Money Hungry

1 Nov

Are tuition and fees burning a hole in your pocket? Did you spend all of your money at the club last weekend? Chicago College Life recognizes how the city presents many tempting opportunities for you to spend your hard earned dollars on going out with friends, shopping, and other types of entertainment. It also doesn’t help that the cost of books and supplies continue to rise, which makes it more difficult to pay for school. So we came up with several easy and fun ways for money hungry college students to get some cash back in your wallet!

Focus Groups: Many companies often seek college-aged students to participate and share their opinions about a certain type of product.  Participants can be compensated anywhere from $50-$150. Felicia from UIC highly recommends focus group studies after she attended one for Pantene Pro-V:

“I was paid $150 to talk about my experience with the product. They also asked us to participate in different activities that would help the company better market Pantene Pro-V to their target group. It was pretty cool—I only had to stay about an hour and I got a nice chunk of change out of it!”

There are several different types of marketing research that you can participate in. For example, Focuscope Inc asks people to also volunteer for taste tests, product testing, media evaluation, and in-home studies. Other popular focus groups in Chicago include: Adler-Weiner Research Co., National Data Research, Focus Pointe Global, and Schlesinger Associates.

Sell Back Your Books: The semester is almost over, and it’s never too early to start thinking about selling back your books. There are many students who fall victim to their university bookstore, and get back not even a fraction of what they originally paid! Various students have chosen to skip their university book store and create a seller profile with widely used websites such as Ebay (, Amazon, and Chegg. However, Facebook Marketplace is a new feature that is quickly becoming the most popular source for buying and selling books among college students. The power to sell and trade is put in the hands of students and it makes searching for books convenient and effective. Nicholas from Roosevelt proclaimed his love for Facebook Marketplace:

“Marketplace is awesome! I like it because the books I sell mainly go to other students around Chicago, and I don’t have to worry about shipping it across the nation. Also, since textbooks are being sold by students themselves, they tend to be reasonably priced.”

Resale Shops: Why throw away your old clothes when you can get money for them? Resale stores are a great way to earn easy money for your old apparel as well as explore some new fashion! In addition, they only take lightly worn clothing, and they’re always stocked with up-to-date styles and the latest trends. This is especially useful for college students who shop on a budget. Lindsay from Loyola is a frequent resale shopper,  

“I live for resale shops! My favorite place to go is the Brown Elephant, but there are so many other places in Chicago that people can check out. I go there maybe once a month and can earn up to $50 for my old clothes.”

A new resale shop just opened up in the heart of UIC’s University Village Area called The Bottomline. It specializes in professional wear, but they also have vintage clothing and brand name apparel. Lastly, feel free to sell back or browse through racks at these Chicago resale hot spots: My Sisters Closet, Mr. and Mrs. Digz, Buy Choice, NEW’D, and Land of The Lost

Entertainment: Chicago is a staple for creative production and entertainment moguls. One of the most interesting ways you can “make it rain” is to apply for a temporary position as an event worker, model, movie/TV extra, or club promoter—the possibilities are endless!

Neal from DePaul was an extra for a new Chicago TV drama, “I kinda just stumbled upon the opportunity, and I thought ‘shit I’m not doin’ anything else!’ I was paid $100 to stand around for a few hours and hang out.

Brittany from Loyola regularly searches for club events that are in need of promotional models, “I do this in addition to another part-time job I have. I usually work club events about three times a month and can make $300-$500. I get paid to look good and party. It’s the easiest job in the world!”

Brittany and Neal both recommend going to Craiglist to search for different temporary job opportunities within the entertainment industry. Make sure you access Craigslist for Chicago, and look under the “Gigs” section. You can also click on either “event,” “talent,” or “creative” to find different jobs that appeal to you.

There you have it—four fun and easy ways to earn cash (fast!). Whether you’re looking to make ends meet, or need some extra play money, these are all ideas recommended FOR students BY students. Chicago College Life encourages you to explore these options if you ever find yourself in a “money hungry” situation. Don’t just stand there, bust a move!


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