Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blogmas Day 14 | Why College Students Are Poor

When you're in college, people tend to make jokes about living off of Ramen, and needing care packages. Do you ever wonder why college students always seem poor? Once you're out, you can look back and laugh, and forget about the stress. If you didn't go, then you probably think the person just needs to work more. Today I thought I'd explain why college students never seem to have money, and why you need to stop telling us to get another job.

Let's start with how classes work. If you are going to college full time, you are taking a minimum of 4 classes each semester. Some colleges and universities will let you take up to 6 classes. You don't just take a bunch of random classes and get a diploma. The majority of classes you take in college, are required specifically for your major, or part of the general education requirements. If you don't take these classes, you don't graduate.

Now add on the fact that some classes aren't offered every semester, or even every year. That means you take that class when it is offered, even if that means you go to class three days a week from 9-10, two days a week from 2-3:30, or one day a week from 5-8. The days and times change, but you get what you get. Now do that for 4-6 classes. And don't forget! For every credit hour you are in class, you are expected to spend 2-3 hours outside of class studying, doing homework, etc. So for 6 classes, that's an extra 54 hours a week! Not all students do that, I definitely don't, but it put's things in perspective.

Now, let's talk about how work fits into all of this. Let's say you have class Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-11am. Then another class from 3-4:30, and another class Wednesday nights from 6-9. Your fourth class is on Tuesday and Thursday from 12-1:30. You're ambitious and taking a fifth class, Tuesday and Thursday from 4-5:30. Oh, and you're schedule is going to completely change again in a few months. So, what's your job going to be? Anything involving an office is out since most close by 5 and are only open during the week. You can get a restaraunt job but wait! You can only get 2 shifts a week because everyone else is trying to be a waitress too! And don't forget to study :)

For the most part, you are left working maybe 3 days a week. That should be enough to cover rent, internet, electricity, gas, and a car payment right? Definitely, as long as you don't eat and are a part-time stripper! Hungry? Oh, get another job! You can do that after class Tuesdays and Thursdays until your schedule changes next semester. Just remember, you now have no time to study for your exams or do your homework. C's get degrees, but have fun competing against a student who graduated with honors once you have that expensive diploma of yours :)

This has kind of turned into a rant, but I'm really just trying to make a point here. If you decided to forego on-campus housing and a meal plan, so you aren't up to your eyeballs in debt after graduation, your budget is probably pretty stretched. So people who are not in college, please save the "get another job" lecture for someone who can.


  1. Thank you! Honestly, this is 100% accurate.

  2. This is very true. I was lucky enough that I have had office jobs that let me work between classes from undergrad through law school, but not everyone is so lucky. I would say that working between classes can also be a problem depending on the parking situation at your school and how walkable it is between your job and class. So even if you can work between classes you may not be able to drive to work in a timely manner. This is a big issue on my campus because parking is awful and public transport is nearly nonexistent.

  3. We are a homeless shelter in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We provide meals, shelter, medical and dental care and a range of counseling and coaching services to help transform lives. We attract primarily donors and volunteers through our web site.
    lancaster homeless shelter


I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for making my day :)