(U-WIRE) GAINESVILLE, Fla. College students are spending more time working and less time studying.
And for some, it’s not paying off.
Students who work more than 25 hours a week see their grades suffer, according to a new report by the state Public Interest Research Group’s Higher Education Project.
The report, generated by the U.S. Department of Education, says the rising cost of college education is forcing students to spend time working to pay bills rather than studying for classes.
Forty-six percent of all students who work do so for more than 25 hours a week, and nearly half of them report working has a negative impact on grades.
University of Florida environmental engineering senior Brent Weidenhamer said he works at least 25 hours a week and agrees with the study’s results.
He said working is not an option, but a necessity.
“I support myself,” he said. “I’m working to pay my way through college.”
He said he balances school and work by studying on the weekend and sleeping short hours.
Weidenhamer falls into the 63 percent of students say they could not attend college if they did not work.
A summary accompanying the survey suggested lawmakers should put a higher priority on funding college students, so they could ditch the jobs and focus on school.
This is a move students such as Weidenhamer would greatly benefit from.
“Funding need-based grant aid is a proven strategy for providing access to a college education and minimizing the negative impacts of excessive working and college debt,” a summary stated.
Brooke Copani, an interior design senior, keeps a work schedule similar to Weidenhamer. She said her key to success is she just doesn’t sleep much.
“Sleep suffers a lot, but I try not to let school suffer,” she said.
“Working leaves little time for a broader learning experience outside the classroom and likely cheats many of these students out of a full college education,” the report affirms. “For these students working has become a barrier rather than a solution to advancing their education.”
Psychology senior Sarah Gordon also works more than 25 hours a week, but because she’s on a Florida Bright Futures scholarship, saves the money she earns for law school.
“I don’t feel as though my academics suffer,” she said.
She said the important thing is to be able to balance your workloads and try and squeeze a social life in there if you can.
“I don’t want to get out of here without having a good time,” she said. “I figured this was a good semester to work — I won’t have the time in law school.”
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