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(The Atlantic)   Twenty years ago, it was mathematically possible to work your way through college with a minimum-wage job. Now? Not so much   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, minimum wages, credit hours, institution of higher education, limiting factor, Murray State, Michigan State University  
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5670 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2014 at 2:16 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-02 02:39:35 PM  

SunsetLament: College professors who work twice a week for two hours are making the same as cops and firemen.


And high level business executives who "work" at their leisure make hundreds of times more than cops.. Its almost as if compensation is not directly correlated to the physical demands of a career.

And college profs do more than just teach (not to mention that teaching does not just include lecture time and they don't all teach one class).
 
2014-04-02 02:40:10 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: The last I looked it was about $700/month to got to St. Louis Community College and UMSL to get a 4 year degree (less at STLCC, more at UMSL but assuming in-state tuition).  At $7.65/hour that's about 90 hours/month or 20 hours/week.

/Where there's a will there's a way


That's assuming the student doesn't own a car, lives at home and pays nothing to live at home.

While I was going to USF, I owned a car (used '65 Impala), lived in an apartment with 3 other guys, paid all my own bills and rent, and didn't get anything from my mom (supporting two minor daughters without child support). I paid my way through junior college and one year at USF until my savings ran out.
 
2014-04-02 02:40:53 PM  
< Sorry for the typos in my previous post. Fingers are kind of clumsy today.... >
 
2014-04-02 02:41:01 PM  

macdaddy357: College is a racket. It would be too expensive at a third of the price.




Hey buddy those courses in Klingon, Mylie Cyrus, holistic interpretive dance along with gender and ethic studies are not going to pay for themselves.


25.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-04-02 02:41:50 PM  

d23: Dr Dreidel: SunsetLament: College professors who work twice a week for two hours are making the same as cops and firemen.

Or just under 20% of what a US congressman (who also works 2 days a week) makes.

Um... College professors do research too.  Congress-critters just go spout bullshiat at meetings and suck corporate ass the rest of the time.


Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.
 
2014-04-02 02:42:13 PM  
Went to school on some very large scholarships, which unfortunately weren't allowed to cover things like meal plan (mandatory to have), or books.  I worked 40+ hours a week above minimum wage, and still had no money left over.  Is it possible to go to college on minimum wage?  Sure, if you don't mind going to the worst schools on Earth.  Is it possible to go to a good college on minimum wage?  No.  Of course not.

Also, for you bootstrappy people, you may be interested to note that if you work really hard and save your money to be able to afford things, your financial aid will be decreased by a certain factor of what you earned, insuring you end up with loans.  I ran into that when it came to parts of room and board (also mandatory, and scholarships not allowed to be used for it unless athletic), where I worked for 2 years, saved my money, and when filing the revised statement with my income/savings, seeing my aid reduced by 90% of my savings amount.  Quoth the advisor at college, "You're really better off not working before coming to college, if you need aid."  Well thanks for letting me know that ahead of time, farking assholes.

/it was expensive when I went, but even crazier now
//feels bad for you younger peeps
 
2014-04-02 02:43:27 PM  

Cyberluddite: As far as the student loan thing goes, I refuse to pay--or to have my kid pay--interest to those bloodsucking leeches (at least for undergrad)


Yeah, totally understand that. And it sounds like you aren't raising an entitled little snot, so it may not be a problem for you, but a LOT of students now have this "College Experience is a Right" mentality, and spend more time partying than studying, and no time at all earning a pay check.

/should be a good mix of all three.
 
2014-04-02 02:43:33 PM  

Tigger: Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.


so now dinosaurs went to college???
 
2014-04-02 02:43:35 PM  

lilplatinum: If you are working for minimum wage in college you are doing it wrong.


Yep.  I was working for $15/hour back in the mid 90s and was also getting about 20 hours a week in OT for my summer job.

Maybe I was lucky by not being in the city at the time.. . .
 
