How to Balance College & Work


Ideally, you’ll head off to college and your tuition, room and board, books and other expenses will be covered. No concern about money — that worry is out of your hands.

Few students leave for college without financial concerns unless their parents scrimped and saved or are wealthy, or have managed to get a full-ride academic or athletic scholarship or they have chosen the low-cost community college route to start their education.

That leaves the rest of us — probably the overwhelming majority of students who are expected to contribute at least some money to their education. If possible, you don’t want to borrow any money to pay for college, but that scenario may not be avoidable unless you are working while in school.

Juggling college and work can be done, but only if you are disciplined and have your goals set before you. Let’s take a look at some ways you can work while attending school:

1. Determine what you need — Working while you’re in college can give you a leg up on your classmates as you’ll have experience under your belt when you graduate, an edge that can help you when you seek a career oriented job. Conversely, you could be tempted to work too much and neglect your studies or drag out your college years longer than you prefer.

2. Be realistic — You may have plans to graduate with your class, but those plans may not be attainable if you need to work many hours each week while trying to carry a full load. Better to spread your classes out over five to six years and still get good grades then to carry a full load, work full time and barely pass college.

3. Find a related job — If you must work, why not find employment in the field you’re planning to pursue upon graduation? For example, if you are studying to become a veterinarian, then working as a vet assistant will put some cash in your pocket while also giving you understanding how a practice is set up. You’ll acquire valuable basic skills, work closely with a practicing veterinarian and you may have a job lined up after graduation or at least obtain a strong professional recommendation.

4. Stick with it — You may not find a dream job while in school, but if it covers your college costs and more then you have what you need. This job is only temporary even if it lasts while you’re in college. Stay at it and you’ll finish school with your bills paid and no student loans hanging over your head.

Finally, let others know what you’re doing including your professors, college advisor and friends. When people see what kind of work-study load you are carrying, you may gain a sympathetic ear or perhaps catch a break when an assignment is due.

Resources Can I Work and Go to College

Brockport University: Learning and Earning: Working In College

Adv. — A high GPA isn’t the only thing needed to qualify for a college scholarship. Extracurricular activities can also help provide what you need to get the financial assistance you want. Check out our search for college scholarship page for details.

Photo Credit: Stephen Joos


end of post idea


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please share this article within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Study Tips