University of Washington Alumni Association
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Columns Votes - December 2006
Comments on Working and Going to School
It was quite difficult to work full time and attend classes. I would not recommend this route for others. In fact, I’m not sure that young people could do it the same way today (I’m not sure there are the work/school opportunities). On balance, the experience was both positive and negative—so, I gave it a neutral rating.
My work experience helped me decide my major. Loans seemed palatable when considered a tax on the future increased earnings afforded by a degree.
My husband and I, AND both of our daughters worked to pay for their four-year educations. Builds character! Teaches individual responsibility.
Everyone NEEDS to work to learn what is valuable! My education is more precious because I had to work for it. I appreciate it more!!
In the late ’60s the cost of attending UW was significant, but not beyond the amount a student could earn from a relatively good paying summer job. As in most things in life, having to use my own money for my education made me more serious about getting good value, something that might not have been so important if someone else was funding it. Not being dependent on my parent’s checkbook gave me a sense of freedom and allowed me to choose a direction without having to get their approval.
I worked from 20-24 hours a week. Had to do that or borrow money. But I’m so glad I didn’t borrow any money, even though it meant less networking with colleagues and fewer social events. I could not devote all my energy to school, but had to learn to prioritize which is not a bad life skill.
I am proud of myself that I was able to get through college financially without relying on my parents. I think it made me appreciate the college experience more and work harder than a lot of my classmates who were funded by their parents.
I have a lot of pride from working my way through college, but I missed a lot due to the lack of time to get as involved with student activities as I would have liked. With that being said, I did participate in student government, intramural sports, and clubs, but it was very difficult to commit the time that was really necessary.
I think that if I hadn’t been working full time, I would have gone two more years for my master’s degree.
Fortunately tuition was only $75 per quarter when I started. I lived at home and was a commuter but was still able to partake in lots of activities. There was a little more determination to succeed when even part of the money was coming from your own pocket.
It was difficult working and studying but my college education and my career have been important and meaningful events in my life and have given me a sense of accomplishment.
I value my work experience at the UW medical school (urology) because it was in an area outside my academic study and allowed me to meet some wonderful people I never would have met otherwise.
I didn’t qualify for financial aid because it was based on my parents’ income. Since I didn’t receive money from my parents, I had to work to cover my tuition.
It would have been tremendously helpful for me to have more study and work time if I did not have to worry so much about tuition and fees and could have avoided so much financial aid as well.
Work, while giving a sense of responsibility (and cash!) impeded my true purpose of achieving an education. If I worked, I would have been better served working in my field or volunteering in school related activities...if I could afford it.
A “catch 22” no time to study because of work, can’t get scholarship because of mediocre grade point average, have to work to survive. There was little in life for four years except work and class.
I worked all the way through college and therefore missed out on all “college life” and grew up way too fast. I’m grateful for the business experience I gained, but feel I could have really benefited in similar ways from internships. I missed out on what cannot be replaced—childhood.
In working (off campus) to finance my education, I managed to graduate debt-free. However, I would not say that I had a “college experience” per se. I spent no extra time on campus and participated in no extra-curricular activities. I’m not sure the trade-off was worth it. In addition to a severe shortage of “memories” I did not avail myself of the opportunity to foster relationships that withstood life after class.