Perna agrees that finding a balance between financial and academic obligations can be a challenge. "While working more than 15 hours per week may be financially necessary," she says, "I suggest that students first be sure that they have taken full advantage of all available sources of financial aid, especially financial aid in the form of grants."
The pros and cons of working while in college, then, depend not necessarily on the job itself but instead on how often a student works. All the benefits of working while in school can unfortunately be reduced, if not eliminated, by the cons of working too much.
Working a reasonable amount of hours—and balancing those hours with other college responsibilities—can help a student graduate not just with a diploma but also with the skills needed to enter the workforce after graduation caps have been tossed and the job search begins. "Having a job is amazing and I highly recommend it," advises Bannister, "especially if you're new on campus."
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