SHOULD kids work while in college?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by rbell, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. rbell

    rbell
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    From another thread in this realm of the forum:

    This has nothing to do with HAC...but rather a goal of "the student not having to work."

    When I counsel parents of prospective college students, and the students themselves, I will usually encourage them to work. Why?
    • Let's face it: we're wired to work. It's what man has been doing since God built the garden. And a 19 year-old is certainly old enough IMO to get going in that area, in most cases.
    • In my experience & observations (21 years in student ministry), most students do better when they have to work some. Obviously, there's a "tipping point" in which time cruches, fatigue, etc. will begin to hurt, not help. But a work schedule often forces one to manage one's time better. I know I was a better student when working than when I didn't.
    • It prepares a student for "real life" sooner...it helps avoid what has become a concern to many: the prolonging of adolescence into the mid-twenties....or later.
    • When a student works, it means that they can assist in paying for their education, which usually IMO causes them to value it more. You value something you buy more than when something is simply given to you.
    • When paired with some good money management skills (another soapbox of mine), it helps students avoid "stupid debt" that puts them financially on the wrong foot right off the bat.
    I do have some caveats to this suggestion:
    • Obviously, some folks are more ready to work more hours than others. A student who is just barely able to do the work must be very careful about overload. But I don't think there's that many of these.
    • There are a very few majors in which the coursework is so demanding that work is difficult. But, as one who was for much of my college career a chemical engineering/computer science double-major, I can attest that there are very few courses of study (IMO) to which that applies.
    • When one gets into internship/residency issues, that can obviously preclude work.
    Anyway...a lot of post, and now ya'll discuss:
    • Do you think it's a good idea for most college students to work? Why or why not?
    • (taking into account the wide varieties of students/workloads, etc.)...What's a good weekly amount of hours for one to work?
    • Should some of a student's check help pay for expenses (whether it be books, tuition, room/board, etc.), or should it be "their money?"
    Talk to me. :thumbs:

    EDIT: I did not mean to sound critical of SFmama...God has called her, not me, to raise her daughter. If she bathed that decision in prayer and was led that way, so be it. I simply used her example because it served as a good "jumping off spot" for said discussion.
     
    #1 rbell, Aug 11, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  2. Jim1999

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    Nil sine labore....Nothing without labour.

    I held a pastorate throughout my schooling of some 12 years. It didn't seem to hurt either me physically, or my education, and I graduated debt free.

    Both my daughters held jobs throughout college years; one in accounting, the other in medicine. They graduated debt free, and often thank us that we didn't just pay their way.

    I think there are many benefits to working one's way through school, and a lot of pitfalls for not working.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. exscentric

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    We could not pay for our kids college, all three worked their way through. One four years and two for two years.

    I think there is much more appreciation of what they have accomplished if they work.

    A small side note to this, should husbands work while in college if their wife is working?

    Yes, rather up to the couple but a story to consider. My wife worked full time as did I when I was in one year of my schooling. She rode the bus home from work and there were two other student wives that rode with her. Often they were in tears because their husbands were not working, not helping with the house work and usually out playing football with other nonworking guy students in the apartment complex. :tonofbricks:
     
  4. menageriekeeper

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    Whaddya mean "kids". When I was in college I was considered an adult. Adults work.

    I may help my kids with their college expenses, but it will mainly be up to them. This is something I have prepared them for so mine won't be expecting a college handout.

    Matter of fact, this is a topic of conversation in our house at the moment. My oldest is a junior in highschool and her "fella" is a senior planning on attending a college several hundred miles away. Guess where my darling thinks she needs to go??? :rolleyes:

    If she stays here, she can attend the major university my husband works for at a highly discounted price and live at home. But she's in l:rolleyes:ve and how dare I squash her hopes? (where's the gagging smily?)

    Well, the fact of the matter is, I'm not responsible for her college education anymore than my parents were responsible for mine (and yes, I have one and I paid for every penny of it). She's a smart kid, she'll figure it out.

    This whole parents must pay for college is a lie propagated by the liberal's in this country who have grown up with a sense of entitlement and believe everyone else should have one too. Gives a whole new meaning to the term sixth sense.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    Yes. Even if it is only a few hours a week.

    But then, I didn't work until I was a sophomore. I was learning about life as a freshman.

    Needing gas money was a good motivator for me to work.
     
