Why Working in College was so Beneficial
While many people consider college the last great playground before hitting the real world, it can be a heck of a lot of work too. I found college to be a combination of the two. It was a ton of fun and a ton of work all at the same time.
Some of that work was a result of my studies, and some of that work was a result of actual paid labor. However, I found that there were certain benefits to working in college that I didn’t find once out in the real world. And while my work obviously wasn’t as hard in college as it was once I entered the full-time workforce, there were some very beneficial aspects to my collegiate toiling.
Reduced Student Loan Need
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t work a full-time job year around or anything like that during school. I typically worked for about six months each year during three of my college years. This work was full-time during the summer and part-time during the school year. However, the money I made during these times allowed me to greatly diminish the amount of student loans I had to undertake. Therefore, I escaped college with less than $10,000 in student loan debt.
Had I not worked during school — and made that extra money in the process — my loan amounts would have likely been $15,000 to $20,000 higher, which at a 6 percent interest rate could have added thousands of dollars in extra interest and additional years to my student loan payoff process
Lower Tax Rates
Since I was a low wage earner during college, I pretty much got all my federal taxes back with the exception of Social Security and Medicare taxes. It was therefore a great time to work, since not only did my lower earnings get taxed at a lower rate, but I was able to put my tax refund money toward loans that would have cost me interest otherwise.
Plenty of Downtime
Let’s face it, unless a student is getting buried under tons of coursework or really has some super difficult subject matter to undertake, there is often plenty of downtime during college. And even then, there may be long periods without coursework such as the summer, spring break, holiday break, and possibly a fall break in which there could be plenty of time to make a little extra cash.
Great Work Opportunities
Not only might there be a ton of extra time to put toward working during college, but in a college campus or college town environment, there are often quite a few job opportunities…especially for students.
From delivery drivers to work-study programs sponsored through the school itself, a college town could offer all kinds of chances to pick up some extra money.
Personally, I found a great gig at the college golf course working concessions. The pay was good, employees got to eat for free, and there was a lot of downtime for extra studying. This allowed me to combine making money with ensuring that my studies were handled properly, which was another great benefit of working in the college environment.
The author is not a licensed financial, tax or educational professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial, tax or academic advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.