Can You Work Full-Time & Study Full-Time at the Same Time? (Sam’s Story)

I love it when someone approaches me with the words, “Hey, settle this bet for us.” It’s fun to be a bet-settler, but there’s some pressure because a) I mean, this is a bet. Someone’s going to be declared the LOSER because of what I say; and b) You have to set aside your natural tendency to declare the asker (in this case, Sam) the winner because you already feel a tiny bit of allegiance to them because they boosted your ego by asking your “expert opinion.”

Anyhow, today’s bet is between Sam and Cam. No, this is not a Dr. Seuss book. Sam writes:

I’m Sam, and I’m hoping you can settle an argument with me and my friend Cam. I have been accepted to my first choice school, Eastern Michigan University.


I will be starting in June but still do not have the money to pay for it, let alone a place to live, food, etc.

The first part of the Sam and Cam debate is whether or not I can go to school full time AND work full time – while attempting a social life and volunteer work of course. How many people are able to do this, get reasonable grades and graduate in time?

In my answer here, I’m going to assume you’re a traditional college student — around 18 or 19 years old, no kids to support, etc. I’m also going to assume that by “full-time work” you mean 40 hours of work per week.

Sam vs. Cam. Sounds like Dr. Seuss, no?

How many people ARE ABLE to do this? Well, certainly more than actually DO it. Most take a little more laid-back approach than simultaneous full-time school and full-time work. As it happens, I was pretty aggressive like you were when I was an undergrad, and I’ll share my own experience with you as a point of comparison.

The most aggressive semester I attempted as an undergrad consisted of: 18 course hours, 3 additional credit hours at an internship (which took about 6 hours of work per week), a part-time job delivering food (about 20 hours per week), with an additional 8 hours weekly at the college newspaper. I did zero volunteer work, but I did drink and party pretty heavily, usually on Thursday and Saturday nights.

Schoolwork was never very difficult for me, though. I didn’t have to study for hours on end to get good grades. I was an English major so I had a lot of novels to read and stuff like that, so that did take up some time, also. I minored in Spanish and French, and neither one of those were terribly time-consuming outside of class, either.

Anyway, I look back on that semester (I was 21 then, and I’m 36 now) and think I must’ve been out of my mind to attempt all that. But then I look at the actual outcome, and it was fine — I got an A in every class, did my paid jobs just fine, and still found time to do way too much drinking and misbehaving twice a week.

I would probably collapse from exhaustion by 2 p.m. every day if I attempted this today, but you won’t. You can probably pull it off, but it won’t be easy, especially if you have harder areas of study than I had. This may sound odd, but try to keep yourself in the best physical shape you can as well — I think that’s what saved me in college. I drank really heavily and obviously had a large load of courses and work, but I also lifted weights and did cardio 6 days a week, which gave me a lot more energy than the average Joe. You’ll need every bit of it.

The second half of the Sam and Cam debate is whether I can get through college without taking out student loans. He insists that I will have to, as I have a gap between my financial award package (where I am considered an independent) and the actual COA.

Hmmm, an independent — maybe you’re not 18 or 19. OK, I’ll shift my assumption to you being in your early 20s.

Whether you’ll have to take student loans obviously depends on your total costs (school, shelter, living expenses, the whole thing). The size of the gap you refer to is pretty important. If it’s $1,000 or so — yeah, you can probably work that off. If it’s $5,000 — I’d be surprised if you can pull it off without loans.

Remember, just because you take out some student loans doesn’t mean you have to take a LOT of student loans. I mean, let’s use an easy round number of $2,500 per year for four years. Graduating with $10,000 of student loans is NOT a big deal, even if you’re in a low-paying profession.

I guess I feel that taking out loans would be cheating and permanently put an asterisk in my mind whenever I see my degree mounted in my study.

Sam, if you and I were longtime friends, I’d drive to Walgreen’s, buy a pack of balloons, blow one up, tie it off, whack you over the head with it in a firm but loving manner, take you by the cheeks and tell you that you’re out of your damn mind to be so hard on yourself regarding loans.

But we’ve only just met, so let me dial it back and just say, hey, take it easy on yourself! Loans have financed almost every business you know of, from mom-and-pop shops to Coca-Cola and Microsoft and any other big company you know of. Seriously, go to Yahoo! Finance and look at the financials on every publicly traded company you can think of. Most have millions of debt. Many have billions.

There are two sides to moneylending of any sort: one is a debt, the other is an investment. You know how the debt part works. But consider that the government is a massive investor in the dramatic upside potential of millions of college students, and you’re one of them. And as investors go, they’ve got some of the friendliest terms you’re ever going to find on unsecured debt (it’s unsecured because they can’t send a repo man to your house to take back your education if you don’t pay up. Unlike a car loan, home loan, etc.).

College expenses are ridiculous; they’re out of reach for a large majority of families without the use of borrowed money. The government wants you to be educated. Society, as a whole, wants you to be educated. Everyone benefits from an educated populace. Trust me, no one admires a fiercely independent person more than I do — but sometimes the right thing to do is take the money.

Barry Bonds? Asterisk. You? I think not.

I also am afraid that I as soon as I take out student loans (federal only, and especially not private ones) I will be notified I won a scholarship.

Don’t worry about that at all. If you win a scholarship and you don’t want the loan, send your disbursement right back to the government. You can probably do this at your bursar’s office, maybe — I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I was in college. πŸ™‚ But a student loan is just like any other loan. You can pay it back the next day if you want to.

Maybe it’s the fact I have applied to over 200 scholarships at this point and I am confident of my multi-tasking abilities or that my optimism is getting the best of me, but I think I could GET BY on scholarships and working full time.

Man, that’s a lot of scholarships. Yeah, I think you must have a high tolerance for work, and that’ll serve you well. BUT, numbers don’t lie — if that financial gap is too big and the wages that you can earn are limited, then you’re not going to be able to fill it.

Who do you think wins this debate, me and my passion driven ignorance, or Cam and his pessimistic debt inducer methods?


Man, I really hate it that I can’t just roundly declare a winner, but the fact is that you’re both right about a lot of stuff. Technically, I’d call Sam the winner, if Cam is saying that Sam CAN’T work full-time and go to school full-time — because people can do that, and do, all the time. Cam’s right, though, when he tells you that you’re underestimating how tough it might be.

Let me try to give you a bit of perspective here, if it’ll help you make your choice. Ask yourself why you’re going to school and what things in life are worth paying for. You can probably tell that I’m on the side of you taking at least some modest loans so that you can relax a little during school and do some things that you enjoy, take a few exploratory/elective-type classes, and generally just follow some leisurely pursuits that you may rarely get another chance to do once you’ve graduated and are out in the storied “real world.”

When you’re absolutely burning the candle at both ends and spending every spare moment you have working or studying, you lose the OPPORTUNITY to do those things — and again, college is the only opportunity a lot of people have to experience and explore certain things. You’re just too busy to enjoy yourself in any way, and I wouldn’t recommend that path to anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.

Enjoy yourself a little, homegirl. It’s part of college.

OK, Peanut Gallery — what do YOU think she should do?

125 thoughts on “Can You Work Full-Time & Study Full-Time at the Same Time? (Sam’s Story)”

  1. I currently work one full time job driving school bus, a part time job at the college tutoring biology and attend classes 1/2 time. I am also a mother of 3 and 38 years old. It can be done, but be very careful not to get burned-out!! You can always start doing both full time and see where it goes from there; just because you start that way doesn’t set your whole college experience in stone.
    Good luck to you!!

    1. yes i can………because i believe that whenever there is a will, there is a way…..and where determination dwells, failure has no space

  2. I believe if I can do it anyone can! I am a single parent, I work full time, and I go to school full time. She may not have to get student loans if her job offers tuition reimbursement or if she qualifies for a grant. Some people get loans also for their personal expenses and books. It’s her choice and I don’t see why not.

  3. I forgot to mention- even with all this work, I could not have done it without my FAFSA unsubsidized loan and a small grant that I recieve each year.

  4. I am a full time student (17 credit horus) and I also work a 36 hour/week job in addition to a second 20hour/week job! I am exhausted every day but still manage to get through and have time to party – but it kicks my ass! But I stick it through because I know school and work is what I HAVE to do and partying is what I WANT to do! I like the money to pay rent and have a good time with. If I didn’t do so much- I wouldn’t know what to do with the extra time (or how to support my habits!!) I still manage to pull A’s and B’s in a pretty tough teacher education program.

  5. How much you work should depend on your major and school. I’m a Molecular and Cell bio major at Uconn and let me tell you, if you want to do well, you have to study, not work. People who say they work full time AND go to school full time are in 1 of 3 situations. 1: they have a very mild major and schedule and work full time. 2: they have an intense major and schedule and work a full time job that allows them to study a lot at work. or 3: they are lying about how intense their work or major is. I say work a little and study a lot. Take out a few loans and get your degree. Then get a job and don’t spend your money, just pay off your loans. Its very simple.

  6. I work 45 hours a week and take 15 hours of classes. I’m almost done with the semester, and I have to say, I will NEVER go as intense in the future. I feel spread too thin. Also, it’s not fair that neither work or school is getting my 100% focus. Not to mention everyday tasks like dishes, trash, and even dinner potentially will be overlooked. Overall, I would not recommend taking on these two full time responsibilities without some serious time management skills.

