No one should have to “work their way through college.” No one.

If a college education is important, both for individual life opportunities and for society as a whole, then it deserves every student’s full attention. School work is work. It’s a full-time job. One of the biggest flaws in our current higher ed system is that it forces students to take on a second (or third!) job that distracts them from their school work and keeps them from getting the maximum benefit from their one chance to go to college.

To positively require that students perform non-academic work in order to be able to go to college is both absurd and cruel. It takes the worst part of our already dysfunctional system and enshrines it in law. The only work requirement for financial aid should be satisfactory progress on school work, which is — as highly educated presidential candidates should be well aware — work.

8 thoughts on “No one should have to “work their way through college.” No one.

  1. Amen, but what’s this about? “Financial aid work requirement” in Google News yielded me nothing. I’m sure there’s something I should have heard of, but what is it?

  2. I was very fortunate to get an assistantship when I went to grad school that meant tuition was covered. It required a full course load and 20 hours of work. You weren’t supposed to have an outside job along with this, but I told my advisor “No job means no school for me”. He decided to help me out by letting me do ten hours a week and keep my outside job.

    This led to me being at either school or work from 7am to 10pm every day except Friday, when it was just 7 am to 6pm. And when I came home, I always had something to either read or write, so I’d go to bed between 12 and 1am, usually. Whenever I wasn’t reading or writing, I had a crushing sense of falling behind. I didn’t read anything leisurely when I was in grad school because it felt like a waste of time since I should be reading this or that article. I know other people probably have worse stories. Hell, I’ve spoken to people who had it far worse and had to do all this while worrying about money more than I had to.

    But that schedule was hell and was terrible for my physical and mental well being. I suspect a lot of people are going to read this and think, “No kidding. Welcome to my world except for the no tuition thing.” But when I think back on that time and consider somebody is considering mandating something like that bonkers schedule? It’s setting kids up to fail or at the very least hate school, work, themselves or possibly all three.

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