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For those who work-study, how do you balance it? Is it manageable?

A: Student smiling holding Dartmouth banner

That is a great question!

For me, work-study is something that Dartmouth uses to cover incidental fees not included in basic tuition and room and board. Though it is part of my financial aid package, most of the time the money goes towards things like airfare or textbooks and not directly to the school. I hold several jobs on-campus, such as blogging for the Admissions Office and being an usher at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Other common jobs include being a TA, notetaker, or lab assistant (if you aren't doing it through the UGAR office or for credit). 

I find work-study to be quite manageable at Dartmouth. There are enough jobs that you can always find one that suits your schedule. Additionally, most supervisors I've met are very accommodating in terms of balancing your work with academics—they understand that your first priority is still school and are happy to help you find a way to do both. 

Obviously, there can be a bit of a disparity in student populations between those who must dedicate a good number of hours each week to supporting themselves vs. those who don't. Sometimes, it can be isolating to hold jobs on-campus. While everyone else has all this extra time to socialize or study, there is yet another thing that you have to do. Additionally, the pay isn't very high for most jobs, which can be somewhat demoralizing considering the average Dartmouth student's skill set.

The system here isn't perfect, but most low-income students I've met are able to use it for what it's worth. Additionally, many of the problems you find here will be present everywhere, simply because that is how federal work-study is operated. I've personally always held a job throughout my time at Dartmouth and am grateful for the opportunity to support myself and make some extra money. For example, I've been able to surprise my parents with gifts, provide for my own airfare, and relish in some Han Fusion from time-to-time because of it.

If you are wondering about work-study once you get here, I highly suggest going to the job fair that happens at the beginning of every single term. Browsing JobNet can also be very helpful! There are endless possibilities here at Dartmouth and all it takes is a little bit of digging to find what you're looking for.

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