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The Effects of Jobs on School Grades

by Maria OCadiz, studioD

Statistics from San Jose State University indicate that the number of its students who are part-time employees has increased from 30 percent in the fall of 2011 to 33 percent in the spring of 2012. Student employment has various benefits, such as the acquisition of time-management skills and the development of self-confidence and independence. Students can work full time or part time, which affects their school grades in various ways.

Low Aspirations

Students who work full time often perform poorly in their academic work, according to ASCD, an association that provides expert solutions to educational leadership. They develop low aspirations for their academic targets and are less concerned about advancing their careers. Such students usually work for more than 20 hours per week, which interferes with their ability to concentrate on their schoolwork. Working irregular hours also destroys the good study habits that students should develop. It discourages students from attending classes regularly and makes them eventually drop out of college.

Drug Abuse

Students with jobs sometimes spend their earnings on narcotics or alcohol, according to Patricia Tanner Nelson, a family and child development specialist at the University of Delaware-Newark, and Stephen Hamilton, an associate professor at Cornell University-Ithaca. The scenario can lead to a habit of drug abuse and alcohol overconsumption, which distracts students from their studies and negatively affects their academic performance. Students who engage in drug abuse may also take part in other deviant behaviors, such as copying assignments and skipping classes, which can negatively affect their academic progress.


Fatigue, according to Larry Elridge, a writer at Connect with Kids Network, is a common occurrence for students who work for more than 20 hours per week. Lack of enough sleep is the main reason for the tiredness, because overworked students do not have enough time for sleep. These students do not engage in sufficient exercises to refresh their bodies and minds. Fatigue interferes with their academic performance by reducing their ability to recall details, increasing their absenteeism and reducing their attention levels.

Good Performance

Students who work for 12 to15 hours per week can improve their academic performance and develop better study habits, according to the University Parent Media, an online parent guide from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Part-time employment provides students with a break from their studies, after which they can revert to their books with clearer minds. Working students can gain by relating their studies to their job environment. They also acquire time-management skills from their jobs, which enable them to balance between their class schedules, leisure time and working hours.

About the Author

Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.

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