Working through College Can Improve Grades and Professional Prospects

By Theodore H. Friedman

Many parents and guardians believe college students should have the opportunity to earn their degrees without the bother and worry of paying bills for rent, utilities, and tuition. Research, however, shows that maintaining a part-time job benefits a student’s long-term career goals, as well as his or her short-term academic success.

A 12-year study of undergraduate academic records indicates that students who worked as much as 20 hours per week had grade point averages well above the level of students who did not work. Those who worked more than 20 hours each week, however, demonstrated significant shortfalls in their grade point averages compared to students who worked fewer hours.

Experts recommend that college students work at least 10 hours each week to finance their own entertainment and other incidental costs. Working students tend to experience fewer problems associated with excess spending and credit card debt than those whose bills are paid by their parents or guardians. Because they are required to be at a job for a certain time period each day or week, working students may prove more capable in dealing with time-management issues than those who do not work or those who have to work too many hours to cover their bills.

About the Author:

A New York native who completed the rigorous coursework at the Bronx High School of Science, Theodore H. Friedman earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics with honors from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Harvard Law School. Although he attended college and law school on scholarships, he worked to pay for rent and other living expenses. Considered an exceptional personal injury lawyer, Theodore H. Friedman currently practices in New York City.


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