Analysis of the Problem Working Students

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http://www.aaup.org/article/understanding-working-college-student

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
Related Charts
Percentage of 16- to 24-Year-Old College Students Who Were Enrolled Full Time and Employed, 1970 to 2005 (.pdf)
Percentage of 16- to 24-Year-Old College Students Who Were Enrolled Part Time and Employed, 1970 to 2005 (.pdf)
"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
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Colleges and universities can also reduce the prevalence and intensity of employment through financial aid counseling that informs students of both the consequences of working and alternative mechanisms of paying for college. Nonetheless, given the recent economic recession (and its implications for tuition, financial aid, and students’ financial resources) as well as the centrality of jobs to students’ identities, many will likely continue to work substantial numbers of hours.
Even on campuses where relatively few students work and those who do work relatively few hours and primarily on rather than off campus, the applicable research suggests that reconceptualizing “work” and its role in students’ learning and engagement could be beneficial. Often professors and administrators believe that employment pulls students’ attention away from their academic studies; they define any time spent in paid employment as necessarily reducing the amount of time available for learning. Qualitative data indicate that this time trade-off is real for many working students. But what if working were considered not as detracting from education but as promoting student learning? From a human-capital perspective, both employment (especially when defined as on-the-job training) and formal education build students’ human capital. Given this theoretical perspective as well as the reality of student
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