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How to Balance Work and School

Let’s be honest. In today’s teen world, life can be expensive. Trendy clothes, concert tickets, car payments, cell phone bills and the latest electronic gadgets can be costly.

You could pile on the work hours to afford everything. But is that smart? Do those extra hours at work put your long-term earning power at risk?

One thing is clear. It pays to succeed in school (literally). We know. We sound like your parents (lame). But let’s take a look at some quick facts.

Diplomas = Dollars

High school graduates earn about $7,000 more each year on average than those who don’t finish high school. After 40 years, that adds up to more than $200,000 in extra earnings!

College graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn $16,000 more each year on average than those who earn a high school diploma. After 40 years, that’s a difference of $900,000. That’s almost a million bucks!

Check out the How to Learn & Earn section to learn more!

Scholars Win Scholarships

Most college scholarships give “free money” to students who have excellent grades in challenging courses and who are active in a few school or community organizations. Teens that choose to spend their time flipping burgers rather than taking and studying for Honors and Advanced Placement courses are closing the door to opportunities for saving BIG money in college. Plus, they are very likely costing themselves earning power over a lifetime.

Working That Works

Sure, iPods and new cars don’t pay for themselves. So what’s a system for work that works?

  • The 10-Hour Technique – The National Institute for Work and Learning in Washington, D.C., recommends that teens should work only 10 hours a week, with most of those hours falling on the weekend.
  • Summertime is the Right Time – Want to supersize your paycheck? During the summer, you can jump head-first into a job without worrying about skipping schoolwork.