10 Worst Work-Study Jobs in College

Federal Work-Study gives you the opportunity to earn money from your institution of higher learning by working for individual departments on campus or off-campus agencies. In most cases, students get to select the jobs of their choice, so the chances you end up miserable during the several hours per week that you work are minimized. However, not every student makes the right choice, and some are at the mercy of their school’s financial aid department, which assigns them to a position. Below are some of the worst work-study jobs held by students. Sure, not everyone hates these positions, but to most, they tend to be either extremely boring, extremely laborious – more so than the pay would indicate – or below their skillsets.

Cafeteria Dish Washer

If you take a glance at these work-study positions posted at Ohio Northern University during 2009-10 academic year, you’ll notice there’s a need for cafeteria dishwashers. Contrast that position with a couple of the other positions listed – like Football Video Director and Football Videographer. If given a choice between the three, which would you eliminate first? Those who didn’t have the luxury of making such a choice had to endure – at worst – potentially backbreaking labor and mindless work. And they could’ve gotten the same job at their local chain restaurant without filling out a FAFSA and dealing with the financial aid office.


Telemarketing on campus usually involves soliciting donations from alumni in an effort to collect more money for the university. It’s a key component of fundraising and the never-ending arms race between schools to build their endowments. At Michigan State University, telemarketersare responsible for building relationships with MSU alumni from around the country. Essentially, they have to become salesmen and saleswomen. Although the school offers some appealing incentives for their telemarketers, it doesn’t change the fact that the job in general, regardless of the employer, is viewed as miserable work. Of course, some students are perfectly suited for such a position, but many others lack the energy to perform their duties amid hours of class time and studying.

Janitorial Services Assistant/Helper

There’s no shame in working in janitorial services, but after you’ve spent a few hours studying quantum physics, mopping the vomit off of the floor of a dorm lobby can be a bit of a letdown. The job won’t enhance your resume, which ought to look its best when you’re applying for jobs or grad school. Also, you can’t underestimate the physical exertion that comes with janitorial work. If you haven’t exercised since your junior year of high school, then your chances of survival in the position are slim.

Outdoor Maintenance

Ever driven across campus after gameday or any other major outdoor event? Did it look like the aftermath of an atomic bomb? Ever wondered how the campus became pristine again before the next school day? Many colleges employ students to assist in the cleanup. When they aren’t combing the campus for litter, they may assist with the upkeep and maintenance of other areas. This job – like the janitorial job – can be physically exhausting for the average student.

Library Assistant

The worst part about being a library assistant is the endless work that keeps you both bored and busy. For many students, tedious tasks like shelving books or checking books in and out for hours on end causes them to daydream about the more exciting work-study jobs they could’ve chosen. It’s the type of job that doesn’t fill your resume, build your skills or keep you at the edge of your seat.

Financial Aid Office Assistant

Financial aid departments aren’t usually known for their helpfulness and accessibility. So imagine what it’d be like to work for the same people who consistently lose your documents, fail to answer your questions and fail to prepare your financial aid package on time. And if you happen to make a mistake on the job, you’ll be just as bad as the rest of them, meaning you’ve likely caused another student to experience financial aid drama.

Registrar’s Office Assistant

There’s never a shortage of tedious work to be done in the registrar’s office – it handles student records, so lots of filing, faxing, scanning, label making, paper shredding and phone calls are involved. It’s the typical unexciting and unimpressive work that most students try to avoid when choosing a work-study job. If you’re trying to find a position in which you don’t have to work, keep looking.

Bus Driver

Although not as common as the aforementioned bad work-study jobs, bus drivingis a legitimate option for students at North Carolina State University. If you obtain your Class B Commercial Driver’s License and a couple of endorsements, you’ll be ready to transport hundreds of your closest college friends around the campus area. But steering and breaking a 12 ton vehicle while ensuring your passengers get to their destinations on time and intact can be quite stressful.

Teacher’s Aide at Child Development Center

It may seem like a pleasant job at first, but if you don’t have any real experience caring for children five years of age and younger, then you might be in over your head. Their behavior is characterized by emotional outbursts, resistance to authority and messiness, and you can’t rationalize with them. Sound like a bad roommate? Imagine that roommate 15 years younger.

Research Assistant for the Wrong Professor

“Wrong” in the sense that you were assigned to a professor who either has no interest in your presence, or works you like a mule. Just like in your classes, professors can be either intense when it comes to work or more relaxed. If they treat you like a legitimate coworker and expect top-notch work, then your $8 per hour salary isn’t nearly enough. If they think you’re too stupid to do anything, or if they’re simply aloof, you’ll spend your days twiddling your thumbs in boredom.

Article Courtesy of Best Colleges Online

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