The recession may be over, but as tuition and debt continue to rise, many students are still under extreme pressure to make ends meet – and for some, it’s at the expense of academic pursuits.
In part responding to critics who wondered why they hadn’t explored this earlier, the creators of the National Survey of Student Engagement this year asked how finances were affecting students’ academic activity. The results, NSSE director Alexander C. McCormick said, are “not too surprising, but worrisome.”
About 60 percent of full-time seniors who work more than 20 hours per week said it interfered with their academic performance, but just as many said they frequently looked into working more hours to cover costs. Further, 32 percent of first-year students and 36 percent of seniors said financial concerns interfered with their academic performance.
And 27 percent of freshmen and 34 percent of seniors said they “often” or “very often” chose not to purchase required academic materials because of the cost.