University of Washington Alumni Association
Meet. Learn. Cheer. Travel. Act.
Columns Votes - December 2006
Comments on Working and Going to School
I started working when I was 14 and saved the money so I could go to the UW like my brothers.
I worked full-time and went to school half-time. This was the only way that I would be able to attend the university. I did not have any other sources of money to finance my education.
I had to work to pay my way. My parents helped with a few months rent in my senior year. Working took time away from studying, and there was no time for playing, but my work was directly related to my chosen field of nursing, and it was also a learning experience.
My parents paid my first year and I worked to pay the next eight. It made it take much longer than most, as I had to interrupt attendance to work several quarters (and to play). But I graduated with skills, independence, and no debt. The cost was much less then, so that strategy would be much harder these days.
I worked summers and saved the money starting in high school. Also, the first two years of college I worked a few hours a week in the library. My junior year I had a job as a paid soloist at West Seattle Baptist.
When you have to pay for something, either monetarily or with your time, you appreciate it more. By having to provide most of the funding for my time at the UW, it made me work that much harder on my educational goals.
Working adds to the educational experience in many ways, not the least in motivating one to graduate from hourly wage jobs!
Junior college (Yakima) on George Washington scholarship, books & tuition, lived with parents, worked in orchards for clothes and gas money. UW full time + worked at Washington Natural Gas drafting 28 hrs/wk. Grades suffered. Drafted. Finished UW after Army service with help of GI Bill (deferred Army pay). No UW social life, no fun! I am glad that I did not burden my low-income parents. They would have tried (Mom thought she could scrape together $50/mo.). I told them to save it until I was in a disaster financially. I never was, so eventually they spent it on themselves, which they really deserved. They made me strong and capable, and that got my college education paid for, although it took me 13 years to get that B.S. in civil engineering. I do not regret my college experience. I do sometimes resent the softer routes made available to today’s students.
Working full-time while attend UW full-time, and while raising a young family (two children), taught me many valuable time management lessons. My parents were unable to help me and I was told I did not qualify for financial aid since I had a full time job. I knew the value of obtaining an education, set my sights on it and just did it.
I would have finished school sooner if I had taken loans or earned a scholarship. I would have been able to take advantage of internship opportunities and school-related extracurricular activities, as well. I think this would have improved my college experience significantly, although I did have a great experience at UW, in spite of the limits on my involvement there.
I was either working, at school, or studying. It left little time to enjoy myself or my friends.
My only regret, is that I didn’t try harder to get more financial aid, so that I would be able to work less. I enjoyed my four years at the university, but I would have liked to experience more of the social side, rather than worry about getting to work after class.
SMA student unable to get research funding due to lack of program funding at the time. Had to get a job to be able to afford some living expenses which cut into study and research time to explore other topics.
A side-effect of not being more financially prepared for college was that I needed to work while going to school. This was both a blessing and a curse. It was good to learn early the discipline of balancing education and work, but I can also see it as a hindrance, as I was not able to completely devote my college time to learning and the college ‘experience’.
Pride in paying for it myself. Developed social ties at work, but possibly at the cost of on-campus relationships. Don’t think grades would have improved materially if I didn’t work while attending school.
I worked first, saved hard, and then paid for school with my savings. During college, I only worked a little in the summers and with internships to help out.
I think paying for college helps you be more serious about studying and taking ownership of your education.
Working put my newly learned skills to work immediately, solidifying key principles. It also allowed me to network while in school, which led to immediate hire after graduating!
I think that it was more difficult to work and go to school. I feel that I could have gotten better grades had I not had the financial need to work, even with financial aid.
I mostly worked through college. I would have liked to have time to focus more on school and other UW activities as well as the overall college experience. But worrying about the bills gave me an incentive to complete by B.A. in less than four years!