TAMPA, Fla. — For students heading to college this fall, experts say this summer is the perfect opportunity for them to take advantage of summer jobs.
“I think sometimes maybe families and students underestimate really just the cost of going to college,” said Cecilia Grano De Oro, College Counselor with Collegewise.
She says students should really utilize this summer to help pay for some easily overlooked school expenses like parking passes, lab fees, text books, living costs, meals, traveling back and forth if they’re going somewhere out of state, and dorm items.
“To have kind of like some safety funds… One thing that’s really important for recent grads to think about is… there are hiring and employment opportunities, that’s sort of slowly ramping up so there are definitely opportunities for them to look into,” said Grano De Oro.
Over the course of the pandemic, so many shops have had to either scale down or shut down. They now need help managing an influx of customers again to meet the demand.
“There are a lot of employers looking not only to hire recent high school grads but also some incentives with higher salaries or wages just because there’s that kind of push to bring people back,” said Grano De Oro.
She says the best places for students to look for jobs are nearby where they may already have a connection. That includes places like old summer camps they used to go to, local retail and restaurants, athletic camps, and tutoring.
However, students can earn more than just money at a job this summer.
“Any employment opportunity really helps students develop those skills that are so transferable once they actually kind of full-on commit to a career after college,” said Grano De Oro.
For students who are still struggling to pay for everything they need for college, Grano De Oro says it’s not too late to get extra financial aid, even if you’ve already paid for tuition or room and board.
She suggests connecting with the financial aid office to ask about other scholarships or grants they can apply for.
“So many students don’t realize that ongoing conversations with the financial aid office at their university are critical,” said Grano De Oro.
Experts say institutions often earmark extra funds for these types of requests.
Grano De Oro says financial aid offices are looking to help students and find reasons to retain them instead of turning them away over money.