in a four-year university during the time of donation, only having women as sexual partners and more.

Sperm donation isn’t a one-time deal either. If sperm banks want your sperm, they have you sign a contract that mandates you donate a few times a week for 6-12 months.

Xytex Sperm Bank would be the most convenient to donate to as it is the closest sperm bank to Georgia State students living on campus, but there are other clinics and banks that buy sperm.


  1. Selling Plasma

Donating your plasma to local centers is an easy way to get paid if you are an eligible and qualified donor.

If you have the time, donating two to three times a week can prove to be very lucrative, potentially earning $400 monthly.

Octapharma Plasma and CSL Plasma Donation Center are the two closest centers to campus. If you live off campus or looking for donation centers not in Atlanta, just google your city and “sell plasma.” Call around first because fees vary by location.