Manage College Costs
Balancing Work and School
Most DePaul students are earning a paycheck either by choice or necessity. The extra income helps pay for tuition, transportation, housing, or entertainment. Whatever your reason for working, it's important to strike a balance between work and school so that school work does not suffer. Here are a few tips on how to successfully juggle your responsibilities.
- Choose a flexible employer. Look for an employer that offers flexible scheduling, because your school workload will vary. An on-campus job offers you chance to create a flexible schedule, build your skills, and even fulfill your Work-Study award. If you're already in a full-time position, check to see if your employer allows flexible work hours.
- Tie your job to your major or career interests. Build resume enhancing experience early on by choosing a job related to your career interests or major. Already in a full-time position in your field of interest? See if your employer offers tuition reimbursement.
- Limit your work hours. It may be tempting to add a couple of paid work hours to your day. Or, you may find it hard to say no to your employer. But placing a strict limit on your work hours is the best way to make sure your job doesn't interfere with school. In general, it's better to work 25 hours per week or fewer. Full-time workers, remember to check with your human resources representative to see if your organization offers flexible scheduling.
- Create a balanced schedule. As a student, your first priority should be school. If you are taking a full course load one quarter, you may find you need to adjust your work schedule so you still have time to study. To avoid scheduling conflicts, provide your employer with your hours of availability at the beginning of each quarter.
- Make the most of weekends and breaks. If possible, put in your work hours on Saturday and Sunday. Or, work more hours during December intersession or summer break so you can build up your savings and work fewer hours while school is in session.
- Earn credit while you work. You've heard the old adage "work smarter, not harder," right? Why not get credit for the work you do at your job? Get an internship or co-op and you can fulfill your Experiential Learning requirement, gain important experience, and earn some cash!
- Have fun. Make sure you plan time for fun and relaxation! And, it doesn't have to cost a lot. Check out our list of simple ways to cut costs and learn about free or cheap ways to have fun on a small budget.