Many financial aid packages involve some sort of work study component in which students are encouraged to find jobs on campus. Depending on the school this can either be a standard aspect of financial aid with few privileges or it can provide very special opportunities. Many college students with such financial aid packages do not want to work while being a full time college student. It may be too much for their schedule, or they cannot find anything interesting or useful. When considering whether or not to participate in work study there are some important financial, personal, and long term factors that must be considered:
One of the primary purposes of including work study in a financial aid package is to provide additional avenues for a student to pay their college tuition. Depending on other aspects of the package as well as a family’s finances this can be either a trivial or vital element. It is important when opting not to do a work study for you to talk to their families and the school about the gravity of this decision. You will have to personally communicate with your family and school about this decision to avoid problems. Unlike at home or in high school no one will notice if you are not doing what you are supposed to until you are a few hundred dollars behind in your tuition payments. To get out of work study and stay out of debt, you will need to work closely with your college’s financial department.
If it is not ideal but very necessary, there are ways to make work work. Email departments you are interested in to find something that you will want to make time for and that could be more than financially beneficial. If you are really opposed to utilizing your work study option talk to your financial aid department about finding other forms of aid either from the school or through scholarships.
If you are considering not pursuing a work study on the basis of a personal issue determine how long this personal issue will be a challenge for you and how severely a job would hinder your ability to solve that problem. Often freshman do not want to explore work study options until they feel settled enough in their new environment to take on another task. While this is a very valid reason to postpone work study, it can make the process more difficult. Many schools offer students with work study early job applications so that they have a greater number of options to obtain jobs. By waiting until later in the semester to look for a job, the number of options will be limited. Having a job from the beginning may make it easier to manage your time a see what workload you are capable of handling.
While jobs may seem overwhelming they can provide stability when experiencing other personal issues with friends or family. If your problem does not center on time management it may be more beneficial for you to stay with the job rather than altar your routine more than necessary.
Having a work study job provides many long term benefits. If your earnings are not going directly towards paying tuition, having the extra cash go towards savings will be very helpful once leaving college. The experience you gain from these jobs can also be useful after college or even during long breaks. Finding a job in the vein of your potential career or even in the school store to gain service experience can have a huge impact on your strength as an applicant for certain jobs.
If you are considering not pursuing a work study option make sure that it will not effect your ability to cover your tuition by talking to your family and university. If you can afford not to work consider the professional and financial benefits of having a job and whether not working will actually alleviate any personal stress you may be experiencing.