was a time when students could work their way through
college and end up with a four-year degree and no debt.
But not anymore.
have to work, but itís not going to pay for
college," said Anthony Carnevale, director of
Georgetown Universityís Center on Education and the
while all students have it tough, the report found that
disadvantaged college students with jobs are in an even
more precarious situation because too often they take
full-time jobs that interfere with their chances of
launching a better career later.
students, especially low-income African-Americans and
Hispanics, experience the worst effect of working during
college, said the report, which came out this week. They
work full time because theyíre afraid of taking loans,
and consequently their studies suffer, they donít have
time to complete an internship that would help them
after college and their dropout rate is high.
problems for many working students are the amount of
time spent working, the types of jobs they take and the
pay they earn.
the 1970s, Carnevale said, male students could make
enough in a summer job at a factory or doing physical
work to pay for college. Female students did not have as
many options. Factory and other high-paying summer jobs
began to disappear in the 1980s, and college costs began
to skyrocket. In the last decade, the cost of attending
college has climbed 56 percent, more than double the
half of working students are in food services and sales
ó jobs with flexibility to allow studies but with
minimum-wage pay, Carnevale found. Earning $15,080 a
year is below the poverty level and canít come near
covering the annual costs of tuition, fees, housing,
food and transportation.
to College Board data, the average cost of attending a
state university in a studentís home state totaled
$23,400 for the 2014-15 school year. Private colleges
were running about $46,300.
Carnevale found, about 40 percent of undergraduates work
at least 30 hours a week while also taking out loans to
pay for college.
are maxed out, and parents are maxed out," he said.
"Iím not sure how much more they can take."
by other researchers have shown that some kind of job
during college is useful to students, and Carnevale
noted that 85 percent of students who depend on their
parents for financial support work at least part time.
According to the studies, moderate amounts of work
reduce borrowing and can teach students to manage their
time and excel more at school. A previous study done by
professors Lauren Dundes and Jeff Marx of McDaniel
College in 2006 indicated that students who work less
than 15 to 20 hours typically report higher grades in
college than those who donít work.
working more than that can exhaust students, interfere
with their studies and lead to high dropout rates,
concerns that Carnevale says are not adequately
explained to students. Most importantly, he said,
students who work full time donít have the leeway in
their schedules to get the types of internships that
will advance their careers after college.
internships are becoming essential, he said, and highly
selective colleges are competing by promoting
internships related to their studentsí fields of
study. Research by the Economic Policy Institute found
that half of college seniors have completed internships,
and graduates with paid internships receive starting
average annual salaries of $52,000, while those without
internships started jobs after college at $37,000,
also found that 63 percent of college graduates with a
paid internship received job offers, compared with 35
percent of graduates who had no internship.
encouraged students to consider taking out more loans
rather than working too much. At the same time, though,
he said students must match their level of borrowing to
the careers they envision. A student who expects to go
into early childhood education needs to limit borrowing
because average annual pay is $39,000, he has found.
Petroleum engineers can stretch further with loans
because salaries average $136,000.
from the College Board suggests a rule of thumb: Keep
monthly loan payments at 8 percent of monthly salaries.