Friday, February 24, 2012

Study Schedule Anaylsis Part II

Image by Peter Griffin
It is suggested that you not work more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.  The problem is that you can not earn enough money to live on your own.


Working 20 hours a week would not even pay rent costs of a mini-dorm, much less other expenses.  This means that parental support or a loan will be required.   There just isn’t enough time available to earn enough money to support you without a loan.  


Loans aren’t evil; you just need to be aware of what you can afford.  The basic rule of thumb is to not borrow in more than you will earn in your first year of salaried work (about $45k).  You will need to beware that once you borrow, you must pay back the money with interest.  


Government loans offer better terms, watch out if you need to work with a bank.  School loans typically aren’t repaid until after you graduate, and you will have a tiny bit of grace period to find a job.  The problem is if you drop out.  You must pay it back even though you will have no more earning power than someone with just a high school degree.  College loans are similar to a chainsaw.  You need to use them sometimes, but remember they can maul you badly if you stop paying attention just for a second.  


Even if you worked full time and didn’t go to college, you would probably struggle to support yourself financially, so don’t feel guilty about taking a parental “handout.”    All parents want to see their children become self-sufficient, but they also know that you will need help. 

Many college students get bitter over the amount of work needed to pass classes, and the apparent abundance of free time of parents, siblings, and friends eats at them.  A student is in a sense doing two jobs.  


The thing to remember is that college is demanding and only 25% of our population has a degree. The time commitment is demanding but well worth the lost leisure time.  Another thing that embitters college students is the good life exhibited by their friends who did not go to college. 


An adult homebound child not in college has a lot of discretionary (play) income.  A college student will not be able to match the apparent fun factor of doing no college.  I believe the “deadbeat threshold” is reached much quickly for a child not in college.  If you can keep these things in mind it will be easier to tough it out and get your educational goals accomplished.