All of us have family, friends, employers and others dependent upon us and to whom we in turn look to for support.
If you need to balance your studies with family and work responsibilities, you are not alone: 26% of all college students are parents; 15% are single parents. 27% of college students are employed fulltime; 39% part-time.
College-level studies are in and of themselves challenging. So, too are parenting and work responsibilities. Combining two or more of these responsibilities, creates extraordinary challenges. None us can meet such challenges alone. Success requires integrating our various spheres of responsibility. Our goal should be to make our studies a team effort supported by family, friends and employers. Some employers may be willing to pay fully or partially for course tuition, allow the use of company space and computer equipment after hours, and provide flexibility in work hours. Friends may be willing to step in with some babysitting help. And, family can help by respecting study times and space. But, before we can expect such assistance, we need first to share our educational goals with our close-knit network and solicit its support. With a supportive team, we will increase the likelihood and significance of our success.
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Some questions to consider:
What are my non-negotiable commitments to family, friends and work?
In general, do those in my social network understand and affirm the value of education?
Am I willing to ask family and friends for help?
Is my employer willing to pay for part or all of my education? If so, am I required to continue with my employer for a period of time after I graduate?
Would my employer’s contribution to course tuition depend upon my successful completion of the course with a grade of C or better?
Is my employer willing to assist with my education in addition to/or other than with tuition payments, for example, use of a company computer and office space after work?
If my current employer does not provide any educational benefits, is there another place where I could use my workplace skills and receive educational benefits?