“Earning whilst Learning” in American Universities

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    Abstract

    THE economic depression in the United States compelled university administrators and students to devise fresh plans for enabling poor undergraduates to pay their way. The Federal Government decided to help, not with scholarship grants but by financing work projects through the National Youth Administration. So new ways were discovered for using student labour and some proved so beneficial to all concerned that they became permanent. A summary of the more important is given in Bulletin No. 9 of the Office of Education (Supt. of Documents, Washington, D.C. 10 cents). This gives particulars of factories, printing-presses and other money-earning projects, of co-operative housing and other schemes for reducing students' living costs, and of the ‘self-help’ colleges which aim at making education as nearly as possible self-supporting. These are described as strongly Christian in intent and influence, proclaiming the dignity of labour and the fundamental importance of training in heart and hand as well as head. Yale's bursary employment scheme, providing employment for more than four hundred of the residents in its new undergraduate hostels, is described in some detail. It is so popular that well-to-do students have applied for bursary work without stipend because of the opportunities it offers for personal development. Harvard also has lately introduced an employment scheme in connexion with its new dormitories. The report emphasizes the increasing recognition of the value of money-earning labour as a part of education, especially its contribution to character-building, and the advantages of co-operative living arrangements.

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    “Earning whilst Learning” in American Universities. Nature 143, 1061–1062 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431061d0

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