Costly tuition causes students to seek employment

With community college tuition on the rise, job listings through the career center are a resource in easing students’ financial burden.

The career center, located in building 25, offers assistance in finding a job through student employment, the work study program, and internships.

Students seeking employment or career path help can come to the career center and check the job listings board, make an appointment to speak with a career center professional, or get a referral for a career workshop.

The job listings board is updated every week on Fridays and features both on and off campus employers.

South Puget Sound Community College student Natalie LeClerc checked the job listings board multiple times and was no stranger to the career center.

She is currently working for the student bookstore and highly enjoys working on campus. LeClerc recommends looking for student employment.

SPSCC “always [has] opportunities open for students,” said LeClerc.

Although the career center provides many resources, it doesn’t act as a placement agency except with work study, according to SPSCC Director of Career Services Corinne Daffern.

For both on-campus student employees and work study the maximum number of hours you can work weekly is 19. This is due to federal tax law.

“I think it could supplement tuition, but it’s definitely not a livable wage,” said Daffern when referring to student employment.

According to SPSCC student Jamie Zerr, it can be “hard to find a balance” between her work life and academics.

Zerr is a full time student and recognizes that tuition increases may create further difficulty for her and her mother. Currently Zerr is responsible for half of her tuition costs and her mother pays for the remainder.

Zerr is content as of now with her work situation. Even though her paycheck goes towards tuition she earns spending money through tips.

SPSCC international student, Rogelio Rendon, receives all the money for his tuition from his parents.

Rendon said that he felt sorry for his parents due to the higher price of non-citizen tuition in addition to tuition hikes in Washington.

When taking between 1 and 10 credits, resident tuition is about $95 per credit. For students who are not a resident or U.S. citizen, tuition is about $267 per credit.

Students who receive financial aid are chosen through that program to participate in work study as another tool to further decrease their financial burden. They are then placed into positions by the career center.

Work study is set up on both the state and federal level. State work study students work on campus, while federal work study students work off campus. There are approximately 20 students working off campus through work study, and 25 working on campus.

According to Daffern, work study eligibility is completely determined through financial aid, unlike other student employment positions.

There are approximately 200 to 250 non work study student employees working on campus.
The career center also prepares students for interviews with on-campus career workshops. Career preparedness is “the deciding factor between somebody who gets a job when they graduate and somebody who doesn’t,” said Daffern.

Career center services at SPSCC place students in both paid and unpaid internship programs. Internships can give students insight into certain fields and allow them to expand their career network for an increased chance of employment.

“The internship program is unique because it’s a credit bearing program. So students enroll in an internship and it’s reflected on their transcripts,” said Daffern.

Students looking for work have varying needs from those who can only work along the lines of 10 hours a week to those who require full-time employment, she said.

According to Daffern, student employees can enlist help with being taught how to go about looking for a second job.

For more from the career center, including job and internship listings, visit their Facebook page at