  7. Charlotte Hyatt

    As Eva Jones said – be sure and fill out your FAFSA because you may qualify for grants you do not know about.

    I am a college student who DID take out Federal student loans but I am 58 and not in the best of health so I was not willing to, or able to because we live in a depressed area, get a full-time job in conjunction with college.

    My advice is: take Federal Subsidized loans as an advance on your future salary and, take care of your health so you can reach your goal with energy left for study and volunteer work. After the first semester/quarter you will know what your college load is REALLY like and by then you may have a job at one of the places you are volunteering.

    Enjoy life because you ARE pursuing your goals!!!

  8. Sam,

    If you feel like you are strong enough academically and can handle all of that without getting burned out, then it is certainly possible. But you also do NOT want to miss out on a great college experience because you did not want to take out a loan. My worst semesters were the ones where I was working full time with a full time course load. I had no sleep, no time for a life, and was really burned out all the time. Now I work around 20 hours a week and take out a small loan to cover what financial does not. There’s nothing wrong with taking out a loan, especially if you do not need a big one. In all, make the decision that is right for your personality and your lifestyle and you will be fine. Just don’t feel like taking out a loan is bad! It will help ease the pressure of college a little!

  9. Sam, props to you for making it all work.
    I’m taking 15hours of school (full time) and working 40 hours a week as a waitress at a bar, so lots of late nights. I’m also training horses during the day as well and spend a lot of my time commuting between the barn and work and school. The sleep is minimal but it does feel like its being spread too thin. I’m like you and trying to avoid student loans my paying my way through and I’m almost there!!
    It is possible, and I often feel like my friends who’re taking half the course load and don’t have a job simply don’t understand JUST how busy my life is, but in 10 years I hope to look back and be glad I haven’t spend years paying off loans.
    Its a hectic lifestyle in the meantime, but its possible, and I feel SO much more independent and mature compared to my friends who haven’t had to fend for themselves.

  10. I’m the same way: I’m a total debt-phobe. I’ve worked really hard while earning my bachelor’s so that I could avoid debt. It all depends on the person and the situation. My second year in college, I worked about 20 hours per week while taking 18 credits and really struggled. I kept my grades up, but chose to drop a class and finish over the summer. For the past 2 years I’ve worked roughly 30 hours per week, and I take 12-16 credits per semester. Somehow, this has been manageable (although 16 was rough). I’ve maintained my A average, and have managed to fit in a little volunteer work and a club leadership position. It can be done, but my advice would be that if you find a job that will allow you to cover your expenses each semester, don’t be afraid to take a little longer to finish your degree. Packing on extra credits to finish sooner exponentially increases the amount of out-of-class work you’ll have to do.

  11. I’ve been in school full time while working part time and it’s tough but do-able. I don’t think it’s possible to work full time AND go to school full time though. Well, at least not with my schedule since it’s 7 classes.

  12. Considering I’m currently doing this, I would say it’s do-able, but a very bad idea, it’s extremely stressful. It’s a much better idea to work part-time and go to school full-time. I recently bought my first house and I’m 19, so I don’t have much choice, but to work full-time.

  13. It’s hard when you depend solely on yourself financially. I’m the same way. I pay every single bill of mine, including school costs. I currently attend school full time online through my local community college, finishing up my AA. (I’m 22, and wont have it done til I’m 23… there were a few years I just couldn’t do both full time because I needed money more).

    If I could offer you some advice, I’d say take the 2 years to get your basics out of the way at a Community College, taking one or two summer classes to get you to your goal quicker, then transfer over to the University you were accepted into. They WILL accept you again, especially if you have more credits.. you might even get a scholarship!

    It seems like such a step down from being accepted into your 1st choice college, but trust me, it would be a bigger step down to be stuck working your butt off and being on the 10 yr plan like me (and I started off at my 1st choice school, too). AND it’s so much cheaper to get your core classes out of the way first, trust me.

    Soo.. yeah. I think this covers it all.

  14. Im currently going to school full time (15 credit hours) and working a full time job that sometimes makes me work 48-56 hours a week. I’m currently on the presidents list and do it all without killing myself. Its just called time management and being able to focus. I’m also 27 years old.

  15. Hey Sam,

    Speaking from personal experience, you could handle the full-time student full-time work schedule not a problem, if your school’s schedule and work schedule are flexible. Right now I am a full-time student with a part-time job (only because my work don’t give enough hours), a commuter student and worker (It takes 1.5 hrs to drive to shcool and 45 minutes to drive to work) and yes it is difficult, but it is well worth it! I have my “party” days and my “serious” days. My classes are difficult, I’m going for my BFA in Interior Design, but my job is EASY.

    Now, onto the part about loans. I may have a job, but it nowhere near pays for the gap I have between grants, sholarships, and my tuition. I have 2 government loans, the UNSUB and the SUB, and am making minimal payments on the private loan I had to take out my first term. My job basically only pays for rent, food, travel expenses etc. DON’T beat yourself up over taking out loas. You are not “cheating” when you get them. Just remeber that one day you will have to pay them back, so it can “technically” be considered your money that you’re using for school, just not now.

    So, in short, I think that you should take out a government loan (They don’t have very high interest rates) and also get a job to help either fill the gap or to pay for YOUR neccesities.


  16. I just graduated last may and I went to school full time (between 12 and 15 hours) and I worked two part time jobs (usually totaled 35 hours per week) plus I volunteered 6 hours per month. I did not take out any loans and I graduated with a 3.25 GPA. I am currently in grad school going full time (9 grad school hours) and once again I have two different part time jobs (an internship I work 24 hours per week and another job I work 16 hours per week totaling 40 hours per week) still without taking out any loans. The schedule is tough and my friends make fun of me because I am never at my apartments. But I am a first generation college student wanting to succeed as much as I can. Anyone can do anything as long as the put their mind to it and dont let anyone knock you down.

  17. Keep your priorities straight. If you want to do well in school, get into the best grad school you can, and get the most out of your college experience I would question allowing your fear of debt and desire to work get in the way of your long term goals. College is an amazing experience. Literally one of the few, if not only chance for you to live with a bunch of strangers your age, learn what it is like to live independently and take care of yourself. I would also consider your major and school. How competitive is your major and school? How do people do, talk to undergrads they will tell you/warn you at least. I agree, at least wait till after your first quarter/semester. Work part time, if at all. You will have the rest of your life to pay for school if you don’t do it this exact second and some careers do debt forgiveness. It will work out no matter what you do, but be careful. Keep asking people and don’t just jump into it. Take a chance to look around and feel it out for the first semester/quarter. Work will be there. Good luck!

  18. Anyone who has the gusto and determination can work full-time while going to school full-time. But only attempt this while young and before tryin to raise a family. I would suggest however, on your most difficult classes only going part-time that semester. On the easier classes I’d say load up and get them out of the way. The best advice I can give you is don’t quit. Reach that goal no matter what. I am now 36, still working on my original degree from 15 years ago because I was trying to do school, work and start a family. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of people do it so it can be done. Just not by me I guess.

  19. I tried the whole thing of going to school full-time plus(always carried the max course load), work full-time and try to have a social life. I made it through two years and totally burned out! It is now 23 years later, and finally I have gone back to school. I know people do it all the time, but it is a huge load, and you would not really have any free time!

  20. You can do whatever you want with your time!

    I’ve been working (close to) full time and going to school full time for a while now. I also spend a lot of months in Theatre shows, seeing as that’s what I’m studying. If you’re not afraid of NEVER sleeping in, you can do it all.


    the thing that is still out of your control is the cost.
    When people like us are truly independent, the everyday spending costs kill us. It may be easy to calculate how much you’ll save and think you’ll hit a couple grand on a tuition bill.

    If you’re paying for rent, utilities, cell phone, loan/credit card, and food…you won’t be saving too much.

    Get a loan.

  21. College loans have low interest. You need a cushion in case you loose the job(s). What if you get sick (long term in weeks like mono, etc.), and can only find energy for one thing, let it be school. If you don’t use the low interest loan money, then you will have it set aside to pay back. If you have a school loan of a “small” amount, and you are “disciplined” at making payments on time, even if it means two jobs after graduation, you would be able to do that. Currently schooling and part time work should be as much as you want to invest, you need to also have a life in between. Down time makes you a better student and employee, not to mention you will be more pleasant to be around. After graduation you can hold a full time and part time job to get that school loan paid off rapidly. Invest the same amount of time researching and writing apps for scholarships as you would a part time job. It can really pay off!

  22. I admire the desire to work hard and the ambitions spirit. It is hard to find balance sometimes. My first attempt at school was so terrible. I worked full time and went to school full time. It can be done; I have friends and family that have done it. I fell behind quickly with school and as I tried to catch up, my work at the job suffered. I was an emotional wreck and gave up school for a long time. The amount of effort for me to actually learn requires more time. I am back to school and I work part time while going to school part time. Don’t give up no matter what! I thought I could not do it for so long, but now I make As. I got a few small scholarships and have a little bit of loan money. Balance is the answer. Best wishes.

  23. I have gone to school for the last several years, working (always at minimum) 3 part time jobs, but I also had loans as well. So, as a future teacher (yea that’s rigt, I did my student teaching and worked 2 part time jobs as well), I will be several thousands of dollars in debt, but I don’t think I could have done it any other way.

