If you’re a college student then you’re probably on a strict budget of sorts. Graduating from college without a mountain of debt over your head is not an easy task these days. Financial aid covers tuition and book expenses and sometimes room and board for most students, but other necessary living expenses are generally not covered.
Private student loans used to be very easy to get a few years ago, but now with these lenders feeling the credit crunch, students have more limited options for financing their education.
Working part time can be a great way for college students to pay for expenses such as food and a car, as long as a student can balance work hours with school assignments. Where you work, and how understanding your company and managers are, make a big difference in how well you’ll be able to balance school and work. According to college students, here are the 5 best part time jobs to hold while going through school:
1. Anything On Campus: A work-study position or a non work-study position that is on campus is generally your best bet. You will not have any transportation costs, since you should easily be able to walk to work, and your manager will most likely be very understanding of your class and test schedule and homework load. The downside is that your earnings are capped or limited to a set amount and you usually cannot earn much more than minimum wage.
2. Resident Advisor (RA): If you like dorm life your first year of college, then definitely apply to be a Resident Advisor. Resident Advisors are student counselors who live in a dorm and are there to help any student with various issues who lives on their dorm floor. In exchange, Resident Advisors get to live in the dorms for free, saving thousands in annual housing costs. RAs get to live where they work, generally have no trouble getting schoolwork completed due to work and build valuable mediation skills, which look great on a resume. The downsides may be that you have more responsibility, a responsibility for and to others, and your time is not your own because there is no real off-duty.
3. Work for Whole Foods: Whole Foods offers great pay for grocery store employment, about $11 per hour and health and dental insurance after you’ve worked 400 hours. Part time employees also get paid time off after they’ve worked a certain number of hours. If you’ve ever worked at a grocery store before, then you know these benefits are generally unheard of for part time employees.
4. Work for Apple: Apple employs many tech savvy students, and this can be a great part time job if you are going to college for the computer sciences. Apple offers their part time employees generous tuition assistance and a large discount on Apple products. Your school just may not be close enough to an Apple employer to take advantage of this part time job.
5. Bar Tender/Waitress: This is not the easiest job to hold while going to college because of long hours on your feet and late nights. However, waitresses and bar tenders at popular restaurants can earn some serious cash in tips. If you’re really strapped for money consider becoming a waitress or bar tender, but only if you’re prepared to work hard and be challenged balancing work and school.
Jessica Drew is a freelance writer and editor who blogs about a variety of money making and finance topics such as private student loans.