Students’ Attitudes Towards Paid & Free Education


A good education has the potential to change lives. Governments are, therefore, investing significant amounts of capital in educating their citizens to make them competent enough to serve in the world’s workforce. Employers are also looking for employees with adequate skills that make them competent for the job market. Some governments offer education to their citizens either at subsidized costs or free of charge.

In developing countries, illiteracy is high because most children lack the resources needed to see them through school and prefer to quit school and engage in income-generating economic activities. There is a difference in attitude towards students who finance their education and those that incur no costs. The paper aims to explore this distinction.

Students That Work to Finance Their Education

These are students that engage in incoming generating activities to raise funds that mainly go towards supporting their education. Most of these students usually have some of the funds required, but a deficit exists that must be filled through alternative sources of income.

This setup has effects on the social life and education of the students. The impact can either be positive or negative and varies from one student to another. If the employment is well paying, a student might decide to work full time and put education on hold. This creates a negative attitude towards learning and undermines its importance. Students that work to pay for their education are usually inconsistent in their attendance of classes.

This is because of the collision between their work schedules and their class timetables that results in the students skipping classes due to strict attendance rules at work. Additionally, most jobs are done at odd hours causing fatigue that leads to poor class attendance. These students, however, have an improved attitude towards schoolwork due to the limited time available. They tend to allocate minimal time to classwork but do their best because they need to complete their education. This approach may not sometimes work as some jobs are too demanding and students may thus neglect their academic obligations.

Students that work while studying gain exposure to various job settings. They can learn different aspects of life and work and face real-life challenges that prepare them for future scenarios. This enables them to put what they learn in class into real-life situations, and concepts are understood better. It increases the students’ appreciation of concepts taught in school and, therefore, they adopt a more positive attitude. They are exposed to leadership at work and social aspects of work making them more competitive in the job market.

Students That Do Not Work to Finance Their Education

These are students that either hail from financially stable families that can support their education or have access to scholarships that cater to all the educational needs. Most of these students undertake courses of their choice and aim to begin careers in those specific fields once they complete their education.

Having their educational needs catered for has a mostly positive impact on these students’ education. These students tend to focus wholly on their learning. They develop an interest in their fields and are entirely immersed, as evidenced by interest in assignments, research, and other academic undertakings. They have a positive attitude towards education because it is a source of new knowledge and opportunities.

However, in some instances, due to a considerable amount of time available to them throughout the academic period, some students engage in destructive activities such as excessive clubbing, alcohol abuse, and drug use. This results in poor academic performance and inconsistency in classwork.

When compared to their counterparts that work while studying, students that do not work while studying lack exposure to real-life events. Most concepts that are taught in class remain chiefly abstract because they are not experienced in real-life situations. These students are not exposed to leadership opportunities and various social aspects of the work environment and are, therefore, less competent once they join the job market. Their attitude towards education remains mostly negative, and its importance in their careers may be trivialized.


Both groups of students understand the importance of education in their lives hence their decision to acquire it despite their various circumstances. Students that finance their education by working have a more positive attitude towards school than those that do not because of the opportunities and experiences gained at work that enable them to connect with and practice their classwork in real-life situations. These students may initially lack the right attitude towards education, because of the challenging task of striking a working balance between work and school, but they eventually appreciate the value of education and develop positive attitudes.