There is no hiding it, college is expensive. If you are like me, you’ve probably seen a swarm of student loan commercials in recent weeks. It is that time of the year. As tuition bills begin to hit email inboxes nationwide, many students and families are forced to consider student loans as a way to pay for college.
Yes, student loans are a great tool for some students. But you should look for ways to pay for your education before using student loans. Scholarships and grants are great ways to help you meet your cost of attendance, but often times these awards aren’t enough. Working in college is not as bad as it seems. Too often I hear from my fellow classmates that they don’t have enough time to work, or it may affect their school performance. Everyone is busy, but working in school can go a long way in avoiding student loan debt. You should consider getting an on-campus job this year! On-campus jobs are great for reasons other than just a paycheck too.
Here are my five favorite benefits of having an on-campus job:
- Spending Money
Eating at the cafeteria on campus gets old very quickly. And, that bottom shelf bottle of vodka will get older even quicker. Having an on campus job might not make you the richest student on-campus, but it will certainly give your monthly budget some much needed wiggle room. On-campus jobs tend to pay pretty well too. As an incoming freshman I received $8 an hour working in a computer lab on campus. And, each semester I’ve been given a $0.25 increase. After a few years you can be making $10 per hour on campus! If you work 10 hours a week, you will be bringing home $400 per month. That $400 can go a long way in paying for food, drinks, and even student loan interest.
- Flexible Hours
Most on-campus jobs are pretty flexible. Most of the time your manager will be an upperclassman or Professor. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a flexible on-campus job schedule. In my case, swapping hours with my coworkers was very easy. And my manager was very understanding when it came to midterms and finals. On-campus managers will certainly understand that you have other commitments.
- Making Friends
Some of my best friends are also my co-workers. If you are an incoming freshman, or transfer student, an on-campus job can be a great way to meet people. Connecting with your coworkers can be great for your social life and your professional network.
- Resume Builder
Most Freshmen and Sophomores don’t have too much when it comes to a resume. When you start applying for internships, having an on-campus job can really help you stand out amongst your classmates. Moreover, if your job is in a relevant field, it can show a potential employer your ability to learn outside of the classroom. For example, an on-campus job in the finance lab can help you greatly when applying for that financial control internship. It helped me!
- Paying Student Loan Interest
Most students have no idea that their student loans are accumulating interest during deferment! Unsubsidized federal student loans and private student loans accumulate interest while you are in school. Then, the accumulated interest will compound and capitalize. By paying your student loan interest in college you will save yourself thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. Furthermore, many private student loan lenders give extra discounts to students who pay their interest in school. An on-campus job can give you the ability to pay your interest while taking classes. I promise you will thank me upon graduation!
Today’s guest author is Pyper Barnes. She is a Junior Finance Major at the University of Alabama. Pyper is the creator of WeirdScholarships.net. Weird Scholarships is a new website dedicated to helping students find unique and sometimes weird scholarship opportunities.