Making Extra Cash While in College

Tips on finding part time jobs for US students

Most of your college costs may be covered by financial aid, tuition payments or your parents’ pocket book, but you may still need some extra cash now and then. For some students, a part-time job is the answer for the extra cash needed. Here are a few tips on how to find part time jobs perfect for college students and some advice on how to be the best employee and student while working. Remember, international students face different work regulations, so be sure to check with the international students office before starting a job.

  • Work study. If you are eligible for work study… take it! Work study jobs are on campus and specifically suited for students. Find an area that interests you and apply as soon as you can. Most good positions are taken quickly, so don’t delay.
  • On- campus jobs. If you are not work study eligible, there still may be on-campus jobs for students. Check with your student center, athletic center, bookstore, library and other key offices and departments at your school to see if there are any open positions. Make sure to let them know that you are not a work study student.

  • Student employment center. Most college campuses have a student employment center or service, and believe it or not, the services are not just limited to full-time jobs after graduation and summer internships. The office may have long- and short-term job opportunities from businesses and individuals looking specifically for college students. Some of these options may be tutoring, babysitting, data entry, research, etc.
  • Local businesses. If your college or university is located near a business area, there are probably plenty of opportunities for college students. Music stores, clothing stores, restaurants and other businesses (that typically service your university) usually readily welcome student employees. This is NOT an option for international students on an F-1 visa as you are only allowed to work ON campus.

Once you’ve found a job, you”ll need to make sure that you keep the job and you maintain your grades. Follow the advice below and you’ll be a star student and a star employee.

  • Limit your hours. You may think that you want to work 30- 40 hours a week for the cash, but you shouldn’t. Your main priority is to be a good student and get good grades. You have to determine the balance that works best for you, but err on the side of less working hours. You need to make sure that you have plenty of time to go to class, study AND just have fun as a college student.
  • Be professional. Whether you are a part-time receptionist at a local business or a pizza flipper at the dorm cafeteria, always act in a professional manner. This will help ensure that you always keep your job and maintain a good reputation with the employer. Arrive on time, take breaks as scheduled and don’t leave early unless you have permission.

  • Communicate with your employer. Make sure that you always let your employer know in advance when you have to take time off or leave work early. If you are working off campus, give your employer a schedule at the beginning of each semester so they are aware of key dates such as midterms and finals. This allows your employer to properly determine your schedule in advance and it limits last minute changes and staffing issues.
  • Know when to quit. If you find that your employment is interfering with your education, negatively impacting your grades or your personal life, quit. Don’t forget your goal during this time in your life, which is success as a college student. If your job is preventing you from being a good student, you have to let it go. Be professional with your employer once you have come to this decision. Be honest and let them know why you can no longer work there and give them at least 2 weeks notice before your last day.

Having a part-time job while in college can be a big financial help, but you have to find the right job, keep a balance and be a good employee.

Photo credit thanks to Jörg Weingrill

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