  6. Joe

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    Excellent post :thumbs:
    Imo, under most circumstances, high school is the best time to get a job. Even a small amount of hours per week teaches this.
    Instill the work ethic in them while they are young, It is often a harder lesson to learn as they get older.
     
    #6 Joe, Aug 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2008
  7. Joe

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    Whoa! :eek: what is this?
     
  8. rbell

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    It's right here:



    [​IMG]

    :D



    Seriously, good responses, all. It's heartening to hear of talk such as responsibility.
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    From personal experience I can say that when my folks paid my school bill my first year of college I pretty much goofed off. When I started working to pay the bill myself the second year for some reason school became much more important and my grades improved.

    Amazing, huh?:laugh:
     
  10. Mexdeaf

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    Sounds like you need a professional 'breaker-upper'. :laugh:
     
  11. kfinks

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    Having just paid tuition yesterday for my youngest who is a freshman this fall at the local community college, this is fresh on my mind. Here are my thoughts in random order.

    1. I feel no moral obligation to help with tuition. It is a gift.
    2. I have placed a maximum limit on the amount I am willing to pay. (15 hours per semester at the local community college plus an allowance for books, followed by the cheaper of the two local universites for the last two years). If she wants to go off to a different university, she will pay the difference.
    3. She will pay for her own books over the above allowance.
    4. She has to work enough to cover her other expenses (her portion of the cell phone bill, gas, misc.)
    5. She has to put $50/month into her Roth IRA.
    6. If she makes a D, I will not pay for the following semester. She will have to do so, and only then will I start paying again.
    7. There will be no student loans under any circumstances. No need for her to start out in the red.


    Harsh? Maybe. But so is life. Doing tough things now in a relatively controlled environment will prepare her to do tougher things later.

    She has scheduled all of her classes Mon-Thru and to be completed before noon, allowing plenty of time to get enough hours in at work, study, and have a little time for the young man that keeps hanging around my house and eating my food.:rolleyes:
     
  12. bapmom

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    Hi :)

    I absolutely believe kids should work while in college.
    That being said, I wanted to clarify just a bit about the plan that sort of sparked this conversation. Because of the area of the country where that particular college is located the Freshmen coming in were able to get secular jobs that started at 30,000 a year - that's more then the starting pay of a church staff member. Whoo!

    Plus the plan only covers the first two years - the students must find a job to pay for their last two years. And during those first two years they are kept busy in ministry requirements.

    Thing is, this college has been criticized before for overworking their students - and really it was justly deserved criticism. It used to be routine for the students to get one or two hours of sleep over a weekend, because not only did they have to hold down a job, they also had to work many hours on the bus routes Saturday and Sunday. How many men in the ministry actually do that each week of the year? I should hope there weren't any - it's just not right.

    With this plan they won't be killing themselves working nights, and the bus route time can be a productive part of a hands-on learning experience rather than burning them out and making them hate the ministry before they even graduate.

    So yes, I think it would be a bad idea to have kids just sit on their hands and have someone else pay for their education. I've seen kids who had their way paid for and they never took their college seriously. But I also don't think they should have to work to the point of breaking down from exhaustion. So if there can be a balance struck than I'm all for it.

    I know of some parents who will pay for either room/board OR tuition, but the student must pay for the other. I think that's a good idea too. The Jericho plan we were discussing is just one college's sort of experimental way to see if they can help the serious kids stay and really learn the ministry without killing themselves in their first years.
     
  13. Sunflowermama

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    Very well said.
    My daughter would have worked off her room and board while my husband and I paid for her tution and other fees. She has a part time job lined up for the summer so she can pay back anything covered by her father and I. The Jericho plan is a blessing to me and my husband because it is really hellping us out. Yes it is only for two years. the student enters into an agreement with the school. For those who are curious you'll need to go to the college site and see the details.
     
  14. Jimmy C

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    To me it depends on the number of hours the child is taking and thier major.

    I would say that most kids need the structure of a job as there is alot of down time in college if they are taking 12-15 hours. If a kid ramps that up to 18 hours or more it makes it tough to study especially in those weeks that they have multiple tests. Some majors are also tougher than average (bio medical sciences/engineering etc). The normal coursework is amazingly difficult, plus labs etc making it hard. Now if they are one of the very lucky ones that can find jobs that are not taxing - and allow them to study on the job - then go for it. I know of one kid who managed a self storage facility - that was a fantastic job - not much traffic, plenty of time to study on the job. during my daughters undergrad she worked at a coffee shop - they would tipically have a rush every so often, but she also had time to study.