    I did have a friend who worked a couple of part time jobs, paid for school, went to school full time and did her student teaching at the same time, but she’s crazy. Her school’s paid off now so I guess it’s do-able, but regardless, take the loans πŸ™‚

  24. I am doing it all. Working full time (40 hours a week) and have been for the last four (4) years, going to school full time (the max load I can take per semester) for the last two (2) years, not to mention that I am going Summer, Fall and Spring. I also have not incurred any student loans. It averages about $1,000.00 per semester, however, when I file my taxes, i usually get back all of the money paid towards tuition (not books or supplies). When I started I did not get any kind of financial aid because the government says “I make too much!” However, if I get married or have a child they would provide me financial aid! I did receive a scholarship through the college I am attending (I have no clue how because I didn’t even apply because I didn’t think I would get any). It was only $550.00 for two (2) semesters but it definitely helped out! I will say that it is alot of work, and on top of all of this, I still actually have a life, believe it or not, and I work out about 5 days a week! I will say that it gets really rough at times, but I always know that it will get better and that I just have to keep my eye on the prize!

  25. I have worked between full and part time throughout my entire college career. I will graduate in December with a double major and a minor, and my current GPA is 3.87. So, yes, if you are dedicated, I absolutely think it can be done! You can’t do everything, though. If you want to work full time and go to school full time while still maintaining a high GPA, I don’t think there’s any way you can also have a “full-time” social and volunteer life. As you’ll see soon, your class schedule at school will probably help dictate what you can and cannot do, at least as far as volunteer work goes. I’ve had to save my volunteer work for a few hours on some Saturday mornings and for the summer. And the social life – well, it comes and goes. I’m not miss social butterfly, but I have a smaller close-knit group of friends that I have a blast with – even if it’s while we’re busting out the homework! If you are determined and willing to make the sacrifices, you can certainly make it work. Good luck!

  26. Hi All,

    I m a international student in cal state,, i work as a programmer and also doing my masters degree in computer science, n its not only me most of the international student from my country (India) do that. i feel its all psychological what u think u can do n what u think u cant.. if u think u can, u can n if u have doubt u can never.. rather then going into these conflicts we should rather focus on our personal goals n target our aims..

  27. I worked and went to school full time as a signle mother- and my family was 300 miles away. . It is hardwork- but so worth it!!!!

  28. I am a full time student (17 credit hours). And have worked at least 20 hours a week since school started for me 3 years ago except for one semester. I have a 3.2 GPA and am majoring in advanced physics. I noticed that during my one semester I did not work, my GPA nearly hit a 4.0. So yes it is completely possible to do both, but I strongly stand by my feelings on working and school will lower your GPA a bit, but this may also depend on the difficulty of your major.

  29. I think it really depends on why she’s an independent student (is she under 24 and has kids? is she an orphan? is she over 24 and has kids? is she just over 24?) whether she’ll have both the time and energy to devote to full time school and full time work.

    Additionally, it also depends on her major. If she were a math, physics or engineering major, I’d say it’s possibly, but incredibly unlikely. Most people in those majors can barely handle a part time job with a full class load (I’m a math major who works part time. I would not be able to handle my class load if I worked more, and honestly I don’t know a single person who could do both full time in these fields).

    Those are for me, the primary unknown variables in this situation that make it hard to give a simple “yes” or “no.”

  30. Delwyn X. Campbell

    I suppose, if you are young, single, with no kidsw or family members to support, it could be done. If anything went wrong though, it could really hurt. I don’t like living on a margin, either interms of finance, time, or health. Sam is the only one who knows how much Sam can handle, though. I guess she could try it for a semester an dsee how it goes. When I tried it, though, it didn’t work out because my job (mortgage loan officer) required a lot of attention, and my major (Religious Studies) called for a lot of writing and research. Try it and see what happens. You can always scale back if you need to.

  31. Working full time would definitely be difficult, but props if you try! I’m a student at Saginaw Valley State University- not too far from EMU. SVSU is one of the cheapest universities in the state- the only way manage to stay debt free is to work 60+ hours a week the entire summer (at minimum wage) and get as many scholarships as possible. The 20 hours a week I work during the school year (with 16 tough credit hours) pays the bills (phone, gas, car insurance, groceries). Unless you’re on a pretty nice ride at EMU, I wouldnt expect to be able to graduate debt free.

  32. Okay so I HAVE to work full time to pay for my bills, but in return I make too much money for financial aid. which blows. If i had my choice I would work part time so I can concentrate on my studies as a full time student. Is it possible? Yes I do it every day, but I am exhausted, I am more likely to get sick if I don’t take care of myself too. Do I suggest it? If you don’t have to, don’t do it. your studies will be affected.

  33. I do it too. Take 12-15 cr hours a semester, I volunteer. No boyfriend, though. But, I go out most Fri or/and Sat. Also, I do the interesting activities that Josh talks about (yoga/taichi/painting/music/psy/swiming/lit/jazzdance) trying things I didn’t try before. Bussiness major. Office assistant work. 3.7 GPA. Not only paying for my current education, but also saving for the MBA. 31 years old. Oh, and English isn’t my first language. Totally debt free. And my loving parents are thousands of miles away, not able to help. I don’t have the option of federal loans, and I am not elegible for most scholarships… so I got to work hard. Though, I would like to find just one part time job that pays a good wage, so I can take more classes…

  34. I would say that it all depends on the flexibility of the school’s schedules and how much energy/dedication you have, and I speak from experience. I am a senior majoring in English with Writing Emphasis who is just about to graduate, and this is my fifth year in college. Why fifth? Because I go to a private university, and could rarely afford to pay for more than 12 credits per semester (which is still considered a full-time student). For four years I commuted an hour each way to school, and usually was able to schedule my classes on two days a week to cut down on commuting costs. The rest of the week I worked at my part-time job, which could schedule me up to about 30 hours a week. It worked well because I had plenty of free time after/before work to devote to homework, and could also devote some time to hobbies/outings with friends.

    There was one semester where I was able to study abroad in Ireland because I took out loans the previous school year to cover tuition and free myself to save up money. And another semester I took off from school entirely just to save more money for my senior year (my bank account was very low at the time). Both were very wise decisions for me.

    Just keep in mind that you want to ENJOY college too, before you are committed to a full-time job for around fifty years. I would request to work part-time instead of full-time, see how well that goes the first semester, and if in a bind take out loans. Loans are not cheating! What a silly idea! They’re basically the money that you will have in the future.

    Good luck! If I can commute a long distance, work part-time, and be a full-time student who is still able to squeeze in studying abroad, anyone can!

  35. Well, working full time and going to school full time will be EXTREMELY hard, but it is possible. I am a full-time student and put in 40 hours a week at my job. Let me tell you, it is not easy. It takes a lot of dedication…and lack of sleep. Good Luck!

  36. I am a college sophomore (20 years old) working 40 hours a week and doing 12 credit hours a week. It it totally possible to do it if you make sure that you get everything you need to get done. I am also debt free as of right now. I have not had to take out any loans and I still have money to spare sometimes.

  37. I’m sure you could do it, but it depends on how hard your job is and how hard your courses are. It also depends on your priorities: how important is your GPA to your future goals?

    If you intend to go to grad school, I would highly advise against working full time, simply because it won’t allow you to put all your energy into school, and your professors will be able to tell. Sure, you’ll do okay, but you won’t have that stellar GPA and glowing letters of recommendation to get you into grad school and help you get funding for grad school. (I’m currently on a very generous fellowship in grad school, and, to a large degree, I credit my GPA and letters of rec from undergrad for making that happen.)

    Plus, if it takes you longer to get through your program because you’re working full-time, I think you should weigh the opportunity costs of getting out earlier and starting to earn a higher salary.

    And finally, you should make this decision based on your own ability to handle a crazy schedule. I frankly start to go a little nuts when I’m too stressed out, and I put a high value on my sanity — worth a little debt!

  38. I am taking 17.5 credits this semester and I just barely have enough time to hang out with friends a bit and do my homework, while managing to maintain a B+ or higher in all of my classes.
    Another friend of mine went to school full time and worked full time and she struggled through the entire semester. Work and school piled on top of one another wore her out and her energy was low. She had pretty much no social life during the semester.
    When talking about student loans, normally I would discourage loans, but if you are already short for cash, you have to take into consideration food, rent, and other living expenses. I think it would be a good idea to take out a bit of loan money so that there is not as much stress for not getting enough money for the semester, if you decide in the middle of the semester to just work part time. That way, you are covered and if you end up not using the loan, then you can just repay it immediately.

  39. Yes you can do both the question is do you want to? In my case I am lucky I have a wonderful husband who is allowing me to take out student loans while paying what the loans will not pay on his dime. Yes we make to much money even though I do not work. Surprised don’t be there are many men/women who are working full time jobs and attending the same school I am attending. I commend those who have the stamina to accomplish this task. I attempted takeing a partial day at school and work full time this did not work for me. Now I have gone to an excelerated college and will be graduating in August. This College may not be a University and some would call it a Trade School, I beg to differ because of the way the school made sure it was a College not a Trade School they have lecture halls supply all your books, equipment, and have a graduation serimoy. By Sept 2010 I will be a practicing Cosmetologist, those who would like to mock this profession understand that is your opinion, with the mocking that I have recieve from my own peers yours will roll off like water on a ducks back.