2014-04-02 02:45:27 PM  

johnny_vegas: Tigger: Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.

so now dinosaurs went to college???


Oh, please. Everyone knows dinosaurs went extinct 6,000 years ago.
 
2014-04-02 02:45:53 PM  
 
2014-04-02 02:46:13 PM  

d23: Dr Dreidel: SunsetLament: College professors who work twice a week for two hours are making the same as cops and firemen.

Or just under 20% of what a US congressman (who also works 2 days a week) makes.

Um... College professors do research too.  Congress-critters just go spout bullshiat at meetings and suck corporate ass the rest of the time.


Just pointing it out for scale.
 
2014-04-02 02:47:52 PM  

johnny_vegas: Tigger: Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.

so now dinosaurs went to college???


The University of Bologna was founded in like.. 1075 or something. So yeah, almost 1000 years.
 
2014-04-02 02:47:58 PM  

lilplatinum: If you are working for minimum wage in college you are doing it wrong.  Be a competent waiter or bartender or get an office job or sell some farking weed... If all you can find is flipping burgers, maybe you shouldn't be in college in the first place.


Hmmm. If you are 18, 19 or 20 you aren't getting a bartending job, you aren't getting an office job unless you know somebody in charge, you could be a waiter, but probably at places like Applebee's, and if you get caught selling weed you have a criminal record. When you are in that age range, because if your lack of experience, their aren't very many choices.
 
2014-04-02 02:48:01 PM  

FitzShivering: Also, for you bootstrappy people, you may be interested to note that if you work really hard and save your money to be able to afford things, your financial aid will be decreased by a certain factor of what you earned, insuring you end up with loans.


Must be nice to have it in the first place, my parents only support to me was pay for my health insurance for about 9 months when I couldn't.  Despite the fact that I was only my own and not a dependent on their taxes, their income still precluded me from financial aid.
 
2014-04-02 02:48:32 PM  

AirForceVet: TheGreatGazoo: The last I looked it was about $700/month to got to St. Louis Community College and UMSL to get a 4 year degree (less at STLCC, more at UMSL but assuming in-state tuition).  At $7.65/hour that's about 90 hours/month or 20 hours/week.

/Where there's a will there's a way

That's assuming the student doesn't own a car, lives at home and pays nothing to live at home.

While I was going to USF, I owned a car (used '65 Impala), lived in an apartment with 3 other guys, paid all my own bills and rent, and didn't get anything from my mom (supporting two minor daughters without child support). I paid my way through junior college and one year at USF until my savings ran out.


Yeah.  I find those assumptions always humorous.  For me to have lived at home (which wasn't even an option), I had the choices of shiat, garbage, and vomit schools, whose degrees are worth exactly nothing in the real world, because everyone knows they're a joke.  (Though I give garbage school credit that their grad programs are worthwhile).

I believe it now costs somewhere around $260,000 to get an undergraduate degree from my alma mater, when you include all expenses (tuition, room+board, meal plans, books, etc., almost all mandatory).   Was it a good education?  Yes.  Is it worth the price?  Hell no.  I'm one of the few people from my class to have "done well for myself" who weren't already fabulously wealthy, and I didn't really use my degree in the process (though I did use the thinking skills that were so well taught).  I paid for it all myself through my own hard work, but there's no way in hell I'd ever recommend anyone take out bloody loans to do it.
 
2014-04-02 02:48:32 PM  

Cyberluddite: I'm not sure it's actually possible to work your way though life with a minimum-wage job, let alone through college.


I live in northern california, sonoma county. Currently minimum wage is $8 per hour, and a lot of places actually pay that, though some pay better (inNout pays 10.50).

8x40=320 per week
320x4=1280 per month
- taxes = 1050 approximately per month

Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment will be around $1200. A 3 bedroom house goes for 1800 a month.
Unemployment among males under 30 is still over 25% here. Overall unemployment is well over 10%.
The chances of getting a minimum wage job that actually gives you 40 hours a week is zero. They do not exist here.