    My daughter is about to start a masters progam - with the number of hours required and the difficulty of the program, there is no way that she will be able to work.
     
  15. StefanM

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    Agreed. I took 18 hours one semester, and if I had a job at that time, I would have had to choose between studying and sleep. Of course, I had a full scholarship that required a high GPA, so it was in my best interest to ensure that I did my best. A part-time job at KFC would not be worth losing 40k in scholarship money.

    For about a month my freshman year, I had a job at McDonalds, but they only worked me in very short shifts during the evening rush. What that meant was that I could not eat in the cafeteria (which was paid for), so I had to buy fast food or microwave every night (no kitchen in my dorm). It was a wash in the end, so I didn't stay. Where I went to college, it was very, very hard to get a decent part-time job. It was a rural, economically depressed area. Unless you were willing to work almost any shift, including just about every Sunday, you didn't get a job. Most of the people who had jobs at my school were locals who kept their jobs they got via connections in high school. The only other options were about 45 minutes away and minimum wage. It especially wouldn't be worth it now to burn a few gallons of gas just to work a few hours for minimum wage.

    I was called to a church in my fourth semester, and I held that position until after I finished.
     
    #15 StefanM, Aug 12, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2008
  16. rbell

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    Bible colleges that work kids to the point of sacrificing necessary sleep are abusive, and are not helping grow the Kingdom as much as they are centers for burnout.

    There's a middle ground to be found...thankfully, I believe the institutions that push beyond a healthy limit are growing fewer in number.
     
  17. StefanM

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    I agree. If God wanted us to be working 20 hours a day, he would have created us to require less sleep.
     
  18. sag38

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    I don't know about anyone else but I had no choice but to work. It should be the same for most kids. How else will they learn to better appreciate the degree they have and the work required to earn it and to pay for it?
     
  19. Karen

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    rbell and mk,
    I have one in college and one about to start. You make lots of good points, but you come down a little bit too strongly that your way is the right way.

    As StefanM, among others, pointed out, there are innumerable variables.

    Our oldest got very nice scholarships that required a very high GPA to continue. He has also worked very hard in the summers. But it paid in an ultimate sense for him not to have a 20-40 hour job during the school year.
    We have helped to the extent that we could and then some and have considered it our joy and responsibility to do so. What other people consider their responsibility is their business.
    But I dispute the notion that a part-time job during the school year means a mature, responsible adult and that not having such a job means I am encouraging a deadbeat. Hasn't happened in my family.

    There is also nothing wrong with an appropriate amount of student loans, in the right circumstances.
    For example, an extra year of working part-time to not have student loans versus graduating timely and getting started in the chosen career can actually be quite costly over-all.

    It is important to have good tax advice on this issue. If you plan to claim your college-age child as a dependent, you can get a nice tax credit the first couple of years, followed by a tuition deduction in succeeding years.
    But their ability to get grants, etc., is then based on your income.

    Claiming them as a dependent while not really helping them financially would not quite be fair to them, in my opinion.
     
  20. menageriekeeper

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    No, no, no!! I've about got this one trained the way I want him except for the whole college thing! (meaning he's too scared of Taekwondo Mom to try anything with my daughter!!! :D )

    Ah, but if you had a full scholarship that required you to study hard you WERE working!

    And so my children have been told. You get a good scholarship, you go where you want. They'll have earned it, not had it handed to them on a platter. They'll have to keep earning it or they'll lose it. Not all work is job related.

    I believe families should be very conservative in their use of student loans and very very careful who they borrow from. Student loans can be a big shocker to a graduate in their first job who never really realized just how big a chunk those loan payments were going to take out of their paycheck and for how long. Ask me how I know. :eek:

    This is good advice. Grants and certain student loans have all sorts of different requirements and different effects on one's taxes.

    But if the parents aren't helping them, then the student could claim themselves as a deduction and the parents would have no recourse.

    Then again, if I am providing housing, food and clothing to a child still living at home while attending college (which if she goes local I will be doing), am I not "helping financially"? Expecting her to work a bit to help out with her own expenses is hardly going to be her downfall.
     

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