BLOG: Admissions Director's Blog Class of 2026

Finding a job at CMU

Are you thinking of getting a job to help with your college expenses? More than 2,000 students are employed on our campus each academic year. It’s an excellent way to earn money while you gain work experience, make contacts, build future work references and have some spending money. 

What are the advantages to working on campus?

  • Your employer works around your class schedule.
  • Your job is within walking distance on campus.
  • You can start working as soon as you arrive on campus.
  • You get paid every two weeks, and there is no FICA withholding for our student workers, that means a bigger paycheck. 

What kind of jobs are there on campus?

There are a wide variety of positions available. Most jobs don’t require previous experience, but some do require that you do some specialized training once you’re hired. 

Students can work as laboratory attendants, clerks, cashiers, research aides, receptionists, computer assistants, food service workers and tutors to name a few. You can see a list of open positions on the Student Employment Services webpage.

You can also talk directly with a department about open positions related to your major or another area of interest you have. 

No matter how you get your on-campus job, paperwork must be completed in person at the Student Employment Services Office, 121 Bovee University Center, before your first shift. This is important. Without this paperwork, you can’t legally begin working on campus.

What is the difference between Work-Study and General Student Assistance jobs?

There are basically two different types of jobs on campus. The major differences are where the money to pay you is coming from and who is eligible.

Work-Study positions

  • These jobs are funded by the federal government, and you must have financial need as demonstrated by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for one.
  • You must file your FAFSA each year to qualify.
  • You can only earn up to the amount you are awarded. Student Employment Services can tell you how much that is, and it’s also in your financial aid portal.
  • You cannot use your Work-Study award for off-campus employment.

General Student Assistance positions

  • These jobs are funded through CMU department budgets, and you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • They are open to all students, including international students and students not qualifying for financial aid.
  • How much you earn in a GSA job is limited by the department’s budget.

What are the requirements to work on campus?

  • You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program at CMU.
  • You must be registered at least half time for the semester you would be working. International students must be registered full time.
  • You must follow the Hourly Limitation Policy set by CMU: You may work up to 40 hours per two-week pay period (international students may work 20 hours per week) in all your campus positions combined.
  • In the summer semester, all students may work up to 80 hours per pay period.

Can I work off campus?

Mount Pleasant has many of the big box stores you’re familiar with and local stores and businesses as well. Every semester students find jobs in the community, including through Student Employment Services’ Off-Campus Job Postings. Jobs found on this site are often helping local people with child care, lawn and home maintenance, and other part-time work. 

A couple things to remember: Off-campus jobs don’t qualify for Work-Study awards and are not part of General Student Assistance. Your paycheck is from your employer, and you will need to negotiate with them about time off for classes.

Finding a part-time job is a great way to help with your college costs and earn some spending money. Research indicates that students who work on campus 10-15 hours per week are more academically successful than those who don't work. Just be sure to be realistic about the number of hours you can work and still have time for your studies and other college activities. Yes, joining student organizations, taking part in sports and having time to meet new people and make new friends are all important parts of your college experience, too. 

Have a wonderful summer and keep up with your next steps.

Blog: Admissions Director's Blog Class of 2026 posted | Last Modified: | Author: by Jennifer DeHaemers, Vice President, Student Recruitment and Retention | Categories: Admissions
The views and opinions expressed in these blog pages are strictly those of the page author.