Numbering Crunching the Benefits
When considering an academic career, you need to look closely at the fringe benefits offered by the institution. Here are a few that are unique to university employment.
Paid Tuition - One of the largest monetary benefits of working for a college is free tuition for yourself and your family. Because many colleges have formed coalitions that offer reciprocity among member institutions, you could have several choices of where to send your children tuition free. Each institution has its rules on eligibility, but the benefit has a staggering wealth effect for any college employee who qualifies. In 2010, the average cost to attend a public institution for four years was $33,300 and for a private institution it was $118,400. In 18 years, these costs are expected to rise to $95,000 and $340,800, respectively, as college cost drivers continue to escalate.
Sporting Events - If you are an avid college sports fan, then working at a university may be your dream job. Tickets to college games are often available at substantial discounts for faculty and staff (up to 40 to 50 percent on the purchase of the first four tickets). You will also have greater access to observe team practices and the chance to volunteer your services in the athletic office.
Cultural Events - For those seeking to enrich their cultural experiences, universities offer a plethora of cultural events, including plays, music concerts, film festivals, and symposiums. With discounts averaging around 25 percent, universities offer more affordable paths for employees to enrich their lives through the arts.
Meal Services - With meals provided on campus three times a day and usually twice a day on weekends, faculty and staff can partake of all you can eat meals at discounts that average around 25 percent. Some universities even extend these discounts to retired college employees.
Athletic Facilities - Faculty and staff have year round access to some of the best athletic facilities in their communities for free or at a substantial discount to comparable fitness centers. When you consider that the average gym membership is around $30 per month, the savings spanning a college career can be impressive. In addition, college employees can take fitness or instructional classes to get in shape or learn a new sport. Need a massage to unwind from a busy day? Some college campuses include this amenity as part of their wellness program.