Work Matters: Consequences of High School Employment on College Attendance

Irina Voloshin, University of Washington
Charles Hirschman, University of Washington

Can high school students successfully integrate employment with their studies? In recent decades, there has been a vigorous, and sometimes confusing, debate on the nature of the effect of work on academic achievement, school attachment, and college attendance. At the heart of the debate are the questions of selection and causality. In particular, researchers have begun to examine whether teenage employment merely reflects the relationship between antecedent social origins and achievement, or if adolescent employment patterns have an independent effect on high school or postsecondary outcomes. In this paper, we examine effects of teenage employment on college attendance, and find that the intensity of employment as well as the type of employment in high school directly impacts college transition trajectories.

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Presented in Session 169: Determinants of College Enrollment and Attainment