Up to $30,000 a year, almost $15,000 a semester, and not enough financial aid to keep you from struggling most of the time. You probably already know this, but college is expensive and to be honest, it’s ridiculous. Most students have some kind of support system to help them financially; whether that be family or people that are like family. A lot of students though have no other choice but to pay their way through college all by themselves.
This is where college jobs and getting involved comes in. Ohio State University’s 2015 National Student Financial Wellness Study reported that 70% of college students felt stressed about their financial struggles during college. 32% of students avoid their school work because they are so caught up in how much money they owe their institution. (Scholarship America 2019)
Almost every public or private college or university has paid job opportunities for students to apply for and get involved in. For example, the university I attend, William Peace University gives the opportunity to apply for jobs as a resident assistant, admissions ambassador, orientation leader, and many many more!
At WPU, my most fulfilling student leadership job on campus has definitely been being an admissions ambassador. This role has included giving campus tours to prospective students and their families, learning how to answer phone calls, running an office front desk, and working with other campus partners. As one of the highest paying jobs on campus, students get financial help if they need it, while also gaining leadership skills that can benefit you socially and professionally.
My institution is a small, private college but yet with so many opportunities for students to take advantage of. Brigham Young University, which is also private, offers 19,000 on-campus jobs for students. Student Employment Manager, Jenifer Jarvis, says that BYU is passionate about giving their students the ability to pay tuition and also gain work experience outside of the classroom. Many BYU students say that they’re most thankful for being able to have a job on campus throughout earning their education. (Sienkiewicz 2019)
Often, college students who are financially struggling are more likely to apply for on-campus jobs where they will be getting paid. This extra money put in student’s pockets can help them outside of paying for their schooling. Groceries, car payments, rent, and potential medical expenses can be other things weighing on students’ minds while they’re trying to thrive in their academics.
Jennine Punzalan, International Relations and French Honours student at the University of British Columbia, addresses the difficulties of time management and college student’s desire to be involved on their campus. Punzalan makes the point that lower-income students are not recognized for their involvement on campus versus students who are financially comfortable.