As the article below indicates, working 10 or more hours a week had a positive effect on high-ability students in the areas of critical thinking/ overall academic success and a negative effect for low-ability students. Low ability students, when stressed, tend to drop classes and work more, endangering their loans and scholarships. Students who work 20 hours or less a week report higher levels of engagement in all five areas surveyed—student/faculty interaction, critical thinking, engaging in collaborative learning, etc. A second survey followed additional areas like moral reasoning, socially responsible leadership and overall psychological well-being. Students who work more than 20 hours a week, whether low ability or high ability were at greater risk academically.
The bottom line: More students entering college need to be better prepared academically in order to handle work, academic load, personal life and career preparation. If students come in underprepared, they are much more likely to be done in by the very jobs which are helping them make ends meet.
Inside Higher Ed
ATLANTA — The idea that college students who work on the side are at a disadvantage is almost quaint. Not because there’s no evidence that spending many hours on things other than academics can impair students — such evidence does exist — but rather because the days are long past when many college students had a choice but to work. As tuitions have risen and more and more undergraduates are enrolling later in life, nearly half of all full-time students and 80 percent of part-time students work — numbers that are likely only to grow in the future.
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