For low-income students – and many moderate-income students, too – the high price of education can make holding a job while studying essential. Yet, employers’ scheduling practices can wreak havoc on working students’ ability to succeed in school. Particularly in lower-wage jobs, unpredictable and unstable schedules are becoming the norm.

For students, this has a host of implications, ranging from limitations on course choices, including those required for completion of their degrees; challenges in regularly attending classes; inability to complete out-of-class work; difficulty budgeting to cover tuition and expenses; and ultimately, greater obstacles to completing post-secondary programs. Fair job scheduling policies could help working students to complete their studies, find better jobs, and improve their families’ economic prospects.