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Journal of College Student Retention-Research Theory & Practice

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Student Employment


The majority of college students work, and there are well-documented findings about the impacts of student work on academic performance. However, there is little research on the impacts of this work on other aspects of students’ lives. In this study we ask: What are the impacts of student employment beyond academic performance? Using our methodological approach of student-driven research and a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis, we find that work has four main impacts on students’ lives: it limits flexibility in students’ schedules, leaving them vulnerable in emergencies; it requires students to make difficult financial calculations; it can cause students’ social lives and mental health to suffer; and, despite these negative impacts, students find work to be fulfilling. With these understandings, we propose ways that university programs, faculty, and academic staff can support working students by accommodating students’ time and financial constraints.


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This is the author’s version of a work thad for publication in Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 15210251221149209..



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