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The Cost of College: Work and School


Around 72 percent of college students juggle working a job with their classes. Twenty percent of those students work full-time jobs of 35 or more hours each week. With the increasing price of tuition, working while being a student has become a requirement for many young people with no other options.

Outside of on- and off-campus jobs, some students find other ways to make money. One student donates plasma to earn money. It has caused her discomfort and even caused her to faint while shopping, but since donors can make more than $200 a month, it is worth it to her. Other students find different ways to save on cash.

Some say working isn’t worth it for lower grades, but for students who work instead of taking out loans, only 14 percent graduate with over $50,000 in loan debt, compared to 35 percent for those who do not work while in school.

Read all of this week’s stories for a comprehensive look at the work and school balance.

Sacrificing Sanity,” Letter by Miranda Carney, Editor-in-Chief
It takes students more than 800 more hours of work a year to pay for a year of tuition than it did in the ’70s. The result for students means sacrificing grades – and sanity.

Finding the Balance,” by Michele Whitehair
Rising tuition and living costs mean more of the financial burden of a college education falls on students’ shoulders, creating the need to work and go to class. Experts say that for students to find a balance, they should compartmentalize.

The Truth about Student Employment,” Q&A by Carli Scalf
Ball Bearings sits down with five individuals to discuss on-campus and off-campus employment, and what it really means to be a working college student.

Blood Money,” by Lauren Donahue
As college tuition costs rise, students are becoming more desperate to escape their economic burdens. Plasma donation has become a mainstream source of compensation for students seeking extra money.

Tuition vs. Paycheck,” graphic by Betsy Kiel
The average Ball State student employee will make less than $5,000 a year. Compared to tuition, this only covers only a fraction of the cost of college.

The Quarter Thief,” column by  Ariel Elmore
I used to be a quarter thief. College students today go to more extreme measures to afford the life they want later.

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