Adulting: How to pay for college


Amber Roldan

College consists of a time of independence for the first time from parents, most importantly reliance on financial help from parents. Options exist to help college students afford living expenses, such as part-time campus jobs and federal work study programs.

Elyssa Abbott, Editor-in-chief

Aside from new memories and friends, college presents a very expensive journey all while navigating a new level of difficult courses, and of course figuring out what to do for the rest of your life. Students loans and scholarships can help squash the rising cost of tuition, but what about the cost of living as a college student?

A common occurrence in college, specifically the first year, consists of focusing primarily on college and waiting until later years to find a part-time job. A typical freshman entering college could not handle school, extracurriculars, and the new social scene, on top of holding a job to afford living expenses, such as food, transportation, textbooks, and school supplies. Parents may choose to help out, but many do not. 

“I currently have a job while I am finishing high school and saving up my money now so that I can pay for day-to-day living expenses in college. I do not anticipate getting a job until my second or third year of college,” said Magnet senior Abbey Corley.

Part-time jobs do typically reside as the last resort for a “broke college student,” but what about an option that does not strain your time and provides an income? College campuses require thousands of people employed to ensure every aspect runs smoothly, from resident assistants to front desk clerks in libraries and facilities. These jobs and more allow students to work, also provides down time and often employees can study and do homework while on the job. Federal work-study programs allow both part-time and full-time college students to work part-time jobs while working towards a degree. The key difference between this and any other part-time job stands in the actual job. These jobs, which the colleges supply, can actually provide students real experience in their field of study. Think of it like a paid internship, but colleges do require students to maintain certain grades to continue working, as well as working under the maximum number of hours.

Other options exist, such as DoorDash, student loans for living expenses, or summer jobs, but a combination between saving up before entering the initial year of college and trying to find an opportunity similar to the ones above can allow a college student to live without massive amounts of debt. College students may require taking out a student loan for college based on the rising cost of tuition, but another student loan for living does not exist as the only option and will only plunge you farther into the deep hole of debt. 

“I would love to get a part-time job, but I know starting college and trying to be involved will be enough for me and I will likely not be able to handle working on top of that, at least my freshman year. I am definitely interested in pursuing other options, especially saving up before college, to afford living expenses,” said Magnet senior Sophia Green.