Study finds students with part-time jobs get better grades

Tyler Bierwirth/KANSAN
Taylor Cady, a sophomore from Derby, organizes the register at The Underground Wednesday afternoon. Cady works 15 hours a week as a cashier on campus.

Many college students would rather spend their time doing anything but working, but recent studies show that money isn’t the only benefit of a part-time job. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that students who worked between one and 20 hours a week get better grades then students who do not work. This may come as a surprise, because common logic would lead one to believe that less time working means more time to complete school work. In most cases though, more free time means more time to do things other than homework.

Mary Ann Rasnak, director of the Academic Achievement and Access Center, agrees that having a job is an important part of learning responsibility and becoming independent.

“We all get more done when we are busy,” she said.

Jessica Eaton, a sophomore from Dodge City, is proof of this statistic.

“Having a job helps me manage my time better, because I have to plan studying around work. It helps keep me organized,” Eaton said.

Work was never an option for Jessica, a waitress who has to pay for almost everything on her own. Even with working and school, she still finds time to participate in a sorority and loves to go running. She shows it is possible to have a part-time job, go to school and have a social life.

However, the same study also found that working too many hours can have a negative effect on your grades, with the average GPA for students who worked full-time jobs being lower than those who don’t work at all. Twenty hours is the happy medium, because working too much can leave you with no time to balance work and school and keep up in your classes.

“The most successful people I meet are the ones that have the right balance,” Rasnak said.

Twenty hours a week will most likely give you the motivation to be productive with your free time, while working too much will give you no free time.

Although Rasnak said that sometimes it would be nice to have everything paid for, Eaton said she wouldn’t change how things are.

“I’ll go to class because I know that it’s my money I would be wasting if I didn’t,” Eaton said. “I don’t take it for granted.”

— Edited by Sarah McCabe