Characteristics of Experiential Learning Services at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Enrolled college students seek out work experiences for two primary reasons. For many, the income generated from working while in school is needed to support their education. The money they earn from working can go towards tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books, and other expenses.[3] Such income reduces the financial burden from families and lessens the reliance on student loans to help pay for college. In addition, some working students have families that rely on them for economic support. The other primary reason to work while in college is to gain experience in the workforce.[2] Such experiences help students determine if a particular career path fits their goals and provides opportunities to develop and foster workplace skills and abilities that will be seen as valuable by future employers. Students engaged in simultaneous employment and enrollment in school are referred to as working learners. This can be a full-time student who works part time, a part-time student who works full time, or a full-time student who also works full time.