It is not possible to live by yourself off a minimum wage job without other sources of income in California, and I doubt there is many places in the US where it is possible.

I work for myself now, and Im making a decent living, but only because I dont have a car anymore. The extra expenses of a car would be enough to get me in trouble with money again.
 
2014-04-02 02:48:50 PM  
The world needs ditch diggers too.
 
2014-04-02 02:50:29 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2014-04-02 02:50:48 PM  

Ow! That was my feelings!: As someone in college 20 years ago. BULLSHIAT. You couldn't survive just on minimum wage back then either.


As someone in college 20 years ago, I would say it was 'mathematically' possible.  But in realiity 20-30 years ago you would realistically be working a min wage job and being supplemented by your parents payments and you could scrape by.

Having two sisters who also were different schools,  I would say they would agree, we did it and scraped by.

But today,  if a kid has a min wage job and is really carefull with spending.... and then gets a huge check from his parents every month... they will still go deep in debt with some loans and be screwed.


I feel sorry for the kids in College right now and for the next few years.    I have called them generation debt and I truly believe they are starting out in a big hole.    And I'm not talking private colleges either.  State Schools with in-state tuition.

Amazingly,   even though the Federal Reserve gives the Stafford loan system practically free money at like .25% interest.    Stafford now turns around and is charging you college kids 3.65% interest ??  for your Gov't loan.

They made Billions in profit off you kids last year.   Not just a few dollars profit to cover the cost to administer the loans .....  tens of billions in profit that they can bank.

This during a time when they are telling you that 'times are tough'.    No shiat Stafford.
 
2014-04-02 02:51:19 PM  

lilplatinum: FitzShivering: Also, for you bootstrappy people, you may be interested to note that if you work really hard and save your money to be able to afford things, your financial aid will be decreased by a certain factor of what you earned, insuring you end up with loans.

Must be nice to have it in the first place, my parents only support to me was pay for my health insurance for about 9 months when I couldn't.  Despite the fact that I was only my own and not a dependent on their taxes, their income still precluded me from financial aid.


I had to fight for it.  I was precluded from financial aid on the first go-round for that reason, despite the fact my parents were not contributing a penny towards my education.  To be fair to them, they didn't actually have any money, but it looked like it on paper due to a re-marriage.  I fought like a rattlesnake to get it re-done. Second go around I did end up as "just me" but my income was noticeably missing.  Third go around I watched the aid re-disappear as they included all I had worked.

I even had a letter from one of my parents explaining they weren't going to contribute anything and couldn't, but didn't matter to the aid folks.
 
2014-04-02 02:51:30 PM  
I made on average $4.00 in food service early in 1992, and was making $18.00 by 1999 as tech support.   Still had a 5k student loan afterwards.  This was a cheap state university, $1600 per semester for a full load of classes and books.  Lived at home.
No way that is ever going to happen again.
 
2014-04-02 02:51:48 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: The world needs ditch diggers too.


If they are paid a living wage the world needs ditch diggers, if they are paid minimum wage only the shareholders need them.
 
2014-04-02 02:53:33 PM  

Headso: If they are paid a living wage


What exactly is that?
 
2014-04-02 02:54:02 PM  
I was able to do this around 15-20 years ago (crap!), but even though I made roughly 3x more than minimum wage it was still tricky and far from comfortable.
 
2014-04-02 02:54:13 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: The world needs ditch diggers too.


And full-time ditch-diggers deserve incomes that can put them well above squalid living conditions, feed them and possibly a kid as well (a spouse'd ideally be working too), pay utilities (which includes a cell phone bill and probably home internet as well) and have something left over at the end of the month for savings.

Being unable to support your college habit by working a (single) minimum wage job is a symptom of the same disease.
 