    Go for your dreams regardless of the financial burden that may occur! When those dreams have been reached it will be worth the time,effort,happiness and money πŸ™‚

  40. I’m the Cam that was in the story. Thank you for that! I would rather not have her burn out in college because of stress… I’m a junior in High School, and I’m not in the same situation as her (I’m not applying to 50 million scholarships, and I’m ready to take on a ton of debt for school). I may not know what it’s like to be in that situation, but I do know that there could be problems along the way.

    Also, what Sam failed to mention is the fact that not only is she being a student full-time, she’s going to school for 19 credit hours…

  41. Having been in this situation myself and seeing the issues friends of mine are having with loans, I wouldn’t go that route.

    I’m in my last year of college and the first two years I worked 20-40 hours a week at different jobs. If you get a full-time job, make sure it’s something that isn’t going to exhaust you horrible. I made the mistake of doing that my freshman year. I was managing at a pizza buffet and was always running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Needless to say, I didn’t do so well with my grades and had to retake a few C’s later when I did the Nursing program. Don’t overdo it. Work to get the money you NEED not want.

    Also, if this is an option: Take out a ‘loan’ from a family member that can afford it. I’ve seen quite a few people get into school, switch programs, end up borrowing more, and end up not getting a job after school. The interest is killer and can mess you up for a long time. If this isn’t an option, then take out a small loan through the federal government if you can, some are no interest until months post-grad or you may even qualify for some grants. Just fill out your FAFSA and see!

    Hopefully the advice helps.

  42. Sam - yes that one

    Thanks Cam for commenting. J
    Let me answer some of the questions:
    Yes, I am independent, but I will be 18 when I start college this summer.
    This summer I will have 8 credits. In the fall, I will have 19. I will be going fall, winter, spring and summer semesters every year.
    I am majoring in Biology for Secondary Education (EMU is an excellent teaching school), while minoring in Chemistry for Secondary Education AND Language, Literature and Writing for Secondary Education.
    I fully intend to go to grad school, and that is a bare minimum for me.

  43. Hi Sam.

    I go to school full time and work full time. It is not easy, but it lets me get by. In the past I have taken out loans, though, none this past year or up coming year. I needed the intial loan so that I could save a little money to get through the future. Again it is doable.
    But swallow your pride a little! Accept help if you need it! It does not make you any less a person nor should it be a black spot on your degree.

  44. I cannot take a “loan” from a family member – that’s one of the exact reasons I am considered independent. My parents are kicking me out of the house and off insurance without anything to back me up.

    And I am used to not sleeping. I did extensive volunteer and extracurricular work in the past, and hate not being productive.

  45. I am currently a full-time college student, I will have 30 credits done by the end of this year. Plus I work full-time, overnight, 12hr shifts. I have classes in the afternoon and evening, so balancing can be a task, but I currently have a 3.7gpa and my work does reimburse some of my tuition and fees. I am one of the many unlucky, that does not have the option, currently, to not work while I am in school. Thankfully, in a year, as I transfer schools, I will be in a program that sets my workload above a full-time job’s capability to accommodate. So I will have to either “Fingers crossed” well covered by scholarships and grants, or will work part-time.

    So anyways, it is possible, and do-able, but difficult. Sleep and social life take a back seat.

  46. Stephanie Brewster

    Hey Sam, I go to school full-time and work 36 hours a week. I am not taking out student loans because I want to be able to graduate debt free. I’m not going to lie, it is hard and sometimes super stressful, but I know that it will all be worth it in the end. I also do have a social life, I’m involved in my house (sorority) and go to school events and hang out with friends and stuff. It is possible if you set your mind to it.

    Stephanie, 19
    New York City

  47. I agree “IT CAN BE DONE”!! Iam a full time college student with five classes this semester and I currently have 3 jobs. I also am on my school dance team so It sounds impossible but Iam able to work, plus get good grades, and dance.So Iam a witness and if I can do it anyone can do it. I just takes motivation and hard work

  48. To me, I want to emphasize on my Study. On holidays, I am very eager to work full time for my getting experience.

  49. Making it through school without some type of financial help is very hard for some people, like myself. Although there are many people who can work a full-time job, go to school full-time, & be able to financially handle their way of life w/ no help from the outside. It’s mainly about their time management & the way they balance their work, school-life, & family into the same picture. I look up to those people, but am sad to say I do not yet include time management into my daily life. Reading these blogs sure are helping me to achieve a newer way of thinking to handle all of life’s difficulties.

  50. Hi Sam-
    First of all I would like to say, do what your heart tells you. I am 21 married (to a sometimes helpful husband. jk) have a 6 month old and 2 1/2 year old. I work full-time @ 40 hrs/wk and a full time student. Currently I am taking 2 night classes and 3 online courses. Sounds like you dont have any children but even if you did, all you need is determination and a good support system. Thankfully I have a great support system that allows me to do all that and more. I was even able to volunteer w/ VITA once a week. For me I think the 2 things you must have is 1. a good support system to pick you up when you feel exhausted and 2. DETERMINATION! As far as loans go, my perspective is, if it will get your education and do you think your degree is worth the loans. Of course everyone would think that a student loan is a good idea BUT in my situtation I would say I have job security. I am getting a degree just for cosemetics on my resume. I know I will use my degree someday but I know I could do well without it.

  51. Maybe being an art major is different. It just didn’t work for me.

    All I’m going to say is…

    It doesn’t seem to work very well if you’re a serious art/illustration major. I worked 43 hours per week, took 16 credits and managed to get physically ill and fail a class. 20 hours per week at a normal workload seems to be a maximum workable schedule. There are a few reasons, basically A) Oil paints need time B) Coming up with ideas/thumbnails/refining sketches needs time C) the actual technical aspect of painting or drawing takes time and the motor skills necessary to make it happen suffer with great fatigue.

    The school I’m about to go to recommends you DO NOT WORK. period. Get loans, scholarships whatever – don’t work. This is because classes are from 8 AM – 2:45 PM every day, 10 classes per week (2 per day), with 6-8 hours of solid drawing homework every night and even more to hold you over on the weekends. They do have programs for internships/work study at comic book studios and such, however.

    If your major allows it however, and everything falls into place – do it. Otherwise enjoy mono like I did, lol.

  52. Hey I’ll find that out in the fall too! Just applied for my first real full-time job that will last more than a summer today…Also starting grad program in the fall…but I will most certainly taking out student loans..but good luck to you girl..There are plenty of other people out there who are doing it..just all about time management I suppose.

  53. its impossible to work and attend school full time i personally wouldn’t do it because that would be much hard work attending school on time and being at work on schedule, having less time to study/review (working part time is much better)!!

  54. I did my undergrad up in MA with a bunch of scholarships, working full time (which was supposed to be 40 hours, but generally was 50 and up) with two side part time jobs (proctoring in the computer lab and TA-ing the video production class & driving an hours to CT every weekend to mentor teens). Neither of my parents helped (or supported) me and I worked my ass off, had very little free time, and found that I was able to keep myself floating. I was also one of directors of a club on campus and participated in two other clubs.
    I did take out loans. Now I’m in grad school in nyc, working full time with just one job, some depressing financial aid assistance, and tons of bills, and it’s absolutely exhausting. I didn’t enjoy either experience, and I wish that I had taken the time to enjoy college, rather than work through it. Or to at least do the reading and schoolwork and learn something, instead of just doing enough to pass/keep the GPA up.
    I was an honor student in undergrad, but when you woke up to work before class and then rushed to a different job after class and your weekends were full of work while your friends and your roommates and everyone you know is having fun, it wears on you. When you’re rushing from one thing to the next. you become exhausted… you try to do too many things and you end up sleeping as you’re halfway done with a paper, so then on your lunch break at work, instead of eating, you’re finishing the paper, and then you rush to class.

    You get worn too thin. If you’re going to work full time, make sure you can handle it, and can keep class (not work) a priority. Because otherwise, you’ll feel like you wasted money on an education you didn’t get and you worked for no reason.

  55. Not everyone can get scholarships, and some of us are forced to work while attending school full time. I am fortunate that both my fiancee and my mother have been contributing to help my education, but a dear friend had to work full time at a call center in the evenings while going to school full time in the day.

    She is a hard worker, tho, and kept working her evening job after graduation in order to pay down her loans faster. Yes, even while working she still needed loans!

  56. I am currently a full-time student, working a job that calls me in and I usually get about 40 hours a week, and I have a 16 month to take care of. I have A’s and B’s in school. It surely can be done. student loans on the other hand? I had some before I had my son, I now get a grant for being a “single mother”. After I am married that will change but I will still be getting the financial assistance for my schooling one way or another. I think you can do it Sam. You don’t have any kids to care for and you are young. Sometimes it can really wear you out though so give yourself a break at least once a week if possible. I wish you the best! Sorry Cam… maybe you just don’t have the will power that Sam does. It might be hard for Sam, yes, but if they have the will to want to do all of it and do it all well then I say go for it.

