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ERIC Number: ED574376
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 70
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 69
Learning While Earning: The New Normal
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Smith, Nicole; Melton, Michelle; Price, Eric, W.
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
For decades, the popular conception of a college student in this country has been the full-time residential financially dependent student who enrolls in a four-year college immediately after graduating from high school. That student has not been the norm at U.S. postsecondary institutions for more than 30 years. Such students exist but they are greatly outnumbered by working learners: students who balance learning in college with earning a paycheck. This report examines the students who are combining work with ongoing learning. This report finds that: (1) Going to college and working while doing so is better than going straight to work after high school; (2) Working while attending college hurts disadvantaged students the most; (3) Working and learning simultaneously has benefits, especially when students work in jobs related to what they study; (4) Most students are working; (5) One-third of working learners are 30 or older; (6) More people are working full-time while in college; (7) You can't work your way through college anymore; and (8) Students are working and taking out more loans to pay for college. Policy implications include: (1) Working learners need stronger ties between the world of work and the world of education; (2) To improve the connections between work and learning, federal and state policymakers should fund postsecondary education, in part, based on performance measured by labor market outcomes; (3) Policymakers should also invest in competency-based education programs that teach skills with labor market value. Data sources are appended.
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 3300 Whitehaven Street NW Suite 5000 Box 571444, Washington, DC 20057. Tel: 202-687-4922; Fax: 202-687-3110; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; ACT Foundation; Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce