Association of American Colleges and Universities
Understanding the Working College Student
New research shows that students are working more and juggling a multitude of roles, creating anxiety and lowering graduation rates.
By Laura W. Perna
“Ten to fifteen hours per week, on campus.”
This is the typical response from faculty members and administrators who are asked how much undergraduate students should work at paying jobs while attending college. Available research supports this recommendation. Quantitative studies consistently show that retention rates are higher for students who work a modest number of hours per week (ten to fifteen) than they are for students who do not work at all or those who work more than fifteen hours per week. Research also shows increased academic success for students working on rather than off campus.
Unfortunately, this simple recommendation is no longer feasible or realistic for the typical undergraduate.
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