  57. Counselor Buddy

    Sam, do you know if the college you are attending is definitely considering you an independent student. There are few automatic qualifications for independent status on the FAFSA: you have a child, are married, are over age 24, or your parents are deceased. We have been told that a parent kicking out a student and refusing any financial assistance does not guarantee independent status for the FAFSA. That decision is up to the financial aid administrator at each college to make an exception, and it’s typically on a case-by-case basis. If you haven’t talked the financial aid administrator, you should do so because otherwise they will not remove the expected family contribution, which will require your parents to submit their income tax information and will lower your financial ‘need’ determined by the FAFSA.

  58. Hi,
    I am a mature student (24 to be exact), I am enrolled in a Business degree in International Business. I do think you are Crazy to try and work full-time and go to school! If you carry a full course load of 5 courses and want to volunteer and have a social life, you will be sleeping only 5 or 6 hours every night. My recommendation is to get a part-time job serving, or in a bar- something where you make a high return on your time investment. I have managed to make between 200-500/ weekend in a bar setting working Thursday, Friday, Saturday. That’s as much as some people make at full time jobs!
    Also you’ll want to enjoy your University experience (its the only one you’ll get) and if you load yourself down with have to’s than there will be no time left for the things you’ll want to do.

    Enjoy yourself, and a little debt when you graduate is not the end of the world- just keep it under control.

  59. My advice to you is enjoy life! Study hard but don’t kill yourself, get a loan, think it as an investment in your education.

  60. I go to school full time and work full time, it can be done! It is very hard and very exhausting. I have maintained high marks and good performance at work, but it is not for everyone and I dont think most people can handle it. I am lucky enough to have a job with set hours and a school that allows a mixture of online and physical classes.

  61. I am junior at Texas A&M and I am a full time P.E. coach at a elementary school. I am also taking 21 credited hours and I am doing it all out of pocket. I have been doing this for a year and a half (i received my associate at the one year mark). This speedy way is not my recommendation to anyone but “can it be done”….yes.”is it hard” ….hell yes. have a 3.3 gpa and feel it would be a perfect 4.0 if i took it slow, so there are consequences, expect your gpa to drop a whole point.I

  62. While I have been going the same route as Sam, I think over 18 credits and 35 hrs a week of work, is just TOO much. I took 21 credits last sem. with 35 hrs a week as a waitress in the evenings, plus volunteering and being a choir director, I never slept and hardly ate, just worked and studied. I was only 19, but the stress on me was huge and I actually had to move home this semester because it made me so sick. Now I am doing only 14 credits online and working 30-35 hrs week, and am a volunteer voice coach 4 hrs a wk and have to help lots at home w the 12 kids, but I’m not as stressed as before. I’m going back next semes. with $ saved so I don’t have to work much. I would suggest saving money during the summers so you don’t have to work as much during the actual school year. It’s not worth your health to push it too far.

  63. My husband is doing it! It’s very stressful at times, but it can be done. My husband and are are both 20 yrs old & full time sophmores at different universities. I don’t completely know how he manages, but he puts in 35-40 hrs per week working at Target, takes 12-15 hrs of coursework at Dallas Baptist University, commutes to school (about a 45min drive one-way without traffic), serves as youth pastor of our church (requires at least 10hrs/wk), takes a 4 hr one-way drive to visit family in Houston about once a month, & still has time for me.

    How he does it:
    -Averages about 6hrs of sleep each night (last night he went to sleep around 3:30am and woke up at 8:00am).
    -Managed his class schedule so that he only has class 2 days each week.
    -Doesn’t expect stellar grades (he has a B/C average)
    -Doesn’t get to spend much time at all with friends outside of work/school.

    Good luck & choose your sacrifices wisely.

  64. My last year of undergrad I worked 40+ (I got something like 70 a couple times over the holidays) hours a week, did 18 units in fall then 20 in spring, presented an academic paper, put in the work on an art project that netted me a trophy at a competition and kept something of a social life. I wouldn’t suggest that your first semester but once you figure out the tricks to time management and your major (its pretty rare when you actually need to buy/read text books as you’re tested on in class stuff for the most part btw, maybe its different for science/math majors). My grades were a bit lower than my first two years going from A-‘s to B’s but you get the degree either way and as long as you’re keeping a solid B average and do well on the GRE you’re gravy for Grad school. Also, learn the fine art of short naps. It adds up. I’d also suggest finding a job where you don’t use your brain, I kept flashcards in my pocket while working so 4am-9am I was thinking about Latin verbs while stocking shelves. You’ll also have trouble finding a job that works around set class times, try early morning stocking or the like, and then maybe an on campus job, it adds up. Just be careful with early morning stocking during the holidays, its pretty normal to switch from going in at 4am to midnight or 10pm and work all the way until you have to jet for classes. The money is nice but its during end of semester projects which blows. But you can sleep when you’re dead, I mean I enjoy getting 8 hours instead of 4 now but I wouldn’t change that last year. And kick ass on the SAT and/or GRE. That decides way more than grades.

  65. I guess that it can be done if you put your mind to it, and if you dont have anyother responsiblities; like a home life. I have heard people do it and maintain a good grade point average. My hat goes off to this people who can do it.

    As far as not getting loans, yes this also can be done with a good job, and a job that will pay for her tuition.

  66. First of all, the next 4 years have super low interest rates…making money very cheap. In addition to that, if you volunteer through Americorps-they make it so that your federal loans accumulate NO interest during your volunteer contract. Make sure to evaluate the costs AND benefits of student loans.

    Now, you may want to consider what your major is and what kind of full time work you are considering. If you are planning on being a Bio-chem major and working full time at a hospital-this may be very difficult. Not to say you couldn’t do it, but then you have to re-weigh the benefits of the loan.

    Personally, my first year of school I worked almost full time, played a varsity sport (which requires about 6 hours of practice time a day), joined a sorority, and went to school full time. It’s doable, but that was also taking 1st year classes as an economics major and my job was easy. I also might add, at a private school…my ends still weren’t meeting. So, my second year I went to a junior college full time and worked overtime at the busiest bank in my city. This was completely do-able for me, especially with online classes for some of my courses. I went to school from 7-8, went to work from 8:30-6:00, then went back to school from 6:30-11:00pm. Then, I’d go home and do my online work and homework. But, to me, school was like a break from work (which was not easy) and I found it fun. My last two years I chose a more balanced approach. I worked part time 20 hours a week at a job that is very close to my desired career, went to school overtime (18 credits), and had plenty of time to volunteer, party, and do my school work. I even spent more time at the gym. Grades-wise, I ended up on the president’s list. But yes, there were loans.

    In the end, I still ended up with loans even for the times when I worked full time. However, I did choose to go out of state and attend private schools. I was able to work full time and enjoy my experience, but be careful about what type of work you choose (the job and the time of day) and what your major is. In the end-it’s your choice, but don’t be afraid of a reasonable amount of loans.

  67. I absolutely think that it can be done, however you will be sacrificing something. If it isn’t your grades, it will be sleep. If it isn’t your social life, it will be your study time, or again… your sleep. Also it depends on your program. I couldn’t work full time with my program, and still be passing, with the amount of projects and studying involved. And, like others have mentioned, you can change your mind once you start, or mid way through if necessary. If you believe you can, go for it, just don’t beat yourself up if things don’t end up going the way you planned.

  68. You definitely can work and go to school full time. I am currently working 2 jobs, going to school full time, driving 3 hours a day, and volunteer. I simply have no outside life. I’m focused and determined. I’ll have my degree this June. Start slow and adjust accordingly. I’ve got a 4.0. By the way – I’m 41 years old – I’m not a young gal by any means. I do, however, have motivation and drive and have made it work for me. I’ve learned to sleep when I can and eat properly and the rest falls in line. I went $24,000 in debt a couple years ago due to emergency surgery and I have it down to $1300. If I can knock that debt out – then I can knock out the unsubsidized student loans. If I can do it – so can you! πŸ™‚

  69. I would feel like stressed about school full-time and work full-time. b/c i will not have time for fun time.

  70. Definitely try. You can always cut back and get some aid to pick up the slack if needed. But hey, I worked 30 hours a week at night and went to school to evenings a week when my daughter was one and a half…I had a 3.67 on a 4.0 in undergrad and have a 4.0 in graduate school, so it’s possible!

  71. Go for it! It’s totally possible. HOWEVER, I do have a word of caution from experience. I couldn’t wait to become independent, so I found a job about a month before I got out of high school. By mid-August I had found a full-time job and two weeks later I started full-time classes at a local community college. My major is business and the work load was huge. I don’t know how I managed a 3.0 after two years, but I did. My job was mentally demanding; I supported a Sales and Marketing department of four, a General Manager, and general office duties, including customer service. I was working anywhere from 45-50 hours a week with 12 units minimum of evening classes for about two years, no breaks (not even summer). During the semester, I had days that were 18-hours nonstop, minimum. Three years later I was on the verge of a breakdown and I finally took the summer off and one less class than usual. That was last summer and now I’m taking the summer off again. I’m still working full-time and I still haven’t recovered. I’m a no-debt, nonstop, my-way, my-money (plus scholarships), nose-to-the-grindstone kind of girl, too. I completely understand. I’m so driven it’s frustrating that I need a sail to get me over the second-half of this canyon. I even DROPPED a class (only one) because I’m so burnt out. It’s not like me at all, but I drove myself to that point and I suffered because of it, on many levels. SoOoOo… go for it. But please please PLEASE – in moderation. Like Josh said, it’s not so bad for a semester or two, but you have to relax every once in a while. Have fun while you’re in school; all that tough stuff and being buried in work and responsibility will come later.
    Oh and another thing……..the physical health thing is a MUST. When you’re using all that physical and mental energy, you have to make sure you’re in great shape to keep you physically and mentally sharp. At least eat mindfully and take vitamin and fruit/vegetable supplements (to help you with the recovery your body will miss out on by losing sleep).

