The University’s new obsession is improving graduation rates, and it’s going to cost students their jobs.
Starting next fall, students cannot work more than 20 hours per week at the University. This is a drop from the 30-hour limit this semester.
This change stems from the Board of Governor’s new point system, which forces state schools to compete to save their funding. With this system in place, FIU needs to keep graduation rates up, or it risks losing funds to higher-scoring universities.
But the University’s attempt to cut back student work hours in hopes that they’ll pick up an extra class and spend their time off studying may have an adverse effect as students venture off campus for jobs that are less accommodating to class schedules and homework loads.
Vice President of Governmental Relations Stephen Sauls told Student Media that many students at FIU work, thus it takes longer for them to graduate. The Office of Retention and Graduation Success backed up this claim, suggesting that the University limit student employees to 20-hour work weeks.
This is not the answer for students who need to budget for gas, food, textbooks and save for tuition and fees.
While working can interfere with academic performance in terms of time management, cutting back these hours will create fiscal obstacles for students who are working to put themselves through school.
Both are potential roadblocks to four-year graduation. Although a student can always learn to better manage their time, they can’t do anything about the University’s restriction.
Students who have jobs on campus often have more flexibility to accommodate to their class schedule. The University understands that their employees are students too, while employers off-campus might not be so lenient.
Cutting back the hours a student can work on campus might drive them to get jobs off campus, which could mean graveyard shifts, even longer hours and a more negative effect on their academics — and ultimately our precious graduation rates.
Students count on their jobs and, if their hours are cut, they might be left struggling to make ends meet.
Students not only have jobs off campus, but many of them work multiple jobs on campus. Those students will likely end up going to get a second job at McDonalds or just not working on campus at all anymore. This is simply cutting back the incentive to work where we study.
Executive Director of the Graham Center Ruth Hamilton said rather than a 20-hour blanket for everyone, the University should look into what different jobs entail and make 30-hour exceptions.
Setting a standard cut for every student employee position is too extreme; instead, the University should look at what each job entails, and make a decision based on the specifics.
Not every student job on campus is the same. Not every student circumstance is the same. And some of us can manage our time between work and our studies just fine.
Instead of all-around cutbacks, the University should set a GPA requirement to allow students to waive the 20-hour limit. This way, students who have a high GPA aren’t punished, and students with a lower GPA have a standard to work towards if they want to work more hours on campus.