Measuring lift and drag in a home-made wind tunnel is not difficult, nor expensive.
I designed a system for our local junior school that uses inexpensive postage scales that you can purchase at any office supply store, or even Target. They're usually less than $20.
To measure lift, you attach your model to a slender, light weight rod, which pokes through the bottom of your test section. You attach a weight to the end, which is heavier than your test specimen plus the amount of lift you expect it to develop. You put this on the postage scale. Note the weight. As your test specimen lifts, subtract the resulting weight from the initial weight.
You can measure drag the same way, but you'll need a bell crank mechanism to convert the horizontal force into a vertical force. Being a mechanical engineering student, you should be able to manage that easily.