In the face of rising student debt, more college attendees take on part time jobs.

Working a part time job while attending school can seem like a great idea. The right job can come with networking and the financial freedom of spending earned money. The wrong job could be like a gangrenous limb that makes you miserable.

College is more expensive than ever. The cost of an undergraduate’s tuition has risen 42 percent in the last ten years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Four out of five students work part time or full time jobs, according to a study conducted by Citigroup and Seventeen Magazine.

The student loan crisis has been addressed in the news lately. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has proposed a $115 billion program which would include free community college education and cutting student interest loans.

Locally, more college students face the decision to take on a part time job. Balancing being a full time student with part time employment comes with hurdles. Working means more economic freedom but at the risk of taking time away from the experiences you paid to take part in. Agreeing between the two requires a keen sense of time management. Too much time working and could put you at risk for falling behind academically. If a student works too little, then what is the point of working? The happy medium exists but finding it can be a challenge.

First, consider if working fits into your schedule. Even if it requires tighter budgeting, do not begin a job if it will take away from your academic successes. Students need to create a schedule for themselves that include availability to work, time spent in class and a period to do schoolwork.

When looking for a new job, it is worth considering what you will get out of it. Sometimes it is better to take on an internship, whether it is paying or not, because of the opportunity to build valuable skills for your career.

Second, narrow down the search by deciding to work on or off campus. Off-campus employers typically provide more hours but working within walking distance is a perk to consider during the winter. Students employed on campus are paid once every two weeks by the Campus Auxiliary Services.

Managing money is as important as managing time but can be simplified in three steps. First, students should start recording their expenses. Student need to know their spending habits if they make any plans on changing them. Second, that scholar should make a budget factoring in the cost of groceries, monthly expenses and school supplies.

Finally, set savings goals. Make a list of long term purchases, important things that are not essential. Additionally, setting up a savings account with a local bank secures funds so students are not as driven to spend them. Several local banks offer programs with incentives for students with savings accounts.

Ultimately, the biggest factors in deciding whether to work a part time job is timing and homework. There are multiple jobs on campus that allow students to work on homework while on the clock. It’s important for students to find the right balance or they risk working themselves out school. Students looking for part time employment on campus are encouraged to visit Cardinalconnect.com for more information.

Email Taylor Richardson at taylor.richardson@cardinalpointsonlinr.com

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