The typical undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will pay anywhere from $6,757 to $10,638 for tuition. This hefty investment leaves little room for extra cash or time for high-paying jobs, which can be crucial to support college financially. For students facing this issue, some have turned to donating plasma or participating in studies as a source of easy income.
Emma Kolb, a junior and triple major in actuarial science, finance and math said donators can make anywhere from $250 to $300 a month.
Kolb knows this first hand as an experienced plasma donor.
“I use it for spending money to see more movies or go out with friends,” she said.
Although this monthly paycheck may seem insignificant, the yearly sum is between $3,000 and $3,6000. This covers about a single semester of tuition for undergraduate students or for the socially inclined, about 300 movies at the Marcus Lincoln Grand Cinema.
Donating plasma takes an hour and a half on average and allows a donor to return twice a week, with the only stipulation being a day of rest between donating days.
To physically donate, the subject must take a physical and pass a blood test to make sure their iron levels are adequate. Additionally, the donor can’t have any recent tattoos or piercings. This process ensures the plasma is pure to avoid tampered plasma for the recipient or research.
AB blood types are in high demand at plasma centers. This blood type allows its plasma to be universally received.
For those weakened by the site of blood or needles, other methods are available to get paid for assisting the medical community such as through clinical research.
Celerion is one clinical research facility located in Lincoln. The company is designed to collect research data and apply it to modern science.
Participants are paid to test if newly produced medicines have an effect on the human body. Studies have ranged anywhere from diabetes and AIDS/HIV to heart disease and leukemia. Qualifications for studies are determined case-by-case, but Celerion usually looks for healthy individuals.
“We do get a lot of college students because it does offer a lot of extra money, but we aren’t looking for a ‘specific’ age of participant,” said Brennan Shively, the Outreach Coordinator at Celerion.
On average, a participant in Celerion studies can make up to $250 a day. Some studies pay more or less, depending on the length of the study, anywhere from three to 11 days.
Although 30 days are required in between studies, participants are paid on a biweekly basis, meaning a three-day study one month racks in about $750.
Shively said the studies are perfect for those put off with the idea of needles; the participants merely “come in and hang out” for most studies.
Because the studies focus on how medicine reacts with the body, blood samples are only needed every so often, and each participant’s results are documented and sent to the Food and Drug Administration to assure that recipients’ health are in prime condition.