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Paying your way

Part-time work, full-time work, and scholarships are just a few ways that students manage debt. The following are student experience and tips on how several Memorial students are managing their student debt.

Stephen Foley - (Get) pay as you go (to university)

Stephen is a third-year student who found an alternative way of dealing with student debt – he joined the Canadian Forces Army Reserve where he holds the rank of corporal. With the assistance of the military, he is pursing a xxx degree. He was offered an education reimbursement program that paid for his schooling and will allow him to graduate with no student debt.

Question: How did you manage the extra responsibility of work as a full-time student?

“For the most part, I don’t have any problem balancing my employment with the military and my school work. I usually prepare for school ahead of time so that I can keep my commitment to the military. If anything, the military has helped me learn how to manage my study time better so that I can work regularly.”

“However if my school and work schedules clash, the military is very accommodating in helping me to balance my commitments – especially when it comes to family or school.”

Tip: Joining the Canadian Forces Army Reserve can be a good way to support yourself during your university career, while learning time management and other valuable skills.

Paul Brothers – Turning a tip into a university education

A fourth-year business student at Memorial, Paul manages his expenses while attending university in a variety of ways. He uses student loans to help him pay for his tuition, but relies on his part-time work as a waiter and bartender to cover the other costs.

Question: Have you found alternatives to borrowing to help pay for your university education?

“Yes, I work at Fog City as a waiter and at the Attic as a bartender. I find that, with gratuities, I can make much more money and work fewer hours. I have been in the service industry for a number of years and have found employers pretty good at accommodating work and school schedules.”

Tip: Part-time work, particularly in the service industry where gratuities are common, can provide income to subsidize your post-secondart eudcation. The jobs also generally come with flexible hours.

Sherry Wyse - Get a degree – and a job – at university

Sherry is a third-year Arts student and is in her fifth year of studies at Memorial. Sherry has lived in residence for most of her university life and decided to use the resources close to home to help pay for her education. As an active part-time employee with MUNSU, she was able to earn money and make a difference in the university. She has also sought part-time work through the university’s career experience (MUCEP) program, which she says gives her the flexibility to work on-campus between classes and assignments, meet new people and gain valuable work experience in jobs on campus that relate to her interests.

Question: How did you manage the extra responsibility of work as a full-time student?

“I found that finding jobs that are with the university worked best for me. They give me a flexible schedule and I don’t have to worry about transportation since its already on campus. Plus the pay is good! It also looks great on a resume that I have had a relevant job (with MUCEP) for a number of years.”

Tip: On-Campus jobs through MUCEP (Memorial’s Undergraduate Career Experience Program) offer students diverse experiences to get experience in their fields of study and earn competitive wages.

Sara Tully – Turning learning into teaching – and dollars

Sara, a fourth-year biology student completing her honours bachelors degree in biology, works as a teaching assistant for first-year biology courses. Having a job on-campus has allowed her to easily schedule work in the lab around her classes. Working in her academic department has also allowed her to network with faculty and staff while gaining hands-on experience in her field.

Question: How are you funding your university education?

“I have a part-time job during the school year, including teaching assistantships, and full- time employment during the summer.”

Tip:Find a job on campus that relates to the field that you are studying. By being a teaching assistant, you can put you learning to work to help others and gain financial reward.

Christina Kearney – Flexible learning pays dividends

Christina, a third-year business student, started university with student loans but decided to pay them off by finding a part-time job during the semester and a full-time job in the summers. She found that taking distance courses allows her to work more paid employment during the semester and finish her studying on her own time.

Question: How did you manage the work and school challenge?

“I learned to be time efficient and also took some distance courses so that I was able to balance my school schedule, which I could fit in anytime, with my work schedule. Time management is very important with distance courses, since you work on your own schedule, but once you get a hang of it it’s a great solution for students who have to work part-time. “

Tip: Taking distance courses – even if you are taking some on-campus courses -- can help provide more flexibility in your schedule to accommodate employment or other income-generating activitiessuch as operating your own small business.