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part-time job



I am in college and I always assumed my parents would always be able to afford to pay for my college tuition and books. They paid for my older sister's entire college education, so I assumed they would do the same for me. I do work during the summer, but during the school year I haven't worked except for babysitting. My parents always told me that school was my job and that I should concentrate on that. However, my dad who never did make a lot of money lost his job because of cutbacks. Luckily my tuition and books are paid for this semester. But that means things will be financially tight from after this semester on. I have really enjoyed not working during the school year and having that extra time to study, and I really needed it. I've never been really good at managing my time, which is something I will have to learn to do. So after this semester I will have to start paying for a good portion of my tuition. I have a summer job as a camp counselor, but that just isn't enough. What would be a good part-time job that wouldn't take up all of my time? I thought of working as a hostess or waitress at a restraunt. My mother thought that was an awful idea. She said I'd be dealing with rude customers all the time. But I think that kind of job has a lot of flexibility with times, whereas if I worked at a preschool or day care I could only work during the day, and a lot of my classes are during the daytime hours so that wouldn't work. I wish I could work in a child-care setting since I am in college to be a teacher, but it just wouldn't work with my schedule. I'm considering working as a hostess or waitress but would like other ideas too. Any other ideas for a part-time job for afternoons and evenings? Those would be the only times I'd be available to work.

Brooke S.

Senior Member

For starters, I woul go to your financial aid office and see about getting some scholarships or students loans. If your parents' income is not high, then you should qualify. You do not have to pay back students loans until after you graduate. Better yet, if their income is not high, you will probably qualify for the Pell Grant which never has to be paid back. It's worth a try.

Suggestions for jobs: If you work in a daycare or as a hostess your probably are not going to make much over minimum wage. Have you thought about babysitting. This helped me out a ton during college. I had my own house so I could watch several children at once, but if you started watching the children at their house you could probably make pretty good money as well. Good luck!


go for the $$$

You want the biggest bang for the bucks right now. For instance, if you hostess, you will make minimujm wage; however, if you waitress or barmaid/bartend, you will make a lot in tips. Being an au pair or a nanny, or even babysitting will also bring decent money. You can also tutor privately, or see what a center will pay (such as Sylvan). Tutoring around here gets about $30 an hour depending on what you are doing...the more specialized the higher the $.

I always found that when I had a part-time job in college (in the age of the dinosaurs, I'm 44 now), I was better able to utilize my time and my grades wree better. Seems I wasn't doing as much studying as I thought but a LOT of socializing! When I worked, I knew that any free time I had I had to study. I worked from 30-40 hours per week my junior and senior years, and I think about 20 hours per week my freshman and sophomore years.

When I went for my masters, I was a single mom with two young children and working full time to support us. It's all about priorities and time management.

The school you attend will also have a guidance counselor who can help you even with non-school scheduling. Welcome to the real world a little early! You'll be better and stronger for it. This must be hard for your dad to see you have to do this. Remember to thank him for all the emotional support he'll be giving you!


Senior Member
here's some things that worked for me...

Hey! I just wanted to share my own things that have worked for me a few years ago. I'm 29 now...graduated in'99 from college.

I read that you mentioned that you're not very organized with your time, so to be honest, I don't know if waitressing would be something to get into, because it does take a lot of time...I know one of my friends in colllege did this, for a few months to make some extra cash, and almost weekly when she was supposed to be off, someone would either call in sick, or not show for whatever reason for work, and she'd have to fill in at the last minute...(she started out as a hostess...and they rotated her to waitressing, because they were shorthanded).

I worked a job on campus, and I went through student support services, which was located in the financial aid building of my college, to get it, and landed a great job, delivering mail, and secretarial duties like answering phones, and taking messages, and copying papers, and delivering them across campus. Also, as a benefit, it helped me lose weight, with all the exercise I was getting in, so I didn't have to workout after my job.:) And...the best part is, I was taking 21 hours of courses, and yes, I was in other activities...band, chorus, and a night chorus that met on Mondays, and they worked around my schedule completely!!!! I was still able to work 20 hours a week, and it helped bring in some extra cash for things I needed.