  72. CRAZY! I’m a college student with a part-time job, but you could easily consider it a full-time job because I’m constantly thinking about it and making time for it. It has been a challenge to balance both, but I wouldn’t exchange the experiences I’ve had with this job for anything because I’m gained so much from it, especially since it was an on-campus job with the student government. If you’re starting out college, it would be best to test out the waters of school first and then add on a job later. Making money is important, but you’ll be working for the rest of your life. Enjoy your college years, and only have a part-time job for now.

  73. Honestly give it a shot. It is possible to work a full time job and go to college at the same time that is if you are ready to strain yourself. It comes with a great deal of sweating that is working extremely hard.It goes in hand with the challenges life has in hand for us. We have to work for everything we have to be better people in society. Although you will be sacrificing your sleep and fun you will have to try and see where it will get you.

  74. Possibly, that may work out. Unless your flexible, you can always juggle school time with work time. People do it all the time especially in high school. And yet they are never late for school and always have their homework done. The reason is because they still have break or free time in between to have time for theirselves.

  75. my son is a full time college student, nursing major. He has a job, but he only works 20 or so hours a week….the difference is, he is a waiter in an upscale restaurant and makes up the difference for a 40 hour week in tips. He also spends his spare time playing basketball, studying, spending time with his child and of course, the college partying. He is holding his own grade wise. He is receiving a lot of scholarship money and grant money but is still money short. HE will be borrowing.

  76. Adelaja Ayotunde Adetola

    I guess an adage says you can not eat your cake and have it at the same time, but in this case you can still manipulates if really you know how to handle the whole situation perfectly in the sense that you will have to drop some borrowed course that does not carry too much weight as in course credit and by doing so i think you can do full-time and at the same time do your full time work but the warning is that if full concentration is not given the probability of you receiving quarries and warning letter in both places is very High and its near to ONE

  77. I don’t recieve any financial aid, so I’m working solely to pay for my schooling, straight A’s. Despite the help that my parents provide such as housing and food, I feel that any student who is able to score straight A’s should get some form of Federal Aid. Because I’m not a citizen I don’t qualify, and it is really becoming hard to pay for my classes at a 4 year institution. I do not understand why the government chooses to pay for the school of those who have mediocre grades and claim to not have any money, yet completely reject a 4.0 student and allow that mind to struggle and perhaps go to waste for insufficient funds for school. However, I do believe you can do it!

  78. I was a single parent of 2, went to school full-time, and maintained a 4.0 for the first two years of college. I had to get financial aid to survive. Looking back I don’t know how I did it. I am 48 and just finished my Master’s degree last year with a 3.4 GPA, because I had to take time off for my daughters’ teen years and when I had a brain tumor. Despite applying for every scholarship that I could find I have NEVER receivd one. Consequently, I have a huge financial aid debt and wonder how I will ever pay it back. I hope that the service that I bring to society with my work in the area of mental health, rehabilitation/corrections, addiction recovery, in addition to the book I am writing on improving rehabilitation in the criminal justice system-will all prove to be of value. Anyway, although looking back I can’t believe I did it all, I know that it can be done. Even my children, now 26 and 28 years old, wonder how I did it all as they remember that I was always available and involved in their lives. I certainly am glad for that!

  79. Jared Jacob Kanyara

    Dear sir/ Madam,
    Am writing to your esteemed office to ask for scholarship, I completed Cambridge Exams and had Diploma in the Accounting and Finance in Business Administration and Management, but now could not proceed with further studies in the field in the school due to lack of funds.
    Am a Southern Sudanese student and is interested in pursuing a course of study in the field of Management. I would therefore, be grateful is you could consider my application for scholarship so that I can realized my future dreams of serving my nation.
    I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
    Jared Jacob Kanyara.

  80. Marvisha Richardson

    I think she can do whatever she sets her mind to.She will have to be very good at scheduling and being on time in order to keep her grades up and maintain good sleeping habits for work.Prioritize is the key she will not have time to slack off.

  81. Full time school and work is hard to do. It depends on how motivated the individual is in completing both things. I worked full time in both, and I have been successful this far. I am graduating with a masters and teaching (which is a never ending job). I have no children, I know people who do have children, work, and go to school. It is really based on your dedication and your situation. I recommend not to take out loans especially if your career is low paying like a teacher’s salary. If you can go to a school that is affordable then go for it without the loans. But if you want that college experience go for it! Just becareful and make the right decisions for yourself. Good luck, and remember there are people who can do both and some people who can’t just find a way that accomodates you.

  82. I did do the full time work and school thing while I was in community college taking classes prior to nursing school. It worked then for me because I was the one that chose my class times so I took my classes during the morning hours from 7am-1.45pm and then was at work from 2pm-10.30pm at night, Monday through Friday. I barely had time to study during the week as I usually rushed from class to work but during the weekends, I tried my best to study. Then came nursing school and all that changed, I still worked but this time I just worked 24hours each week and reverted to full time during the holidays and spring break. I got loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) and even some PELL grant money or I don’t know how I would have been able to afford my tuition. I also noticed that my best semester grade-wise was the first semester of nursing when I had no job.
    I will advice Sam to borrow money if necessary and cut down the hours of work each week. It’s about balance, find time to read at every opportunity you have so that your GPA would be high and try to budget your money so that you don’t run out. It’s really about priorities and for me, getting an education was more important to me than having a full time job and I knew stressing out at work will get me a less than stellar performance on my academics.
    BTW, I lived on campus so I didn’t have to worry about rent, all I paid were my car insurance, health insurance, gas, and phone bills.

  83. Sam,

    I am currently attending class (9 credit hours only because they are computer-intensive) and am working 44 hours a week. I also maintain a good social life with my family and very few friends, but that doesn’t mean I go out all the time or spend all my time online. I am maintaining a B average (a miracle, because I can’t take ANY of my homework with me to work) currently. Next semester almost all of my courses will be book-only, so I can take 15 hours and take it with me to work.

    Loans are not evil; I currently have $5k in student loans and pay $50/mo. It’s not that bad; that’s, what, one night out to eat? HOWEVER if you can, soak in those scholarships, grants, anything you can get. It will all help.

    Good luck to you!

  84. You can do it Sam!! It’s very hard but it is possible. I worked 50 plus hours a week and went to school full time, sometimes making $1300 a month school payments. It’s very tough but you can do it. I was also lucky, however, because although school was very time consuming, I am blessed with the ability to not have to study all that long and still be able to do well on tests.

    My recommendation would be not to take 18 credits at a time, but rather to take summer classes instead that way you can keep your grades up.

    I was not lucky enough to have the option to get private loans so I had to just keep going. Why not try to do it without loans as long as you can, and then take them out whenever you start to feel burnt out? It would save you interest in the long run. Also, look for a bartending or serving job — the kind where you can make a lot of money in odd hours in a short period of time. I would never have been able to do it without them. I agree with the exercise part as well. I hate it when people say they don’t have time to exercise because in my experience, exercising in the beginning of the day can make you twice as much productive!

    Just never be too proud to take out those loans when you feel on the verge of collapse. I did it for four years and almost dropped out quite a few times because it got so hard and I didn’t know where I was going to get all the money. Don’t lose your sanity over it. They can be repaid.

    Now that I am graduating with very little debt, I am ecstatic to have taken my last final yesterday and am starting grad school in the fall and will finally have the luxury of loans. πŸ™‚ It’s a long journey, but so worth it.

    Good luck!

  85. well iworkin a petrol station,and go to university after work.
    some time i feel so tired.
    but thats what i have to do to pay my rent a school bills.
    am not luck to have a scholarship as yet.

    its really hard on me as at now.

  86. It depends entirely on your major in my opinion. I am in an engineering program with 30+ class hours a week plus about 30-40 work hours a week. Factor in working out, eating, personal hygiene, etc. Full time work is simply impossible. Part time work is even incredibly difficult for me during school. If you are in a light program (<20hr/week) then full time should be fairly manageable.

  87. Augustine olusegun joseph

    My name is augustine olusegun i am an ambassedor of christ and i will like to work and school in abroad and am still seriously trusting in God for the best because God said in is word that is thought toward us is children is of good and not evil

  88. I think it is possible. I do it now. I work full time and go to school full time. I have 11 other siblings. And have bills as well. I think as long as you are motivated and know what your actual goal is it can be possible. Just always remember the full time hourly job your working is not for ever. It is just temporary. I come from a family that doesn’t have much but faith. Faith is always on my side. I never give up. I tell myself everyday I can do it. With these thoughts in my head I get through whatever curve ball is thrown my way. A little advice to those who believe they can not do it! You can! Just have faith and never give up. If I can do you can!!Do not wait on anyone to hand you an opportunity. Do not sit around till it comes knocking on your door. Because that will never happen. The best things in life are the things you work hard for.

