Many students at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are often faced with the decision of how to make money while working on their degrees. If in need of a job, students are left with the options of finding employment either on or off campus.
In 2017, 43% of all full-time college students worked, with 10% of those working more than 35 hours per week, according to the National Center for Education Statistics,. The number is even higher for part-time students, of whom 80% work, 45% of whom work more than 35 hours a week.
There are several reasons why holding a job while attending school can assist students. According to thebalance.com, some of the major reasons that college students choose to work are to lessen debt, gain job experience, learn time management, improve grades and get employee benefits.
Cian Triplett, history major, works at Elks Lodge in New Orleans mostly on the weekends and in the summer. He says that he works there because of the people, the pay and the enjoyment.
Triplett has also considered getting an on-campus job. He explains that his current job is too far away. Right now, Triplett says that his main focus while he is at school is studying.
Some students also focus on working during the summer to save up money for the time they are in school during the fall and spring.
Lei Lani is a chemistry major who works as a desk agent in the resident halls on campus. She found her student job by applying to the Federal Work-Study program that is available when a student is awarded financial aid.
“The Federal Work-Study program provides jobs on or off-campus to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Students are assigned to a University department or a community service agency for an average of 12 hours per week and paid the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr),” states the UL Lafayette website.
Many students without transportation can take advantage of working on campus. It is easy to work around their schedules and earn money while gaining experience.
“When you work early in the morning, you can wake up 10 minutes before you have to go. You never have to worry about car trouble or weather because you walk there,” Lani said.
On the downside of working at an on-campus job, students are paid lower wages than an off-campus job.
“It is sufficient, but it would be better to work off campus because the pay is $7.50, but off campus it is more,” Brianna McCastler, a biology major, who also works on campus, said.
According to collegedata.com, the Cost of Attendance includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation and personal expenses. Working a job while attending college can help with the price of some of these costs that slowly add up during the school year.