Hustlenomics 101


            When money gets tight and students are in a bind getting a part-time job might be the best fit for a schedule stretched to its limit.  In addition to what’s learned in the classroom, most students leave with an understanding of how to make a dollar out of a dime and a nickel.


            Whether it’s selling burned CDs or doing hair in the dorms, students often have to get creative with their income.   The word “hustle” acquires a new meaning on a college budget. Sometimes the most appealing money routes are the most unconventional or risky.


            Bone marrow, blood drives, sperm donations and trial experiments are often marketed to students who don’t have time to fully commit to a job.


            A man interested in having a baby put an ad in the Howard University Hilltop about his qualifications for a potential mother last year.  The candidate was to be healthy, under 30 and willing to donate her eggs to him for several thousand dollars. 


            Brandy Cross was taking seven courses at Virginia State and trying to stay afloat during finals.  Her credit card was maxed out and she wasn’t able to keep her waitressing job.  “I saw a flier for bone marrow donations and I did my research and it seemed safe enough, so I participated.” Cross received $750 that “helped me get by for a while.”


            Aside from physically donating, students have the option to make money without the threat of bodily harm.  Particularly with the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African €”Americans, the need for volunteers and spreading awareness has paved the way for paid opportunities.


Nakisha Williams, a Howard University senior majoring in print journalism, heard about a discussion forum on HIV/AIDS from her health professor.  She talked with other students and the program director about HIV/AIDS and received 75$ once the event was over.  “The time flew by and it was an easy way to get money,” Williams said.


Brandon Richards, a Hampton University graduate was already in good physical shape after participating in the school’s ROTC program.  He saw an ad for a physical endurance and stress trial by a physical therapy group on campus.  “They had me work out for an hour doing different weights and reps for a week.  They calculated all kinds of stuff and it was interesting,” Richards said.  By participating, he got $300.  “Who wouldn’t want to get paid to work out,” he said. 


There are loopholes in everything and making money is likely the most beneficial trick to know.  When the threat is low and the reward is high, students should jump on opportunities to fill their pockets without the hassle.  The time spent working a nine-to-five could easily be put towards studying and the money towards the priority.  “I have my whole life to work, for now I just want to be a student,” Cross said.