Report: Balancing Work and Learning: Implications for Low-income Students

Posted by Georgetown University on September 17, 2018

For Low-Income Students, Working While Studying Comes at a Cost

By Sara Melnick, Deputy Director, National College Access Network

Do you ever reminisce over the good ol’ days when kids frolicked outdoors all day during the summer rather than staying inside, hunched over a game of Fortnite? Or perhaps you recall evenings of stretching the phone cord of a wall-mounted rotary far enough to reach your bedroom, so you could talk to your friends and not be heard. Maybe you even remember a time when students could work their way through college, get good grades, and graduate in four years.

Well, according to new research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, times have indeed changed. In the center’s new report, “Balancing Work and Learning: Implications for Low-Income Students,” the authors present evidence that low-income college students who work are less likely than their higher-income peers to attain a bachelor’s degree. This is largely due to the number of hours low-income students need to work to make ends meet and the type of work in which they are typically engaged. According to the report:

  • Nearly 70 percent of college students work while enrolled.
  • Forty-three percent of working college students are low-income.
  • Low-income students are disproportionately students of color, women, and first-generation students.
  • Low-income students tend to work more hours than higher-income students.
  • As students work more hours per week, the likelihood both of getting good grades and completion decreases.

From NCANblog:

Link to report:

More in "New Resources"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.