How College Financial Aid Works

Non-Work-Study Jobs

Campus jobs aren't exclusively for students receiving Federal Work-Study aid. Work-study students are given top priority, but other students can apply for campus jobs, particularly those related to their academic work (research or lab assistants, for example).

What's Your Cost of Education?
As a general rule, the cost of education for an academic year includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, academic supplies, personal expenses and -- in many cases -- travel between campus and home. When considering a school's financial aid, be sure you understand what their educational costs include. Is the room on campus? Is it a single or a double? How many meals are included in the board plan? Do fees include insurance? If you aren't sure, contact the school and ask.

Working while in college offers the student more than just the chance to make money. College jobs allow students to work with faculty and administrators who can often serve as mentors. Just as importantly, campus jobs often provide students with the opportunity to examine various career options. At the very least, potential employers appreciate the fact that students worked while they were in college.

Although working while in college is important, it's not for everyone. Working, like the rest of one's college experiences, must be kept in perspective. Working should be a complement rather than a hindrance to your studies. Here are a few employment options to consider.

Summer employment --Although resting up from the rigors of the academic year or lounging around at the beach are much more fun than working, summer jobs can make a college education much easier to finance. The average student can make from $1,500 to as much as $6,000 by working during the summer. And internships and other forms of summer employment provide a student with another chance to look at a variety of careers. If the student receives a need-based aid award, a summer savings expectation will be included in your family contribution.

Internships and cooperative education programs-- Internships and cooperative education programs provide students with wonderful opportunities to earn while they learn. Internships are generally available during the summer. Co-op programs, generally available during the academic year, often extend the period of enrollment beyond the normal four-year plan. This is something to consider since these programs often allow the student to work with potential employers while they are in school. This can be an invaluable experience and can sometimes lead to full-time employment after graduation. Check with your prospective college's career service office for details on both internships and co-op programs.

Want some more options? You'll find a relatively unique one on the next page.