  89. nything in this life is easy, if you feel you e to ability to hadle all that then stand up and do it. Im just graduating from highschool right now, I work around 25-28 hours a week but I have to work full time during the summer, as well as by the time when i get into University, so you’re not alone or the only one doing this. Besides dedication to what you actually want to get in your life is what will make it real, I can do this, You can do this.

  90. Sam,

    I can only wish you the best of luck. I am in Nursing school and during pre-nursing I was able to work near full-time during the school year, but still requested hours off during finals for studying. I partied minimally, but still lived it up after finals and friend’s birthdays to relieve much needed stress. However, in nursing school I am forced to cut my hours at work to around 20 due to the heavy nursing course load. How I am making it through financially and mentally is greatly thanks to my supporters.. My fiance, family, friends and minimal financial aid. Without them I would be more stressed out. I don’t know the reason why your parents want you to leave home so soon, but hopefully that is not the reason you are being so hard on yourself. Don’t burn yourself out because you will look older faster, stress yourself out too much, and not get as good of grades without loosing lots of sleep. Relax, enjoy college, and find “your” support. Financial aid is not the end of the world and friend(s) (Cam) are there to give you good advice so take it. Another thing: Do not have kids soon or during college.. they are expensive and time consuming. I am waiting until I am done with grad school. Life is unpredictable.. take it one semester at a time. πŸ˜€


  91. College has advantages when you take it full time. After all, you’re eligible for student housing perks, other campus discounts so you don’t need to spend living money on other things. Sometimes even access to food right next to the 24 hour library depending on where you are. There’s lots of coffee to keep you going. Even students with caffeine pills or supplements. You can find a group of students to motivate you who are somewhat like you. Maybe you guys can have study parties. Then again, many students who see you as a driven student can find you a threat and be cold towards you, which means you wont miss socializing all that much. Since college is a somewhat inflated version of high school, I can tell you that you wont be missing much unless you’re at a school where students actually are impressed with focus and ambition.

    But back on topic, when it comes to aid, the more you make the less free money you get from the government. Of course you seem golden with scholarships. So hopefully you wont even HAVE to work full time. I know you probably know all this but I wanted to make my answer succinct.

    So with that in mind, you have to be realistic about your academic abilities and work abilities when weighing the issue. I know some people who are focused enough to go to competitive level classes, sit through lecture, and then just KNOW how to do stuff. They get straight A’s without even cracking open a book. They spend their time playing video games and hanging out with other adult prodigies. There are other students who need to study no matter how intuitive the subject because it’s the way their brains encode things. Some students just need to study one day a week. So whether you can win the bet really depends on some external factors that no one here can account for in our guesses, so I’ll just talk topics.

    Of course, each school has their different requirements. Some will let you do online classes which can help with a full time work schedule as long as you have a reliable computer at home. Others will require you to be there in class every day early or else you’ll lose a letter grade per absence. Those are not as flexible about your need to make money and then a full time courseload and workload will be pretty risky and difficult.

    Like many students mentioned above, if you don’t need to study, you naturally have more time to work. Plus, there’s paid internships and work experience that could actually get you ahead in your career, which is a good thing. If you have a job that is pretty easy, it wont drain you as much but potentially could take away from your mastery of your subject because you’ll have less energy during class. From experience, I had those need to party nights where I spent the next day in class with caffeine, holding my eyes open, and then looked down at my paper to see that I was writing scribble. The professor would go in and out from very clear to charlie brown-esque and then I would pinch myself to stay awake only to fall asleep on someone next to me. When I did finally wake up from my mini doze I would have a hard time feeling engaged in the lecture if it wasn’t one of my best topics. Course, I may need more sleep than you do. So that story was just there so you guys could laugh at my bad experiences.

    You also have to take into consideration that in college to stay full time you need at least 12 credit hours. To graduate early, and start making the big bucks quicker you might want to do more than that. To keep your scholarships you’ll also need to maintain certain grades. So, keep in mind, you’ll DEFINITELY be able to work part time which can help you to pay off interest + a bit of principal on loans monthly if you find full time work is really a pain. Also, if you qualify there’s the option of work-study.

    As for credits they are somewhat specific for your major (not so much for general education requirements), so if you don’t want to rack up extra money you’ll have to plan your schedule around those necessary classes. I find that employers for high school diploma level work, like fast food, sales, etc are less flexible once you’re on the schedule. If you find you need an extra few hours to prepare for that midterm they probably wont care. So your relationships with your employer will be very important.

    For the first two years, I’d say working wont be as much of a problem unless your math skills are ten times better than your science etc. If you’re a well rounded student in all areas of study you probably wont need to study as much and freshman or sophomore year will be a breeze.

    When they get more specific, you can either be in a large competitive class with a professor who wont be able to give you attention. Or you’ll be in a major with less students and one or two professors who set their own schedules and attendance policies. Depending on the major you might be able to work with these professors. I’d suggest not to forget the importance of creating a close relationship with two or three professors who can write recommendations for you by the way even if you do choose the full time dual work you’re intending.

    So best of luck to you sweety.

  92. you can work full-time and school full-time. I almost have an associates degree. which was in early childhood ed. i do NOT have any student loans. the trick was that the place i worked helped reinburse us for continuing our education along with pell grants i was able to work full time and school. i am back in school, have change my major, and work 2 and 3 jobs. i do have some loans this round, but there are ALL kinds of scholarship monies available. you may have to do your research and some leg work. but you can DO it. Use your time wisely. did I mention that I also am married with teenagers!!!! Look around and see what your employer offers in scholarships, too. some employers will offer to help pay for school while doing an internship with them AND may gurantee you a job after graduation. LOOK at EVERYTHING around you there is help available and a possibility to go to school for FREE!!!

  93. I worked and went to school full time and my family was 300 miles away. . It is hardwork- but so worth it!!!!

  94. Id think of another way to do work and college…like maybe work part time on college days and work full time on weekends

  95. It will be really tough! When I was in community college (I’m starting at a four year this fall), I took four classes (20 credits) and worked 25-30 hours a week! I was exhausted all the time! It was hard and my grade took a bit of a hit. Nothing below a B, but still. If you don’t have sleep issues (cough-cough-insomnia) and are able to run off of little sleep, you’ll be fine. πŸ˜€ Just keep things balanced and schedule well. That way, you can have fun AND succeed.

    Also, there’s nothing wrong with taking out loans. It’s something that everyone has to do eventually. Well, it seems that way at least.

    Also also, I’m an independent and I’m only 20.

  96. I agree with all of the Science, Math, and Engineering majors out there. I work part-time (on the graveyard shift), have 3 kids under five, and go to school full-time and I want to stab myself in the eye at times. If you plan on being a science major FORGET IT! There is absolutely no way you can do both full-time and volunteer unless you’re willing to give up all of your free time with the exception of sleeping and pull the grades you want. I have been going to school for two years now and have only had 3 B’s, but to keep it that way has cost me my sanity, my time with my kids and husband(who is also a full-time student pursuing engineering), and forget about a social life outside of school. Sure I have study groups at my house, but that’s about it. BTW I am a (pre-med) student. It’s great to be ambitious but all it will get you in the long run is burnt out. If you are a liberal studies major, I ‘ve had friends that have been and, you could probably do it just fine.
    My advice: Try working part-time and as some of the others have suggested it’s not that bad to do your core classes at a community college. If you really don’t want to take out loans this will save you a ton. Class sizes are smaller and you will get accepted wherever you want again because you are a transfer student.

  97. Okay, Sam.

    1) It IS possible to work full time, go to school full time, volunteer, have a social life and still be alive at the end of every week. You just have to be organized. If you need help, reach out to me and I will tell you how I do it all: planning a wedding, my fiance is moving in, running my own small company, working full time (to help pay the loans on said small company and I don’t feel bad about that AT ALL, btw and to give me medical benefits), volunteering with TWO community centers, training my replacement at my old job (I just started a new job) and *trumpet flares*, working on my MBA.

    2) DO NOT try to do this without loans. I won TONS of scholarships when I got my bachelor’s degree. But I gotta tell you something…after the rent was paid, and I bought groceries and I paid the electric and gas bill and got gas in my car and paid for books and my cell phone and the internet and cable tv…there wasn’t anything left over to pay tuition every month. PLUS, don’t forget, if you pay tuition by yourself, the school will probably put you on CREDIT or make you pay up front so you’ll have to pay on a credit card. Now think this through!!! If you have to pay on credit, then you’ll be paying interest on the full amount every month!!! An subsidized loan won’t do that to you!

    3) You may have applied for 200 scholarships, but so did 200,000 OTHER PEOPLE!!! Don’t forget…every scholarship you apply to on FastWeb or Outlaw or wherever may be and probably is accessible to hundreds of thousands of other people.

    Don’t poo-poo a loan. Loans can save you money and save you from racking up credit card debt…and guess what??? With credit card debt…when you default, they can take EVERYTHING. So consider the loan and the “saving your pennies” as the solution. You’ll find it’s a more realistic approach.

  98. I know how this girl feels, I personally don’t want to have to pay off loans when I’m done school, I want to travel. So last semester I worked 3 part-time jobs, one that was 5 hours a week, one that was 10 hours a week and the last one was 20 hours. I was still able to get great grades that semester (the best grades I ever had really). Having so much to do pushed me into managing my time well. So if you are a hard worker you can do it!

