In the current economic climate today’s students are facing a myriad of problems and a set of dilemmas such as how to pay, how many jobs, how many hours to work, how to pay for car expenses and credit bills, how to manage both family and dependants and how to effectively balance these all important responsibilities while remaining on their toes in the classroom. This paper highlights the challenges faced by employed students in the United States.
The first challenge is in meeting the soaring costs of education and living in the United States. Students who are employed so as to raise their college fees and general upkeep are reacting to the rising costs by working more hours and taking several jobs to support themselves. While some form of employment is not harmful for the college student and while on-campus jobs may connect the student positively with the college experience, overworking may limit productivity in other areas. It is obvious that the more the number of hours spent working, the less the amount of time that will be spent studying. In addition, the fatigue associated with overworking may hamper the student’s receptiveness to academic material. This implies that eventually, their grades are affected and their graduation chances are affected negatively.
The second challenge is the lack of financial support. With the rising tuition fees and the cost of living in the United States, it has become very difficult for students from poor financial backgrounds to support their education with employment alone. These students need to combine what they earn with the funds allocated to them through financial aid programs so as to handle the financial burden adequately. Consequently, students are faced with the problem of risking their academic performance by working for an extra number of hours because they cannot access financial aid. Getting full or partial scholarships has become increasingly difficult with the increase in the number of student enrolments in colleges and universities. Reviewing financial aid support programs will give employed college students a better shot at graduating.
The third challenge faced by the working student in the United States is lack of support from the college administration and curriculum. Many colleges regard employment for their students as being more of a distraction than a support system. With the increase in the number of working students, colleges and higher education institution should offer support to working students by developing favorable curricula and counseling services to students. Institutions may also work towards making paid employment of students be part of their intellectual development that not only increases their cognitive abilities but also builds their professionalism. This will not only help the students manage to juggle between academics and work but also improve the retention levels for employed students in the United States.
Working college students in the United States are exposed to a myriad of problems that make the prospect of graduating successfully seem quite daunting. The current global economic climate has led to the increase in the cost of living as well as in tuition costs for tertiary education. This has resulted in students having to work an extra number of hours so as to meet their tuition and other financial obligations. Secondly, lack of financial aid to supplement the available pay from employment has also contributed to the challenges. Colleges may help students overcome these challenges by reviewing their financial aid packages and offering non-financial support to employed students. After all, the reality is that most students have to be employed so as to finance their college tuition.