Submitted By nicabebe008
College Students Working: The Choice Nexus
A Review of Research Literature on College Students and Work by Tina Tuttle, with Jeff McKinney & Melanie Rago
I PA S T O P I C B R I E F S
College enrollments have continued on an upward climb for decades, as more and more people recognize the value of a college education, especially the tangible value of the diploma in the marketplace. The past few decades have witnessed growing diversity in higher education, but with that diversity we also see dramatic changes in how students are funding their college educations. Adult degree seekers, firstgeneration students, students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds have become a mainstay in the growing mix in college today. This new mix challenges the persistent image of the of the “traditional,” direct-from-high school, white, middle-class college student on a residential campus, who may work part time, is dependent on parents, and graduates within four years. In fact this picture represents less than 27% of college students today (Choy 2002). Today’s college students face a complex set of dilemmas about whether to attend college, where to attend, how to pay, how much to work, how many jobs to take, how to pay credit card bills and car payments, how to juggle family and children, and how to balance these competing priorities while in school. The amount of time students spend working has been of increasing concern for the educators that serve them and, in some instances, the students themselves. Recent data would indicate that 80% of American undergraduates worked while attending college in 1999-2000 (King, 2003).This represents an 8% increase over the class less than a decade previously, among whom 72% worked (Cuccaro-Alamin & Choy, 1998). Further, there appears to be a strong body of literature that points to the positive effects of not working versus…...