Mixing College and Work

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Mixing College and Work

Why? It’s not for everyone, but sometimes, it’s a necessity

With These Numbers, It’s No Surprise:

Some students are working almost full time to pay for college.

2.9 %: average price rise of tuition at 4-year public universities in 2013. [Smallest tuition increase in nearly 30 years.]
Minimum wage only rose in ten states in 2013, but tuition went up in every state.

79: overall percentage of undergraduates who work while they were enrolled in college*

Percentage of college students 16 to 24 years old who are employed, by hours worked per week and attendance status (latest D.O.E. stats available)

Worked less than 20 hours a week:
Full time students: 15
Part time students: 9

Worked 20-34 hours a week:
Full time students: 18
Part time students: 29

Worked 35 or more hours a week:
Full time students: 7
Part time students: 32

The Ups and Downs of Working While Schooling

1. Added Cash Flow: It’s so nice to have a little extra money to spend.
2. Discipline: Having to balance work and classes helps you learn to prioritize, even when you’re not at work.
3. Work Experience: A lot of times, you can get at job at your school that pertains directly to your intended major.
4. Pro: Networking while you’re in college

10 Jobs that Look Great on Your Resume

1. On campus tour guides
2. Brand ambassador
3. On campus IT support
4. Social media consultant
5. Waiter or waitress
6. Writer
7. On campus career services
8. Bank tellers
9. Start your own business
10. On campus alumni affairs

1. No time for naps
2. Fewer Chances to Get Involved in extracurricular activities
3. Late Nights: Reading and homework after work makes for long days.

Federal Work study Programs: If you can snag one
PRO: Easier to find a work-study job.
PRO: You take it in place of higher loans. That means less accruing interest.
PRO: On-campus jobs mean you don’t need to worry about owning a car, spending an hour on the bus or travel expenses.
CON: Jobs are typically minimum wage or only slightly higher.
CON: You must be offered work-study by the school to get a position.
CON: Maximum awards for incoming freshmen are typically lower because schools want you to focus on academics and not employment.

By contrast, a part-time job, outside the college.
Since you got the job on your own, the college cannot place any restrictions on how much you earn

OK. You have to (or Want) to work part time?
No limits on earnings.
More real world experience in job hunting, interviewing and writing resumes and cover letters
Added variety in the type of job you can choose. Most work-study is tutoring or working in campus stores. Job can be on or off campus.

Most on-campus jobs are work-study, so you’ll have to find some way to get to your part-time job.
Money you earn at a part time job may affect your financial aid eligibility more than money earned with work-study.
Your employer may expect you to work more, pick up extra shifts, or cut into your studies. Work-study employers and on-campus jobs know that school is your priority.

Quick Tips

• If you are not offered work-study but need it, you may petition your college’s financial aid office.
• In addition to limits on how much you can earn, work-study typically has a cap on number of hours you can work per week.
• If you are offered work-study but you find a better job by yourself, you do not have to accept the work-study position.
• Speak with financial aid office about how your earnings in both work-study or part time jobs may affect your financial aid and taxes next year.


*National Center for Education Statistic [percentage of students who work while in college]