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Part-time Jobs in College: Pros and Cons

By Emily Holleran; For The Clock
On October 27, 2015

It’s a communal understanding that college is expensive, more so for out of state students than instate. Regardless of financial backgrounds, a part-time job is a way to earn some cash that can help to support a student’s financial needs, and benefit them as they assimilate into the costly world of adulthood. However, a part-time job is a big commitment, and should be duly considered before deciding to take one on in addition to the already cluttered college curriculum.

Most students are aware of the federal work-study program that provides access to jobs for undergraduates who have demonstrated financial need as determined by the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). One can take work-study jobs in place of higher loans, meaning less interest accumulating throughout their college carrier. The program encourages students to pursue work related to their own course of study and community service work. Work-study jobs are readily available on campus, making it easier to find them than normal jobs. However, being work-study jobs, most still maintain the payment of minimum wage or only slightly higher, and the jobs must be offered by the school to get a position.

Not every student qualifies for the work-study program, but there are still other jobs around campus that can be applied to. Yet, with regular part-time jobs students must secure the job on their own with little to no help from the school. First year, Ashley O’Keefe, works at the local Rite Aid. She decided to get a job because she needed money, and she worked at the Rite Aid in her hometown so it was just a matter of transferring up to Plymouth. “I work Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings,” said O’Keefe, “I don’t like working because I don’t like having to get up early on Sundays. I also don’t like how it can conflict with me going out or making plans, but I like getting paid.” Being a job that one obtained by themself, there are no restrictions on how much they can earn, though it may affect their financial aid eligibility more than money earned with work-study.

Getting part-time jobs are valuable experiences for many students during their time on campus, though it might not be right for everyone. It’s vital to understand one’s own schedule and financial situation before deciding upon whether or not to pursue a part-time job. Despite the advantages and disadvantages of both, regular part-time jobs and part-time jobs found in the work-study program are essentially beneficial to any student. 

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