The Work Program was first instituted at Blackburn College in 1913 in order to provide access to higher education for students who had academic ability but were lacking financial means. And while cost reduction remains an essential aspect, in the last 97 years the Work Program has grown and evolved into much more.
Students receive a tuition credit of $2640 their first year of participation, $2970 their second year, and $3300 each following year. Some students are also hired for additional hours for which they receive a paycheck. Student work helps keep administrative costs down, and the College’s commitment to frugality and wise use of resources means that Blackburn is the least expensive, private four-year residential institution in the state of Illinois!
The opportunities the Work Program provides for student learning and development are just as important as the monetary savings. The Work Program is a vehicle for personal growth, with outstanding opportunities for leadership and community involvement. Blackburn College is the only nationally recognized Work College whose Work Program is student-managed: that means students are responsible for the administration of the program. Students just like you make major decisions about resource allocation, policy formulation, and direct supervision of their fellow students.
All resident students are required to work a minimum of 160 hours each semester to help provide virtually all services essential to college operations. Students are also involved in community service work in the local community. Non-resident students may petition for approval to participate in the work program and, if approved, are held to the same requirements as resident students.
By sharing, belonging, and contributing through their work, Blackburn students develop valuable personal skills and competencies that employers truly appreciate. They also make lifelong friendships and enjoy an added sense of community and individual responsibility and achievement.
Blackburn’s unique combination of academic preparation and work-learning-service experience uniquely prepares students to be responsible and productive citizens better able to meet the challenges of post-graduate work, careers, and life in general.
New! Honor Workers