Proposed bill may not work

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2003

The life of a college student is more than classes and studying. Today's students have part-time and sometimes full-time jobs while they take classes.

On top of that they are involved in sports, organizations related to their majors and volunteer groups.

Some have children or other family responsibilities as well.

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A bill moving its way through the state House of Representatives would require students who receive state grants over $2,000 a semester to work five hours of community service during than time to keep it.

Five hours over three months doesn’t seem like very much time, but for students who have large responsibilities outside of class, fitting in more time for another activity could become a burden.

It could also burden already over-worked college and university employees. The schools will need to track those students and find places for them on campus to volunteer.

At the same time, it's a good idea. Students who are given that much money from the state should pay it forward in some form of community service.

Students at Riverland Community College do not seem concerned about putting in the extra time if needed to. They know the state is being generous in providing these grants to help them complete their education.

Only about 7,000 students out of 71,000 grant recipients in the state will be affected. And even if they do not complete their five hours, they will still get at least $2,000.

But some kinks still need to be worked out.

The House needs to carefully examine this bill before what seems like a good thing turns into an unnecessary burden on students and colleges.