Reports: Special


Working During the First Year of College, April 2008 (FYIU 08-1)

The topic of this issue of the FYIU series is student employment during the first year of college. This issue relies on data from the National Survey of Student Engagement, and it covers for the IU community the intersection between student employment status and such important factors to student success as financial aid, engagement, grade performance and persistence.

Among the important findings in this report:

  • Roughly one-fifth of IU full-time freshmen work off-campus for 21 or more hours per week. This percentage varies by campus, from a low of 3% at IU Bloomington to highs of 58% and 57% at IU Northwest and IU East, respectively.

  • Among students with an established financial need, students with unmet need are almost twice as likely as students with met need to work off campus for 21 or more hours per week during their first college year.

  • Compared to those who do not work, students who work off campus are less likely to study 15 or more hours per week during their first year of college. Students who work off campus are also less likely to participate in co-curricular activities during their first college year than their peers who either do not work or work on campus.

  • Even after taking into consideration differences in the demographic characteristics and academic preparation of students, when compared to their peers with other work statuses, students who work off campus for 21 or more hours per week are less likely to complete at least 12 credit hours during the semester and they earn significantly lower semester GPAs.

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