Should CU Denver cap student work hours? 

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno - The Sentry

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – The Sentry
Student success comes first

Opinion by LeShaye Williams

CU Denver currently caps the hours students can work in on-campus positions and should continue to do so. The University’s top priority is the academic success of its students, and that can’t happen if there is an incentive to overload students’ schedule just to make some extra money.

Students aren’t limiting their potential if they’re working an on-campus job that matches their major or relates in some way to their career goals. Just because they aren’t working 40-hour work weeks on campus doesn’t mean their experiences and opportunities are less important to their futures.

Clearly, the University isn’t capping work hours just for kicks. Nor does it have an ulterior motive of keeping students from raking in the notorious campus employment big bucks.

Studies have shown that there are benefits to working 15-20 hours per week for full-time students. Stress and anxiety levels are higher with more work hours, so it makes sense to limit the number of hours students can work on campus.

Additionally, retention and completion rates are higher, and time management skills are improved when students are limited in how many hours they can work on campus. If the University just wanted students to work their entire college careers away, they’d allow students in on-campus employment positions to work as many hours as physically possible. That’s why we go to college, right?

And let’s not forget that students are expected to spend two to three hours of study time per week outside of class for a standard three-credit class. So, for a student taking 12 credit hours, they’re looking at 24-36 additional hours of studying not spent in class. That’s a job in and of itself. And what about sleep to help the brain remember all the information from those study sessions? There is only so much time in a day.

Yes, money is important in life but so is focusing on succeeding in school. What’s the point of working toward a degree if you don’t actually complete it and graduate with that sweet diploma? Zip. Zilch. Nada.

CU Denver should continue to cap student work hours in an effort to place student academic success first.

It only limits a student’s potential

Opinion by Amanda Blackman

Students should not have a restriction to the number of hours they can work on campus because this limits their experiential opportunities, restricts their ability to pay for classes, and can decrease the number of students interested in working on campus.

The largest barrier that the 25-hour limit gives students is the inability to gain work experience that will benefit them after graduation. CU Denver students have a wide variety of jobs and paid internships to choose from. These opportunities allow for students to be able to gain the experience that many employers look for when hiring. Some students may be interested in multiple subject areas and look for multiple opportunities to learn more about their prospective career paths. Once a student has an on campus paid position, they are unable to have another that provides the experience that they are looking to gain. Instead of gaining more experience, these hour limits hold back students’ potentials.

Many CU Denver students work their way through school. Working on campus allows for students to have flexible hours built around their classes that off- campus jobs don’t. On-campus jobs are convenient, but many students need to work more than 25 hours a week to pay for their schooling. Most on-campus jobs offer students minimum wage; in addition to maxing their hours, that totals at approximately $255 each week. Many students will struggle to make ends meet with that money.

The difficulty to find paid positions on campus, that can support students financially, is another example of why the University should not limit student worker hours. If students need to make more than what the hour limit allows, there will be fewer students willing to work on campus. The 25-hour limit on student worker hours does nothing but restrict students. If an hourly limit did not exist, more students would benefit from work experience and higher wages to motivate them to continue working at the school.


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