hard work

How our daughter paid her way through college

In my last post I shared that our daughter was the top student in her graduating class.  I didn’t mention, that while she was engaged in a very demanding full-time academic program, she was also paying her own way through college and seminary.

Someone recently told me dd was ‘lucky’ to be able to do this.  I think luck is what happens when hard work and preparation meet, and while dd is the first to say that she felt that G-d helped her to achieve all that she did, I wouldn’t say that luck played much of a part.  Money didn’t fall on her from the sky!

She worked super hard, didn’t lose focus and didn’t get discouraged – she had clarity about her goal, continually looked for ways to make it possible and organized her time and energies to support her goals.  She worked really, really hard for the last three years.

For her first year (age 17), she was simultaneously studying in an Israeli seminary (without a dorm) and at college.  She lived with an elderly woman and helped her out in exchange for room, board and a salary.  She later switched arrangements to live with a family in exchange for room and board, and did house cleaning to cover tuition expenses.

Second year (age 18)- she studied at an American seminary along with attending college. (This seminary did have a dorm.)  She was offered a scholarship at the seminary in exchange for a work-study arrangement, where she was the kitchen supervisor.  She qualified for a Pell grant to supplement the remaining seminary costs.  She volunteered for the Perach organization as a tutor for children in need; volunteers for this organization are given a stipend of several thousand shekels for every year they participate towards their college tuition in Israel.  She continued doing cleaning work to cover remaining expenses.  (She did not continue with Perach for her third year because she felt she would have more control over her schedule if she worked for pay the same amount of hours she volunteered.)

Third year (age 19) – Since she had finished two years of seminary by this point, she only had college tuition to pay.  We had moved to RBS from northern Israel so she was able to live at home and commute daily to college.

She had several jobs during this time.  1) She was hired as a workshop safety instructor by the college.  The workshop is filled with industrial tools like a huge carpentry shop and her task was to teach younger students how to use the tools and to ensure their safety when they worked there.  2) She worked once a week as a mentor for an organization that helps children at risk.  3) She did cleaning work once a week.

I believe there was one scholarship that she applied for in her second year and I don’t remember if she ended up getting that or not – it might have been around 1000 shekels. She also had some financial help from a family member in the first year that she was very appreciative of.  It’s likely there were other stipends or scholarships she might have been able to get if we had known about them.  Not being Israeli and not having lived here very long, we don’t know the system as well as those who are native to Israel.

Attending school and getting an education are two entirely different things.  Dd really invested herself in her studies, and got a great education.

Is it because she paid for everything herself that she did as well as she did?  There’s no question that as seriously as she would have taken her studies, she valued it even more because it was her initiative, her effort and her money that paid for it all!


5 thoughts on “How our daughter paid her way through college

  1. FANTASTIC!!! I’ll bet she appreciates everything much, much more because she worked for it! I bless you w/much nachath!!!

  2. Doubly proud! Those things that we work for are far more appreciated! Your dd20 rightly gives Hashem credit and you rightly say that luck was not the issue as much as focus and hard work. The apple does not fall far from the tree!

    1. Thank you! I really feel she’s much more prepared for life as an adult as a result of having successfully taken on adult responsibilities.

  3. mazal tov to you and to dd20! This is very impressive and it’s nice to see that even in today’s day and age honest hard work is not a lost virtue:)

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