University of Washington Alumni Association
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Columns Votes - December 2006
Comments on Working and Going to School
My parents paid for the first couple of quarters and my attendance (and consequently grades) was poor. At that point I was on my own and worked two to three part-time jobs to pay expenses. I gained a greater respect for the dollar and took my education much more seriously.
I earned all the funds I needed by working during the summer and during Christmas and spring breaks. I did not work during the school year so my study time etc was not impacted.
Paying for college on my own forced me to be resourceful and manage my time. I chose to work for companies included a benefit of tuition reimbursement, which covered about 1/10 of my college tuition. My work experience made my education more relevant and more valuable to me than I think it would have been had I not had to earn it.
Balancing working for funds and difficult coursework lessened my ability to socialize during college but it made me proud that I contributed a little bit towards my educational costs.
Those who work their way through college have a better sense of the value of their education, learn better time management skills and are more ready to join the work force when they graduate. This is one of the things I look for on resumes when I’m hiring for open positions.
It was like I had two jobs: work and school. I rarely took part in any activities other than work, study and classes, and consequently I think I missed out on the kind of college experience others remember so fondly. It also prompted me to finish and get out as soon as I was able to do so.
It took me five years to get a degree, but every dollar was earned by me. No help, no loans, no aid. It taught me to work hard in life and that if I put my mind to it, I can accomplish great things. I also had a lot of relevant work experience on my resume when I graduated.
I worked my butt off to pay for school because I got really sick and was denied financial aid after my first quarter because I got bad grades from being sick. I commuted from Bothell and worked 30 hours a week to make it through. I feel like it wasn’t worth it.
I had to work to attend college, and yes it meant I couldn’t participate in other college activities, but in spite of it all, I am glad I attained my goal and got two degrees and because of that education I have lived a wonderful, varied life.
I was a first generation university student. My two parents worked full time and made too much for aid, and couldn’t support two of us at UW at the same time, so I found two jobs, worked both up until spring of my senior year, paid as I went, and cut out the college experience. Living at home, I learned to balance school and work, but it left no time for life on campus.
When I was an undergraduate (1965-1969) it was still possible to cover most of college expenses by working a little less than 20 hours a week during the school year and fulltime in the summers. Doing so had no appreciable effect on my studies or my ability to participate in college activities, but it did have a very positive effect on me. It made me learn how to budget my time, study efficiently, and to appreciate my college education all the more.
I worked full time, raised my daughter, and went slowly through school. I wish I had been able to focus more attention on school. I was not willing to take on a large debt.
When the student provides at least some financial self-support, the value of the education is magnified. To provide this self-support will be viewed as a burden while a student, but in later life will be viewed as a personal investment in their contentment and responsibility.
Stressing about working while trying to glean the most out of my college experience was definitely negative. It is one thing to work for extra money, it is another to truncate your time for studying just to get in enough hours to pay the bills.
Paying for school made me more resourceful and financially responsible.
Because I worked full time to pay for college, I was not able to be as involved on campus, or more involvement with certain classes (the few that had extra opportunities at the time). On the positive side, I learned (slowly) the self discipline required to get the school work completed, attend class, get to work, and still enjoy the social side of college years (although a bit too much of the social side). I felt pride that I was able to do this myself. This increased my self-confidence after graduation.
Being very busy with work and studies taught me how to prioritize my time. WHAT A VALUABLE LESSON!!!!
I worked my tail off to put myself through school without any help from family or friends. I truly believe it has made me a better person because of this experience. I never missed a class, however I know my grades would of been better if I didn’t have to work 40 hours a week.
I couldn’t afford to begin college until I worked one full year out of high school. Even then I couldn’t afford to live on or near campus. But with considerable determination I managed to earn the money to cover my costs of attending the University for four years and earning my bachelor’s degree cum laude. I believe that making it too easy gain entry to the University allows students in who lack the self discipline to succeed when the going gets tough, and ultimately degrades the quality of the education provided by the University. In other words, you don’t always get what you pay for.