Have you applied for scholarships and grants, but still find yourself coming up short when paying your tuition bill? Consider taking a campus job. There are many benefits to working on-campus, including flexibility in scheduling and an easy (or non-existant!) commute. Another perk to holding a campus job is the potential for additional scholarship money. While the scholarships may not be large, usually under $1,000 a semester, they do help. Whether you receive an hourly wage or a small stipend or scholarship, on-campus jobs can also provide additional benefits above and beyond monetary value.
Most college campuses have college papers and provide scholarships to students who work as editors, reporters or photographers. If you can land a job working at your college newspaper, there are also many additional benefits beyond receiving a stipend or a scholarship, such as meeting new students, free entry to events (on- or off-campus) and networking. The college paper is a hub of information for everything and anything going on around the campus or in the community. You’ll have the opportunity to meet administrators, business owners and others who may be helpful in the future for gaining employment after graduation, or getting those high-profile recommendation letters for graduate school.
Many graduate students and professors use undergraduate students as lab or research assistants. These positions tend to pay higher than the typical administrative positions available on campus and may come with a small scholarship ($250-$500). Research positions provide you with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your field of study and may lead to other larger scholarship opportunities that may be applied to future academic pursuits.
While working in a student government role may not be considered a 'traditional job,' it will require your attendance at meetings and many hours working on campus. Many colleges and organizations provide scholarships to students who volunteer for student government positions. Participating in student government can give you access to many of the ‘movers and shakers’ on campus and looks great on a resume. You’ll not only learn leadership skills, but also may gain public speaking and public relations experience. Other opportunities will likely include budgeting, volunteer management and project management. These skills can give you a definite edge when interviewing for future employment opportunities.
Before you take on additional student loan debt, be sure to check out the on-campus job opportunities at your campus. There are a variety of different positions and most have very flexible schedules. Inquire about scholarship opportunities, as well as other perks and benefits that may come with the position. You may be surprised at how much you can learn from a part-time campus position. Just a few hours a week could save you thousands in student loan debt. Happy hunting!
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