2014-04-02 02:54:22 PM  
I didn't find a lot of benefit in setting up 529 accounts for my kids, over just having the money in savings. If it's in savings and the kid decides college isn't for him or her, you can repurpose the cash; a little harder with a 529 account.

Also, a lot of people make the huge mistake of assuming that a local state college is going to be their most affordable option. Often a private institution will have a much larger endowment, and offer better financial aid packages that more than offset the list price of attending. Of course, that may be predicated on the student having a high GPA, solid leadership and community service history. Your mileage may obviously vary.

It's a game, and you need to put in some thinking time to figure out the best strategy for playing the hand you've been dealt.
 
2014-04-02 02:54:26 PM  
When I started at Rutgers in the early 80s, tuition was about $800 per semester ($1,600 per year), and I could take up to 21 credits.  Books for my first semester came to about $150, and I thought that was outrageously expensive.   At the time minimum wage was $3.35 per hour.  I worked over the summer and winter breaks.  So, 16 weeks, @40 hours per week, times $3.35 equals $2,140.00  Even after deductions it was enough to cover my entire tuition bill for the year.  I lived at home,  my parents helped me out with gas, insurance and book money.   My parents were not wealthy, so there were no spring break trips to Florida.

Today tuition at Rutgers is $13,500 and the current minimum wage in Jersey is $8.25 per hour.  Working the same hours as I did back then,  a kid could earn $5,280 before deductions.

/Fark your boot straps.
 
2014-04-02 02:54:39 PM  
Amazingly,   even though the Federal Reserve gives the Stafford loan system practically free money at like .25% interest.    Stafford now turns around and is charging you college kids 3.65% interest ??  for your Gov't loan.

They made Billions in profit off you kids last year.   Not just a few dollars profit to cover the cost to administer the loans .....  tens of billions in profit that they can bank.

This during a time when they are telling you that 'times are tough'.    No shiat Stafford.


Another issue are the private loans, and consolidation loans.  Friend of mind, though admittedly naive, consolidated her large debt at over 6.5%, when the rates were going at 4%.  That may not sound like much to most people, but when you're facing 6 grand in debt, that increase is quite large, especially with the way the payback is structured.  There are a lot of companies out there targeting kids with "decent rates" and scaring them into consolidating into garbage rates.
 
2014-04-02 02:55:15 PM  
That should say 6 figures in debt, not 6 grand.

/damned edit
 
2014-04-02 02:55:41 PM  

what_now: johnny_vegas: Tigger: Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.

so now dinosaurs went to college???

The University of Bologna was founded in like.. 1075 or something. So yeah, almost 1000 years.


images.alarabiya.net
 
2014-04-02 02:55:53 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: The world needs ditch diggers too.


Personally, I just want to get laid.
www.dvdizzy.com
 
2014-04-02 02:56:26 PM  
I was in college 20 years ago. I had to work to keep myself in school. I was able to survive though, because I was able to do work that paid above minimum wage. If you are not able to do anything but the minimum, then maybe you need to rethink college.
 
2014-04-02 02:56:50 PM  

ongbok: Hmmm. If you are 18, 19 or 20 you aren't getting a bartending job, you aren't getting an office job unless you know somebody in charge, you could be a waiter, but probably at places like Applebee's, and if you get caught selling weed you have a criminal record. When you are in that age range, because if your lack of experience, their aren't very many choices.


Depends on your state, you can bartend or serve alcohol prior to 21.  I did.  You can certainly get a waiting job that pays more than minimum wage, even if you have to work at Applebees (not sure why you think that is the only place you are allowed to work, especially in a farking town/city with a college).   Selling weed to friends is pretty foolproof, and getting office jobs as a kid is not something limited to those with family connections.  Do you know how you "know someone" to get those?  Network.   I got into a law firm through a pre law group, campuses are fool of organizations that can assist with obtaining these (unless you are in some super specialized industry with narrow internship opportunities, in which case you might have to suck it up and look elsewhere for the time being or go into debt if you want to do that job so long).

