More than three-quarters of students take a job to help offset college costs, according to a 2017 report from Sallie Mae.
But working your way through college is quickly becoming a thing of the past. A part-time, minimum wage job would cover tuition and fees (not counting room and board) at just 2.8% of colleges, spread across 41 cities, Elyssa Kirkham reports for Student Loan Hero.
The website recently studied the feasibility of working your way through college by comparing local minimum wages to costs at more than 1,500 U.S. colleges. For their calculations, researchers estimated how much a student could earn by working at minimum wage for 15 hours per week, which they determined to be “the number of hours most often recommended to work without undermining academic performance.”
Then, the researchers compared their estimates of student earnings in each city to the average tuition and fees of all the colleges in that city, based on the most recent survey of college costs from Peterson’s.
Cities tended to rank high if they have a relatively high minimum wage and if local colleges have tuition and fees significantly lower than the national average, Kirkham reports.
Here are the top 15 cities on the list:
- Cheney, Washington
- Adelphi, Maryland
- Hays, Kansas
- Rexburg, Idaho
- Olympia, Washington
- Turlock, California
- Dalton, Georgia
- Seaside, California
- St. Clairsville, Ohio
- Zanesville, Ohio
- Durango, Colorado
- Brunswick, Georgia
- Tempe, Arizona
- Ellensburg, Washington
- Arcata, California
(Kirkham, Student Loan Hero, 8/7).
See also: One in four students work full-time—and study full-time, too