Learning While Earning: The New Normal finds that over the last 25 years, more than 70 percent of college students have been working while enrolled. These 14 million college students face the challenge of balancing work, school and other life priorities. The report explores these working learners and finds that students can’t work their way through college anymore to offset debt. It also identifies several policy changes that stand to help these students succeed.

Key Findings


One-third of working learners are 30 or older.


Out of the 14 million working learners, 19 percent have children.


Twenty-five percent of all working learners are simultaneously employed full-time and enrolled in college full-time.


About 40 percent of undergraduates and 76 percent of graduate students work at least 30 hours a week.

Listen to the Podcast

In this podcast, Eric Price, a co-author of Learning While Earning: The New Normal interviews two mature working learners to examine the pressures affecting students balancing work and school. Listen to this podcast to hear their stories.

 

Watch the Video

In this video, Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale and Dr. Nicole Smith contribute insights on the challenges that stem from combining work with ongoing learning. Students who attend college while working have to balance competing priorities. Watch Dr. Carnevale, Dr. Smith and students discuss what can be done to improve the education pathway for working college students.

 

Full Report

Learning While Earning: The New Normal finds that over the last 25 years, more than 70 percent of college students have been working while enrolled. In particular, it finds:

  • Everyone works and everyone learns, but you can’t work your way through college anymore.
  • Sixty percent of working learners are women
  • Young working learners gravitate towards sales and office support while mature working learners are more concentrated in management

Download the Report