Taking four classes, a full semester load, at Keene State College is considered a full-time job by some, but some students balance studying while working a job as well. 

There are many jobs available for students on campus, through work study as well as jobs off-campus in the town of Keene.

Some of these working students are paying for their college tuition themselves, others are working to cover living expenses and spending money.

College is expensive, as is affording a comfortable living. KSC student Jen Latvis said she works while studying because she is working on gaining independence.

“I work in order to afford living off-campus, independently from my parents. I love them but I don’t want to rely on them. So I guess it’s so that I can acclimate myself slowly to independent adulthood,” Latvis said.

Ryan Cathcart, a senior at KSC, said he works off campus about 15 hours a week.

“I need to pay for bills and I also try to save for future endeavors,” Cathcart said.

KSC provides many outlets for students who need help looking for work, according to the KSC official website.

For those eligible, KSC has a Federal Work Study Program, where students work an average of ten hours a week during the regular semester.

“Typical jobs are found in the library, department offices, gymnasium, student center and residence halls, in positions such as student assistant, library assistant, grounds crew, lifeguard, residence night attendant and intramural activities assistant,” as stated on KSC’s offical website.

These work study hours help students who need to work in order to afford college..

Allie Norman / Equinox Staff

Allie Norman / Equinox Staff

“I work on campus because I have work study,” Nick Gagliardi, a junior at KSC, said.

According to Gagliardi, he works about ten hours a week at Keene State for the Federal Work Study Program.

“The college is really good about helping me arrange my work schedule around my classes and studying,” Gagliardi said.

Shannon Summers, a student at KSC and also an athlete playing women’s soccer and diving for the women’s swimming and diving team, said she works both on campus and off.

“I work off-campus downtown. Downtown is convenient because it’s so close to campus and my apartment. I’m lucky enough to also have an on-campus job through ODS [note-taking],” Summers said.

For students ineligible for the Federal Work Study Program, there are still other on-campus employment opportunities with the same qualification standards.

The Cheshire Career and Advising Center at Keene State College also offers help to students seeking work.

Appointments are available for help with resume and cover letter writing, interview practicing and more.

There is also a program called JobWISE, where employers upload their job openings and opportunities, according to KSC’s website.

Working while in school is a balancing act. Students have to manage their time between classes, work and studying.

“It’s been difficult balancing school, work, club sports and my dwindling social life. And I still struggle to find energy and motivation to do homework after working a double. Or getting up early when all I want is to sleep in, leaving downtime as a rare commodity,” Latvis said.

Latvis continued, “Thankfully scheduling hasn’t been too difficult so far, but as I get deeper into my junior year my registration time proves to be more stressful, because I want to work and I want money but I sometimes need to remind myself why I’m in Keene in the first place. That’s probably the hardest part for me; remembering that I’m in school to get a good job, that my studies are expensive but I would be wasting my money that I work so hard for if I work too hard,” Latvis said.

“I planned my work availability around my class schedule so I can still go to all the classes. My work load varies from week to week. Sometimes I can have a really stressful week, but others I’m okay. Right now, I’m only taking three classes so that’s making it a little bit easier than semesters in the past,” Cathcart said.

“Work allows me to plan my schedule around classes and practice, which is actually very fortunate for me because I don’t have much free time as it is, so they’re very understanding when it comes to that,” Summers said.

Gagliardi added, “The hardest part is definitely having less time to study and do my homework. It’s do-able but can be stressful at times.”

These students are working to pay for college and earn enough to live, all while remembering that their education comes first and are here to earn their respective degrees. Keene State College offers services to help assist these students along the way. According to KSC’s official website, KSC strives for the idea of giving students the  “Wisdom to make a difference.”

While focusing on their education and still working a job and earning their way into the adult world, these students are pressed to make a difference in their own lives as well as using their knowledge in their working world, and using their skills in their classrooms.


Eleanor Marshall can be contacted at emarshall@keene-equinox.com

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