I also worked every summer from the time I was 15-22. I worked for JTPA, because my family met the income guidelines, and they provided me with a summer job, on the program from 15-21, and then, the following summer hired me on as a temporary summer employee, for their office, as a secretary, and the coolest part was...I got the job on my own...I didn't know a soul in that office, until I got that job.

Also, because of my parents' income, I was able to receive a federal pell grant...and with the pell grant, you don't have to pay back one red cent.
It helped pay for my tuition, books, room/board, ina addition to scholarships I searched out for, or auditioned for (I teach music...I had band, and choir scholarships, as well as some scholarships offered through a local music store, and one that I received later when I transferred from a community college, to a university, because I had sent in an essay about my career choice, and had at least a 2.5 GPA...(that helped tremendously)....and yes...I had to take out a Stafford Loan as well, to help pay for college, but not as much as some of my friends did, who didn't seek out financial aid, or weren't eligible.
I only had to take out $1,000 a semester for 3 years...and one summer it was $2,500. And, yes, you have to pay back the stafford loan, but they gave me a 6 month forbearance after graduation...so that was nice, and gave me time to get settled into my new teaching job, right out of college. And...the summer I went to school, I took 13 hours, and worked 32 hours a week, at the JTPA office.
I thought I would share my own experience. Definitely look into a pell grant, if you don't have one already...it's definitely worth a try, at least apply...the worst they can say is no, and it would be worth it,because you don't have to repay it.


Senior Member
Campus Work

I didn't read the other posts, so forgive me if I repeat some ideas. I had to work throughout college because my parents didn't pay for my stuff. However, my brother has all of his paid by them! Talk about unfair...anyway....

My first job in college was working at a local business as a receptionist. My job was to sort mail, run copies, answer the phone, etc. I made over minimum wage, and when I wasn't busy, they let me study at the front desk. My second job was in an office on campus, and I did pretty much the same thing there. When I wasn't busy, I did homework and studied. Those two jobs really forced me to study. I couldn't leave the desk, but if I was bored, I had to do something. I also read a lot (mostly assigned reading).

Check with your university to find out what kinds of jobs they offer. I know my school had a website that listed available jobs for students on campus.


Full Member

I'm sorry about your dad's job. I put myself through college by waitressing. It is flexible and you can make way more than minimum wage. Also, maybe you could look into working at an office answering phones or filing. Working on campus is a good idea, although I'm not sure what the pay is. Definitely check about financial aid. There are also some programs where you can apply for a scholarship or grant.

It can be done. My parents did not pay for one cent of my college and I lived on my own and worked. I am not overloaded with student loans now, because I worked hard to pay the cost of tuition up front. Good Luck!


Senior Member

I worked as a waitress while in college. I also worked in a convenient store, tanning salon, and as a secretary at a hospital. Sometimes I held more than one job. When you have to do it you will make it work. I often waitressed for the money there is good money in that! I would work at the tanning salon for a little extra money and that would be good study time. As far as waitressing there were times that I had rude customers, but the money and time couldn't be beat. I worked Friday night, Saturday night, (third shift) and occassionally 2nd shift. On Fri. and Sat. nights I would make what I would have had to work 40 plus hours at other jobs. The rudest customer I had is also my funniest story to tell. This man and his date walked in and ordered t-bone steaks. They ate and when they were finished they called me over and complained about the hair in their food. I loooked down and there was a huge ball of hair on their plates. He was in a tirate, refusing to pay, etc... The funny thing is.... the hair was as red as could be and funny so was his hair! He ended up running out without paying the bill girlfriend in tow. Gosh I wonder if he ever saw heer again? I called the cops. Too funny!


Another idea

Another idea would be to work in a retail store. I worked at a chain discount retailer both during college and while subbing. It pays slightly above minimum wage and has flexible hours. Most of the time you get discounts at the store as well, and sometimes that makes it more worth it if it's a place that you can get your necessities.