Students who work more than 15 hours a week in high school show lower rates of college completion, suggests a new study assessing the harm of high school work intensity.
The study, which is published in last month's issue of the journal Developmental Psychology, supports other recent research that has found high school students who work long hours are likely to show increased problem behaviors and decreased school engagement.
The new study, conducted at the University of Michigan, used data from a national survey of high school seniors called the Monitoring the Future Project. The survey has followed more than 68,000 students, starting with the class of 1976.
Researchers found that by age 29 or 30, more than half of high school students who had worked less than 15 hours a week had completed a bachelor's degree. But for every five additional hours worked over 15 hours a week, students experienced an 8% drop in college completion. Only about 20% of those who had worked 31 hours or more a week in high school finished college.