ERIC Number: ED469585
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Crucial Choices: How Students' Financial Decisions Affect Their Academic Success.
King, Jacqueline E.
This report demonstrates that by working long hours and attending school part time, students not only lengthen their time-to-degree, but also increase their likelihood of dropping out. More than half of all undergraduates attend college part time, and 80% work while enrolled. This report examines the most recent evidence on the effects of students' choices on their prospect of succeeding in college. It attempts to describe students who are entering college, the academic background they bring with them, the resources they use to pay for their education, and the potential impact of their choices on the likelihood that they will graduate. Data are from two national studies conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, with files for more than 35,000 students, and the Beginning Postsecondary Students Study. Data show that low-income students arrive at college with many strikes against them. Data also show that students often make choices that affect their academic performance negatively for several reasons: to contain the cost of college, to support lifestyle choices, and sometimes, to devote time to their dependents. The question that these data pose for institutions is how to steer studentstoward choices that suit their individual needs and maximize their likelihood of academic success. There are no right answers, but every student can be helped by having a clearer understanding of the costs, benefits, and pitfalls associated with different choices. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Students, Costs, Higher Education, Part Time Employment, Part Time Students, Paying for College, Student Employment, Student Financial Aid
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC. Center for Policy Analysis.