Has it ever occurred to you that you have the ability to attend college, work in accordance with your class schedule, reduce the cost of tuition, and work alongside your friends? A Work College Program is a way to do just that.
One question often unconsidered when it’s to make your college selections is: “What about attending a Work College?” You may be thinking, “Well, what even is a Work College?” Or, “The words “work” and “college” sound excruciatingly unappetizing (especially together!).”
Let me tell you. They’re not. And here are three questions that help answer why.
The federal government defines a Work College as “a public or nonprofit, four-year, degree granting institution with a commitment to community service that requires students to participate in a comprehensive work-learning-service program for at least five hours each week or 80 hours per enrollment period, in exchange for the opportunity to contribute to their education and to the welfare of the community as a whole.”
In more simple terms, a Work College offers reduced tuition in exchange for your work several hours per week. The students will be given jobs according to their interests, skills, and work experience. These jobs can range from working in the library, food service, lifeguarding, to assisting with intramurals. Some could even extend to managerial positions!
The Work College program is valuable to students. Not only could a Work College program reduce debt, but it provides skills and work experience that will be inherently valuable both now and later on. Because students are working and studying in an environment specifically structured for this balance, they learn the necessary balance between work and play and to develop a skill set that ensures a readiness to the professional outside-of-college world.
One might ask: “How is it different than a federal work study?” Work study programs and Work Colleges are similar in spirit, as they both attempt to reduce students’ education costs. However, eligibility for federal work study programs is based on financial need, while Work Colleges are open to everyone.
Work study is optional, while participation in the work-learning-service program for Work College students is mandatory.
Finally, Work College earnings are counted directly toward tuition, while work study programs award students with paychecks. However, with many Work Colleges you may have the option to earn spending money by working more hours than necessary.
By offering each student a method of paying for college (while still in college), developing a professional and academic skill, set the Work College program educates the whole person. And thus, should be considered as a competent candidate during the college decision process.
To learn more about Work Colleges and Silver Lake's Work College Program,
download this guide.