Generally, the clinics offer $6,000-$10,000 in compensation to donors, along with reimbursement of valid expenses—a heavy chunk of change for college students who are tight on cash. The current donordatabase on Miracle Baby Donor is comprised almost exclusively of students in school.
Eggs aren’t the only thing students can sell for some extra money.
One student, who declined to be named, donated plasma twice a week while a student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Two two-and-half hour sessions brought in $60 a week.
"You can bring magazines or textbooks to study," says the student. “A bunch of my friends went as well for the extra money.”
Harvard’s Health Services website advises students that “although egg donation may look like an easy way to get some cash and help an infertile woman, it also carries risks. Many reputable websites only review the risks for women who have infertility problems.”
Plasma donation, while less risky, carries similar risks to blood donation, and anyone with special nutrition needs should consult their doctor.
Some public service outfits—such as the Peace Corps—offer a percentage of loan forgiveness after a certain period of service. If a student joins the Peace Corps, they can get up to 70 percent of their federal loans forgiven after four years of service.
Students who participate in Teach for America, a subsidiary of AmeriCorps, work for two years as teachers in low-income areas. For their two years of service, corps members will receive an education award of over $10,000, which can be put toward student loans.
Perhaps the best ways to avoid ensnarement in the loan-repayment trap is not to incur any debt in the first place,
There are more than a dozen schools in the U.S. that are completely tuition-free for accepted students.
Many of the schools are religious, most require academic aptitude, and some even require military service. Free tuition often requires demonstrated financial need, a big commitment, and in some cases, a lot of hard work.
College of the Ozarks, a.k.a. “Hard Work U”, is in the small town of Point Lookout, Mo. The college, founded at the beginning of the twentieth century to provide education to the citizens of the Ozark region, has developed into a completely tuition-free college, where students participate in a mandatory work-study program in lieu of paying for school.
Students must work 15 hours a week and two forty-hour weeks at the college, and can end up with job placements as varied as the dining hall or the dairy farm. But 90 percent of the graduates are debt free, having worked off their $16,900-a-year tuition and other costs.
Those who do wund up with debt, on average, graduate with $5,000 or less according to the college, which adds it is usually associated with housing costs and/or living expenses.
Other tuition-free schools accept students based completely on merit—Cooper Union in New York City is one—or require military service—such as the academies in Annapolis and West Point.