Student demand for employment rises in response to increased college costs

By Jen Wozniak
August 27, 2009

Shannon Keough

Employment this past summer took a toll on many college students, who either returned home and found they were unable to return to their previous summer job, had hours cut or resorted to an unpaid internship. As a result, some students who did not work during previous school years now have to.

According to, “nearly half of all full-time students and 80 percent of part-time students work numbers that are likely only to grow in the future.”

“I know two students who came to me this week and said they have to work off campus two days a week this year,” Dr. Anthony Tomasco, psychology department chair, said. “But many students need to work, it’s not only about it they want to.”

Money has been an issue that many college students have worried about for years. Between tuition, book fees, food, nights out with friends and more, students often find themselves scrambling to cover all of their costs. With the current state of the economy, finding money to pay bills and have some extra cash left over seems to be even harder this year than in recent years.

Lauren Galonski, senior psychology and sociology major, said, “I am nervous about the upcoming year. With grad school around the corner I feel like I need to cut back on a lot of spending. I moved off campus to save money, ordered my books online and did not get a meal plan to help save, but I still think I will need to get a job to help pay for the little things.”

Cabrini students are presented with many opportunities to make money right on campus by working in various offices, as a student ambassador or in the Dixon Center. Those students who filled out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid can work as part of Cabrini’s work-study program if they qualify based on their financial need and financial eligibility. Students who are part of work-study normally work six to eight hours a week, according to financial aid counselor Shannon Weaver.

“Work-study is convenient for students because they work right on campus,” Weaver said. “This program gives students an insight into having a job, helps them become part of the Cabrini community and meet more faculty, staff and students and gives them some extra spending money.”

Weaver believes that working as part of work-study does not negatively affect students’ academics, as she has never had any complaints. She thinks that limiting the number of hours students work to no more than 15 hours a week is helping leave students more time for their studies.

Sara Trzuskowski, senior special education and elementary education major, said, “I worked on campus last year and I am working again this year. I think working during the school year helps me because I need to stay busy and it keeps my day moving, so I think working during the year helps my academics.”

Whether working during the school year affects students’ grades depends on the student, how organized they are and how much time they need outside the classroom, Tomasco said.

However, Tomasco believes there are three problems students encounter when they work during the school year, that being scheduling conflicts, time work takes away from doing schoolwork outside the classroom, and the fact that some students want to live on campus, but may need to work just in order to do so since living in campus is an extra expense.

For those students still looking for a job this school year, whether they need a job or just want one, Dr. John Cordes, assistant professor of communication, offered some advice to his Job Search Techniques class, “Don’t get in a mindset that you are set for failure. Think that you are a talented individual with many skills and that you are qualified for the job. There are still job opportunities out there and if you have a positive attitude you will see and hear things that you didn’t know were there.”

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Jen Wozniak

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