You can get a better than minimum wage job in college if you can speak coherently, show up to work not smelling like booze (shiat, at the law firm I could even do that) and generally groom yourself.   If you are making minimum wage it's because you are a farking retard or because you have dreadlocks and facial tats but are too untalented to actually do tattoos yourself so can only work at the coffee or head shops.
 
2014-04-02 02:57:23 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Headso: If they are paid a living wage

What exactly is that?


the wage it takes to have me and you not subsidize walmart and mcdonalds and the ditch digging companies with food stamps and welfare for their employees.
 
2014-04-02 02:58:20 PM  

Dr Dreidel: And full-time ditch-diggers deserve incomes that can put them well above squalid living conditions, feed them and possibly a kid as well (a spouse'd ideally be working too), pay utilities (which includes a cell phone bill and probably home internet as well) and have something left over at the end of the month for savings.


So that is what in an hourly wage?
 
2014-04-02 02:58:53 PM  

FitzShivering: I even had a letter from one of my parents explaining they weren't going to contribute anything and couldn't, but didn't matter to the aid folks.


Yeah, it can't. I get that it sucks, and that's the worst farking thing, but unless you're at Harvard funds are limited.

And a parent choosing not to pay for college vs a parent who has no money and CAN'T pay is not a hard choice.

Does it suck that the students are punished? Of course. But if you said "Well, if you're parents won't pay, just let us know" every single parent would say "Uhh..yeah. I'm not paying for that".

I've had PLENTY of people tell me "Well, I worked my own way through college, and I want my kid to do the same, so I'm not going to support them" and get annoyed when I say that the school won't support them either.
 
2014-04-02 02:58:56 PM  

Headso: the wage it takes to have me and you not subsidize walmart and mcdonalds and the ditch digging companies with food stamps and welfare for their employees.


Which is exactly what?
 
2014-04-02 02:59:45 PM  

ManRay: I was in college 20 years ago. I had to work to keep myself in school. I was able to survive though, because I was able to do work that paid above minimum wage. If you are not able to do anything but the minimum, then maybe you need to rethink college.


1: Gain an education to enhance your earnings
2: If your earnings are low, maybe education is not for you

Therefore: Don't be born so poor you have to work.

That about right?
 
2014-04-02 03:04:15 PM  

what_now: Yeah, it can't. I get that it sucks, and that's the worst farking thing, but unless you're at Harvard funds are limited.

And a parent choosing not to pay for college vs a parent who has no money and CAN'T pay is not a hard choice.

Does it suck that the students are punished? Of course. But if you said "Well, if you're parents won't pay, just let us know" every single parent would say "Uhh..yeah. I'm not paying for that".

I've had PLENTY of people tell me "Well, I worked my own way through college, and I want my kid to do the same, so I'm not going to support them" and get annoyed when I say that the school won't support them either.


18 year olds are adults in the eyes of law the law, why should their need be gauged by their farking parents income if their parents are not giving it to them?
 
2014-04-02 03:04:35 PM  

johnny_vegas: Tigger: Does he think that college professors just teach undergrad? That's pretty impressive seeing how that's the opposite of how college has worked for give or take 1,000 years.

so now dinosaurs went to college???


You've obviously never visited the philosophy faculty...

But in all seriousness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_universities_in_continuo us _operation
 
2014-04-02 03:04:56 PM  
Back in the 70's when we still had heavy industry, I interned in a lab and made enough for tuition, car, loose women and booze. Today really sucks for kids.
 
2014-04-02 03:05:49 PM  

ManRay: I was in college 20 years ago. I had to work to keep myself in school. I was able to survive though, because I was able to do work that paid above minimum wage. If you are not able to do anything but the minimum, then maybe you need to rethink college.


Boooooooooooooooooooooot Straaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaps!!!!
 
2014-04-02 03:08:07 PM  

Tigger: I went here and it was free.

