Aug 282003
Authors: James Baetke

College students often face tough expectations with the rise in tuition and the slowed economy by carefully balancing the weight of work and school. A higher-education report shows that nearly half of full-time working students work at least 25 hours a week.

A 2002 report by the state Public Interest Research Groups’ Higher Education Project concluded that 46 percent of full-time working students work at least 25 hours a week hurting their academic achievement. Furthermore, 63 percent of those students claim they could not attend college without working.

“Most students have to balance different aspects of life,” said Linda Kuk, vice president for Student Affairs, adding that students either work to help pay their tuition or for extra spending money.

Kuk said there is plenty of evidence to suggest that students who work and are continually active in extracurricular activities are better connected with campus and are generally more successful.

Junior Kristen Reed is a good example of a working student. Reed juggles her paid position as Associated Students of CSU’s director of leadership development while concentrating on 15 credits of classes.

She also is an advocate in the religious community and participates in Leadership Take-out, an organization that uses team building techniques and other facilitations for student organizations across campus.

“I really depend on my day planner. It really has my life in it,” Reed said, adding that her schedule is full of daily meetings, working out, school, and work.

A typical day for Reed begins at 6 a.m. when she wakes up and works out. In the office at ASCSU by 9 a.m., Reed is not home until around 8 p.m. each night after all is said and done with her daily routine.

For some students, balancing out the week between school, work and fun is a snap, but Reed said her daily grind sometimes affects her academic performance.

“(Work) does interfere with school to an extent, but my passion is working with the people,” Reed said, who has a job to partly pay for school and living expenses.

With the high numbers of students seeking jobs across Fort Collins and the CSU campus, job positions are sometimes scarce.

Assistant Director of Student Financial Services Janeen Sivon said last year 4,000 to 5,000 students were working on campus at an hourly rate not including work-study students.

“There is a interest in students trying to work and go to school,” Sivon said.

Students yearning for that extra cash can turn to RAMweb where a job search database can help students locate the perfect occupation. Sivon reports that last year there were about 1,900 positions posted on RAMweb and about 80 percent of them were filled, proving a demand evident for jobs.

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