‘Work Colleges’ may be an affordable option

by Grace

Have you heard of “work colleges”?

With rising college costs and a national student loan debt reaching more than $US trillion, “earning while learning” is becoming more appealing for some students. The work college program is different than the federal work study program, which is an optional voluntary program that offers funds for part-time jobs for needy students.

But at the seven so-called Work Colleges — Sterling College, Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Ky., Berea College in Berea, Ky., Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., College of the Ozarks in Lookout, Mo., Ecclesia College in Springdale, Ariz., and Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., — work is required and relied upon for the daily operation of the institution, no matter what the student’s background. The students are then evaluated on their performance.

“It’s a core component of the educational program,” said Robin Taffler, executive director of the Work Colleges Consortium.

Service to others is emphasized.

Work Colleges offer an enhanced learning experience that integrates Work ~ Learning ~ Service to build leadership, work ethic, problem-solving skills and help demonstrate responsibility and commitment. This not only prepares you for life after graduation, but gets you off to the right start by graduating with far less debt than most students.

Member colleges offer a variety of degrees, including business, education, STEM, and the humanities.  Acceptance rates for these colleges range from about 10% to over 60%.  Families seeking affordable options should take a look at these schools.

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Associated Press, “Students At ‘Work Colleges’ Use Campus Jobs To Reduce Debt Before Graduation”, Business Insider, March 31, 2014.

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