[www.ctcoxfordshire.org.uk image 460x288]

But you know socialisms and whatnot.


Free??? Oh, so ridiculous income and sales taxes paid by you and the other people who didn't go there weren't paying for that education?

Just because you didn't write them a check, doesn't mean you didn't pay for it.
/and you actually went to college???/
 
2014-04-02 03:08:22 PM  

lilplatinum: 18 year olds are adults in the eyes of law the law, why should their need be gauged by their farking parents income if their parents are not giving it to them?


Ok.

Let's do that. Let's give Pell Grants based on the income of an 18 year old.

That kid who worked two jobs in school to help pay the rent? He's too rich for a grant.
The kid who's never worked a day in his life? Well, he's below the poverty line. Free money for him!!
 
2014-04-02 03:08:35 PM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Headso: the wage it takes to have me and you not subsidize walmart and mcdonalds and the ditch digging companies with food stamps and welfare for their employees.

Which is exactly what?


 based on the services these people are requiring it'd be something like 14 or 15 bucks an hour, that would put a serious dent in the middle class subsidizing these company's profits.
 
2014-04-02 03:09:18 PM  

ph0rk: ManRay: I was in college 20 years ago. I had to work to keep myself in school. I was able to survive though, because I was able to do work that paid above minimum wage. If you are not able to do anything but the minimum, then maybe you need to rethink college.

1: Gain an education to enhance your earnings
2: If your earnings are low, maybe education is not for you

Therefore: Don't be born so poor you have to work.

That about right?


This seems to be what some conservatives actually believe.
 
2014-04-02 03:09:49 PM  

Cyberluddite: Dr Dreidel: ZAZ: ...and that would be true even if minimum wage were $15 per hour. Doubling minimum wage would cut the job hours per credit hour ratio back to the 1993 level. That is when the article said working through school became impractical.

Isn't there a pretty obvious trend, where every dollar the state stopped giving their schools has been made up by the students?

Like, since 1993 (or whenever), the states reduced funding by $X billion (in 2014 dollars), and tuition's gone up by roughly that same figure?

I'm pretty sure that no place is more symptomatic of that than California, especially after Prop 13 passed in 1979.   Before that, the University of California was essentially free for California residents ($0 tuition, about $500 a year in "fees"), but as I mentioned above, resident tuition at U.C. is now about $13,000 and nonresident tuition is about $36,000.  Prior to Prop 13, a huge majority of the U.C. budget (80% maybe?) came from tax dollars, and now it's something like 10%, with the rest coming from tuition, private donations, and research money.


It has nothing to do with Prop.13

"Proposition 13 did not cut growth in government dollars. Governments have more revenue in constant dollars today than they did prior to Proposition 13. That point includes the schools. Per-pupil spending is higher today than it was in 1978 in constant dollars. How the money is being spent is another question.

Property tax for local governments has been one of the most stable tax sources, growing steadily every year. The state doesn't seem to be too restricted by Proposition 13's mandate requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes, either. In the last four years, the state general fund has grown more than 30 percent, from about $75 billion to more than $100 billion."




Link
 
2014-04-02 03:11:35 PM  

dpzum1: Tigger: I went here and it was free.

[www.ctcoxfordshire.org.uk image 460x288]

But you know socialisms and whatnot.

Free??? Oh, so ridiculous income and sales taxes paid by you and the other people who didn't go there weren't paying for that education?

Just because you didn't write them a check, doesn't mean you didn't pay for it.
/and you actually went to college???/


Don't be a pointlessly contrarian cocksucker. You know exactly what I meant.
 
2014-04-02 03:11:36 PM  

Headso: based on the services these people are requiring it'd be something like 14 or 15 bucks an hour, that would put a serious dent in the middle class subsidizing these company's profits.


So a minimum wage of $15/hour. Ok...I would assume that this would be a blanket federal benchmark.
 
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