  99. I have a friend who is currently a full-time student taking 16 high-level credits (he normally takes 18 so 16 is like a break for him) AND he is working 4 part-time jobs (equal to 2 full-time jobs) – finaid office, mathlab, hospital, and security guard. Don’t ask me how he does it, but somehow he’s managing. AND he still gets good grades (A-B range) in his classes. He’s crazy but it works for him because he claims he always has to keep busy. But even he’s taken out student loans with all these jobs (which he only got this semester… he never had 4 jobs before but he’s always hovered around 2-3). He’s helping his mom pay the bills and he’s paying for his own stuff too. So if you’re going to be living by yourself and you only have yourself to worry about, and you decide to be as crazy as my friend, then I think financially you’d definitely be fine. However, my friend was working like 60+ hours a week and now he’s going to cut back his work hours because that and his classes are taking their toll on him and he needs more time to do that thing that all college students are deprived of – SLEEP!

  100. YOU CAN NOT BE A FULL TIME EMPLOYEE AND A FULL TIME STUDENT AT THE SAME TIME!!! I got 3 jobs and I am a Full time student at the same time. This is crazy.. All my grades are low, and I only get poor amount of pay. also I already got a lot of loans…. Still need to pay more to school… If you didn’t save some money for college,, getting the loan is right answer for you if I can advise you. Please think wisely. If you want to earn money why are you going college? Just go to work. It will be much easier to make the money!!!!

  101. My sister currently works full time while going to school full time, and has a full time boyfriend. She recently admitted herself into the hospital.. they told her she was severly stressed and overworked, and that she needed to cut back her work load and maybe check into therapy for help managing stress, or she could have a serious “mental breakdown”
    I don’t recommend going to school full time while having a full time job, too much stress.
    College isn’t everything and you shouldn’t risk your health and well-being for a degree, and trying to pay for that degree.

  102. You know, I’m in college like a lot other people commenting, and my step-dad went to college and worked a full time job. Of course it was a trade school…BUT I’m going to a University, and working 24 hours a week. It ain’t easy, and you definately have to push yourself to do homework, and study. I’d say try to find a part time job…If it gets easier, then maybe you could try to do full time on both. πŸ˜‰

  103. It’s all about time management. If you manage your time well and focus then you can do it! I am currently a second year science major and have two part time jobs and I still have time to relax. So as long as you know what you’ve got to do, then you are golden!

  104. Sam, it must be tempting to ignore a lot of these comments who suggest that you save your time for leisure because they seem to err on the side of weakness.
    So let’s look at it like this–you seem like an organized person, and you can schedule all your time up until the last practical minute to get work done, and then schedule time for sleep, if needed. That works for your mind, but as a full-time student and employee, that won’t for your body. You can schedule your time spent on work and school back-to-back-to-back, but you can’t anticipate how tired that will make you feel. I know as much as the next tasker that I like to get things done systematically and maximize my efficiency as much as possible (I’m a business major, for Pete’s sake), and I’ve done it before. I took rigorous classes, was in a number of demanding extracurriculars that I had high positions in, and worked just part-time. The first few months were manageable (as opposed to having an initial hurdle), but balancing them made me resentful of them as my body (which everyone, even someone like you) had to sacrifice more and more sleep as my activities became more and more demanding. It must have been stupid of me to take on so many extracurriculars, but if you substitute them with working to make a full-time job, we’re basically on the same level here. And I still tried to make room for reasonable (though still it never felt like enough) time just to chat with my friends, not even meet up with them.
    Even if you sacrifice a social life and extracurricular/volunteer activities, work and school will just fill up more of your time (if it already hasn’t been filled up) and you know it will. You seem like the person who uses your time to get the most mileage out of what you do, and it’s going to be a fact that even with any spare time on your hands you may dedicate it to school or work. And if you’re rational enough not to–if you weigh your costs and benefits with a dose of realism (and I’m plenty optimistic)–you may catch up on some sleep or have time for extracurrics.
    But what will happen (and this applies even to you, not just general average cases) is that you will want to take a short breather every so often just to rewind yourself before you head back into the fray, and that’s natural. But if you skimp out on sleep as your responsibilities compound each other, you are going to begin to resent that they demand so much out of you and that they don’t humanly sympathize with the fact that you need to work as a student. And how could they? You have pushed your point to the status of legitimately robotic, and malfunction only leads to getting scrapped, which is so harsh to see it, but we’ve ruled out emotions at this point.
    And if you can’t ignore how you feel (good for you, haha!), you may become depressed, resent having to do all this work, begin to think that what you do is pointless. And I know I may have sounded like I had a chip on my shoulder this whole post through, I’m spending the time on writing all of this because I truly do think you need time to go off the record and relax, watch a movie, or systematically revive yourself, if you want to keep with the efficiency here, haha. It hurts you so much to begin to hate what you’re doing, and it doesn’t look good on the other end because people will see you as flaky no matter how hard you’re working. Don’t ignore what your body is telling you; you have to know that it isn’t weak, but reasonable, when it cries to you for help like that. So please do what’s best for you, not wholly for your ambitions (I’m a workaholic and I’ve seen nourishment outside of caffeine as expendable since I was a kid). Please do feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. Good luck and I hope that you see that there is just way too much folly in trying to fit in all that you’re doing–it doesn’t compare to the happiness that you NEED to get you going.

  105. It all depends on the studies and what you want to do in your free time. I have recently discovered it is not so fun working all the time and going to school… I wanted to see friends and do fun things, but as it was, I went to school, went to work, and went to bed.

    Taking out a loan as a backup in case the scholarships don’t work out is a great idea. You can always return it – and you can always use it. This way you are never stuck.

  106. If that would be possible in my application right now in messiah college it would be of great help.Working full time and at the same time studying full time is possible just leave behind all the the things that would hinder it and boom it all done.

  107. I think here in our country kenya it is very hard to work full time and study full time most companies operate from 8 a.m to 5 P.m no night shifts. But It is posible to work during day time and go for evening classes which mostly start at 6 p.m upto 9 p.m
    so here in our country I am in aposition to work during day time and attend evening classes

  108. Yeah, I do full time work and full time college. No children to support (althought I help my boyfriend take care of his 5-year-old). I work at 5 am and take night classes from 5:30-10pm.
    Now… one thing I have given up alot of is sleep. I get home and go to sleep as soon as I can because i have to be up at 4am. I work until 1:30, go home, get a little leisurely jog in, go home shower, eat and do homework till I have to go to school.
    There is always time for leisure time on the weekends. Always. You may have to work, and to homework, but there is the lack of school that you have to go to in the evenings. So go to the mall/eat out with friends or w/e.
    As far as loans… I’m not going to take any for the fact that I don’t want to be in debt when I get out of school: Hence the whole working while going to school thing. It’s kindof necessary in order to pay for school.

  109. I did it and finished my bachelor’s degree in 4 years, 3.0 gpa. Worked full time and carried a full load of classes, was in a sorority and did volunteer work. No help from parents or student loans. I was bitter the whole time and hated college, but I did it myself. I appreciate it now that I am older, but it can be done. Good luck to everyone who tries.

  110. I go to school and work full-time. Its hard at times but if I can do it any I can. My kids are most important to me so whatever I have to do for them I will.

  111. Yes, it’s possible! While I was in school full-time, I worked two jobs: one full-time and another one was part-time work-from-home kind of a job. I had excellent grades and had time to party once in a while. It was rough, but I viewed it as an opportunity to get used to challenging situations and shape my time management skills.

  112. You can do it.
    I mean I go to school 3 nights a week, work 6 days a week, have time to do things like clean, and then have free time to be able to watch films or go shopping, I mean obviously I’m super tired and I’m 23, but add that I’m moving right now as well, I think I’m doing pretty good.

  113. malik abdur rehman

    i can do that at the same time . and i also have 1 year experiance about full time job with my studies .

  114. It can be done but yes, it can be hard.

    I’ve been going to school full-time and working 40+ hours (weekends included)
    for the past two years. I’ve been paying tuition out-of-pocket every month so no loans.

    Despite my full schedule, I graduated on time, have no student loans, wrote for the school paper and joined a school club. I also made the dean’s list and an international honor society.

    It can be done but I admit sometimes I felt like I wouldn’t be able to make it. I cried many a night junior year. Everything seemed too much for me.

    Luckily, I have a very understanding supervisor so they worked around school. I’m happy the way things turned out. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything.

  115. It can be done, the question is would you want to? At the moment I’m taking 20 credit hours this quarter (but did 15 each for the last few) and am working a fairly stressful full-time job, often working overtime or close-open shifts. I also volunteer three hours a week, sleep at least six hours a night, and find the time to hang out with my roommate. Perhaps surprisingly, I have a 4.0 GPA. The ONLY reason I’ve been able to do it that most of my classes have been online and I have been adamant with myself about not getting behind. All that being said, I’m 28 and college is much easier for me this time around; I’m not sure I’d recommend anything close for someone going straight into college from high school unless they’ve already had experience working.

    As far as the loans are concerned, it’s not such a bad idea. If you keep them under control and pay them back on time or early, it’ll help build up your credit which is absolutely necessary if you ever want to buy a car or rent/buy a house or apartment.

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