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Why You Can't Work Your Way Through College Anymore


Despite lore from parents and grandparents about the caddying jobs or serving gigs they used to pay for school, today’s young adults know the idea of working your way through college is about as antiquated as milk delivered daily in glass bottles or Mad Men-era martini lunches.

Now there is more evidence to back that up. There is no state in the country where low-income students can afford to attend a public four-year or community college by combining the earnings of 10 hours a week of minimum wage work and grants, according to a study published Tuesday by Demos, a left-leaning think tank.[...]

The assumption that students should work their way through school underpins the way some policy makers view our higher education system, said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at Demos and the author of the paper. But that assumption is no longer realistic, he said.