Careers, colleges and other cash

Emily Morris, Staff Reporter

168 might just be not enough.

The number of hours in a week, 168, seem like the blink of an eye as many students indulge in a treacherous mixture of simultaneous classes and careers. Traditionally, college is intended to be a ramp to a career, but some students are taking an alternative route and tackling both to eliminate debt. But who is willing to take on this challenge?

Kaylie Washnock, a freshman at Oakland University, dove into this lifestyle this past January and hasn’t looked back. Working 35-40 hours weekly while enrolled in 16 credits seemed to offer a sense of contentment for her. Of course, there are moments of stress, but the safety blanket presented by a career in college is also valuable, especially with constantly rising tuition rates.  

“It is hard to fit homework in my schedule, but I get rewarded through nice paychecks,” Washnock said. “The best part about having a job in college is being able to pay for my tuition.”  

Even so, this concept does not seem to be for the faint of heart, according to Washnock.  Accompanying the rewards are also many trials everyday. After all, a healthy sleep schedule should encompass 56 hours every week. Then class sessions alone amount to over 13 hours a week for 16 credits, not to mention any allotted study time. To complement each credit for class time, it is recommended to study for at least 2 hours, according to Bright Hub. With these activities, there are only 51 hours left in the week for work, leaving 11 hours of unassigned time; 11 hours to devote to eating, socializing, driving or whatever other activity is required.    

“Attending school and work does become overwhelming at times,” Washnock said. “The hardest part is finding time to study.”

Clearly, this lifestyle can evolve into a juggling act with so many responsibilities if not managed well. This type of devotion can also heavily alleviate the weight of debt from college, though.

Attending Oakland without any financial aid from scholarships or grants is over $48,000 for a four year degree—excluding Housing or meal plans—according to Working at least 35 hours per week at a minimum wage job would accumulate slightly over $18,000 annually, according to Of course, college creates many other expenses from person to person, aside from just tuition, but this income has taken some financial pressure off Washnock and many other driven college students.

The economy is constantly changing, and some students are simply trying alternative routes to success. In fact, Washnock even attested to wanting to maintain her current schedule through the entirety of her college career. Although original, clearly, this tactic does have some substance and may be a growing avenue for college students to navigate earning a degree with minimal debt.