Why Your College Student Should Work

Is your teen balking at the idea of working during college? Are they worried it will hurt their GPA? Do they say it is unfair they have to work because other students will not? Wrong! Here are five reasons why  many college students consider getting a job.

Students Who Work Take College More Seriously
Research shows that students who are given a free education by their parents tend to get lower grades. The logic is quite simple. Students who don’t invest in their own education don’t take it as seriously. Students who have to put time effort into paying some of the costs of education have “skin in the game” and they work harder. The research also finds it is vitally important for parents to communicate their expectations for student academic performance. When parents pay for the full cost of education and don’t set any expectations for work or grades students do not perform well.

Students Need the Money
With skyrocketing college costs, most students find they need to work. A typical ten to fifteen hour a week minimum wage job may allow a student to bring home $80 to $100 a week. That money can help pay for incidental expenses and may be saved for books for the next semester. Students receiving financial aid should expect to find that work study employment is a part of their budget. It is important for parents to understand though that with the rise in the cost of tuition and a reduction in the value of wages for entry level jobs it is no longer realistic for students to work their way through a four year college. Student earnings are important but rarely will students make enough to make any meaningful dent in tuition costs.

Student Work Encourages Time Management
Research suggests that students who work between one and twenty hours a week get higher GPAs. Student work encourages students to learn valuable job skills as well as learning skills like time management. Be aware the research also finds there is a point where student work becomes too much. Students working too many hours a week can lower grade point average.  Over 15 of 20 hours of work just doesn’t allow adequate time for studying.

Work Encourages Good Budgeting
The regular reminder of hourly earnings helps putting spending into perspective. You are much less likely to blow $5 on a Starbucks coffee when you know it took you 45 minutes to earn that money. Students who are shielded from the consequences of their spending may expect an unrealistic lifestyle and will have more difficulty with budgeting when they graduate from college.

Resume Building
Students who work during college may gain valuable job skills and insight into their future career options. Working very hard at a minimum wage job can serve as motivation to do well in school to improve future earnings. Many campus work study jobs also provide the opportunity to begin to develop skills that may help a student gain employment in the increasingly competitive job market.

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