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Should a freshman have a job?

beoleinbeolein Registered User Posts: 645 Member
edited February 2012 in College Life
Sure, it could depend on whether the student can handle the load, but …

If a student is offered an on-campus job of up to 20 hours per week, making $1550 each school year, should she take it?

It’s easy to quit an off-campus job if your grades are suffering, but what about on-campus jobs?

$1550 over two, 15-week semesters at 20 hours per week is $2.58 per hour. So if it’s really about the money, she might want to look off-campus for at least minimum wage, which is almost three times $2.58 per hour. Then again, how easy is it to find a 20 hour per week off-campus job in a college town that works with your class schedule?

How is a freshman’s new college experience and social life affected by working 20 hours a week?
Post edited by beolein on

Replies to: Should a freshman have a job?

  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,009 Senior Member
    No. For that pay, it's not worth it. Get a regular job, work 10-15 hours a week and make much more.

    On campus jobs are far more flexible than off campus especially when it comes to working around schedules. I'd suggest looking for an on campus job if possible. And its easier to quit an on camus job than off most of the time.

    To answer the title question, yes freshmen should have jobs. I worked well over 20 hours a week freshmen year but I wouldn't recommend it. 10-15 is a good number.
  • MedSchHopefulMedSchHopeful Registered User Posts: 254 Junior Member
    I would find out what the job entails. I know some on campus jobs at my school are nothing more than sitting at a desk doing your homework and answering the phone once an hour or so. I would do that for $2.58 an hour in a heartbeat.

    And if it's a concern, just ask what kind of a commitment they're looking for -- does the student need to commit for the whole year or could they try it out for a semester or so? I imagine though the on-campus employers are used to students getting in over their heads and quitting.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,009 Senior Member
    Now that I think about it, that doesn't sound right. Jobs are required to pay minimum wage.
  • teachandmomteachandmom Registered User Posts: 1,244 Senior Member
    Is this a work study job? If so, they pay the minimum wage. I have never heard of a school that would not pay min. wage. Are you sure she wasn't offered $1550 each semester with no hours specified? That would mean she could work however many hours, at minimum wage until she makes $1550. Some schools will even increase work study earnings if they have the funds available, or feel the position is important enough to then fund with institutional funds. Freshmen can definitely handle working, but about 8 to 10 hours a week is optimal.
  • AUGirlAUGirl Registered User Posts: 2,890 Senior Member
    No. I wouldn't.

    I'd find another job that paid minimum wage and work 5-10 hours a week and still make as much or more money as the previously mentioned job.

    Even the kids who sit at a desk and do homework get paid at least $7.25 an hour.
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Registered User Posts: 879 Member
    UP TO 20 hours a week is the important part here, I think. I have an on campus job that lets you work anywhere from two to fifteen hours a week depending on how much money you need.
  • PRiNCESSMAHiNAPRiNCESSMAHiNA Registered User Posts: 2,120 Senior Member
    I wouldn't take a job that didn't pay minimum wage, no.

    If I had been able to, I would have had a job, but I spent an inordinate amount of time commuting freshman year. Most of the time, I came home in time for dinner, ate, did homework, and went to bed.

    This year, I've been swamped with schoolwork, so I haven't really had time.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,199 Senior Member
    If a student is offered an on-campus job of up to 20 hours per week, making $1550 each school year, should she take it?
    Do you have an actual job offer or just a generic work-study award?

    A standard work-study offer of $1550 with up to 20 hours a week does NOT mean that you are supposed to work 20 hours a week for $1550 a year. It means that the federal government will subsidize up to $1550 of your wages; beyond that your on-campus employer will have to pay your full wage themselves, which they may or may not be willing to do.

    Different jobs have different pay-rates, so $1550 may require different number of hours depending on your actual job.

    At my undergraduate college the standard work-study award was $2000 a year. Most students had steady ~8 hour/week jobs to earn that. There were also some students who decided to load up on hours in one semester and not work at all the next. And then there were a few employers (e.g. catering) that allowed students to pick new shifts every week and some students took full advantage of the flexibility. I had a friend who worked up to 20 hours during quiet weeks and didn't take any shifts in stressful weeks.

    20 hours is the absolute maximum that you may opt to work in a work-study position; it is certainly not expected that you will work up to 20 hours a week.

    To address your on-campus vs off-campus question: on-campus jobs (work-study or not) are convenient because they work around a student's schedule. You are not expected to show up to work during school breaks, for example, and most jobs have a fair bit of flexibility to shift hours around. However, sometimes off-campus jobs pay better (all work-study jobs at my college payed less than $10 an hour) and they certainly allow you to work more hours, ESPECIALLY if you want to work during breaks too. Off-campus jobs may also look better on your CV (I am thinking of web design or accounting jobs, for example, not selling coffee at Starbucks) and allow you to foster connections that will help you get a full-time job later.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 33,009 Senior Member
    Also remember than generally the work study is not 100% of your paycheck. The school/organization chips in some too. For example, the organization that my WS is through pays 50% of my paycheck and WS pays the other half. So my $1500/semester award actually allows me to earn up to $3k/semester.
  • ladeeda6ladeeda6 Registered User Posts: 508 Member
    I would not take a job that paid below minimum wage that didn't have tips involved. Never.

    There are other on campus jobs (surely) that pay more than that. I'd personally search for something that pays at least $7.70 (or at least what minimum wage is there as ours in my state was recently raised) for roughly that many hours (or fewer).
  • TheVetTheVet Registered User Posts: 348 Member
    I had a job when i was a fr. but if your going ot have one, at least make it worth your trouble as far as pay goes
  • VictoriaWritesVictoriaWrites Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I'm a freshman and I work 10 hours a week in dining, as well as 4 hours a week as a notetaker, but I get paid $9.04 an hour- minimum wage in my state.

    And the 20 hours a week is a maximum. I was asked if I could work 20 hrs/wk when I applied for my job, but, as I said, I'm only working 10 this semester.
This discussion has been closed.