Can You Work Full-Time and Go to School? Find out!
The picture of college life is constantly evolving. When many people think of college, they envision philosophical conversations at poetry slams, or frisbee on the quad between classes. The truth is, however, this is not the reality for most students. Many college students today need to work – and a growing number of these students need to work full-time in order to pay for tuition, among other necessities.
The economic strain can be quite discouraging for those looking to earn a degree. It can be even more intimidating when they have a family to support and/or a full-time job to maintain. But when you have a dream and you need to earn a degree to fulfill it, you can make it work.
If you have career goals that require a postsecondary certificate or degree, you will need to figure out how to balance school with your current obligations. But it is possible. Read on as we explain how working full time and going to school is feasible, and why it may prove to be the best path for you.
The Benefits of Going to School and Working
Working full-time on its own may seem exhausting, so the idea of earning a degree at the same time might feel like a stretch. As Americans, we are so busy all the time, between work and family obligations, that taking on another project can seem like too much. But there are many advantages that you may not have considered yet. Here are some of the big ones:
- The steady salary will help pay for school. With student loan debt being at a record high, graduating with little to no debt is practically a pipe dream for many students. But if you can work while pursuing your degree, you can avoid piling up giant loans. This can help alleviate some of the stress that comes along with paying for college, allowing you to focus on your studies.
- You’ll have employee benefits. Many employers offer their full-time workers assistance or reimbursement with tuition, as long as the program they’re pursuing is relevant to the business. Other employee benefits, such as health insurance and a 401(k), can help students. If your company covers your health insurance, you may be able to get a waiver and reimbursement if the college’s tuition includes on-campus health coverage. A 401(k) will give you a jumpstart on preparing for retirement long before you even finish school.
- You’ll gain professional skills as you study. Your degree may be needed for the career you’re working towards, but having real world skills under your belt will set you above the competition. If you are working at a job that is related to the field you are studying, you will gain applicable skills from your program, which will wow your bosses, as well as some serious skills on the job, which will, in turn, help you in your studies.
A Flexible Program Makes It Work
If you’re thinking about working full-time and going to school, you may be wondering how it actually works. How can you make it to class? When do you study? How do you balance it all? With a flexible, career-focused school like Goodwin University, you can do it. Goodwin’s degree programs are designed with busy, working students in mind. All programs give students the flexibility they need to earn their degree while maintaining their jobs and personal lives. Courses are offered days, nights, and weekends, too. Online and hybrid (a blend of on-campus and online) formats are also available for most programs.
Many programs at Goodwin University are offered in standard 15-week formats, but there are also accelerated programs available. These are made up of 7 ½ week classes to help students get into careers fast. There are also six start times each year, so you can apply at any time and the classes you need will be available when you need them. At Goodwin, we believe that you should not have to put your life – or career – on hold to earn a college education. In the pursuit of the American Dream, one should feel supported by their educational institution and have the freedom to “have it all.”
Tips for Prospective Students on Going to School While Working Full-Time
- Apply for Grants. The notion of affording college can be intimidating, but the truth is, it may be more attainable than you think. Between grants, scholarships, and financial aid, there are many ways to pull together the funding you need in order to pursue your dreams. Goodwin University has one of the lowest tuition costs for private, nonprofit colleges in the state of CT, and 92% of undergraduate students receive financial aid. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Check out the curriculum of the program you’re interested in. If you see there is some flexibility, such as online courses, then you will be able to figure out a way to work study time into your life.
- Discuss your academic goals with your boss. This will help in gaining the support you need before you begin. Who knows – your boss may be willing to work out a flexible schedule with you, as well, so that you can have even more time for your studies.
- Connect with students/graduates of the program you’re interested in. This will help you gain a realistic understanding of the demands of the program. And they may have tips to help you along the way!
- Don’t burn yourself out. Remember that you are just one person, and you need some down time, too. If you take on too much or overschedule yourself, you will find yourself stressed out at work and in your coursework. Figure out how you can get your job done, your study time in, and your R&R on every week. It’s important for your mental health.
Last tip: As you set out on this new chapter – get excited! You are about to embark on a life-changing journey. This is a moment to treasure. If you would like to learn more about the many flexible programs offered to working students, call Goodwin University at 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.