- A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, finds that college student employment subsidies provide generally positive effects on degree completion and employment.
- According to the study, the positive effects of employment subsidies are largest for lower-income students and students with lower SAT scores.
- According to the study, students enrolled in the largest employment subsidy program, Federal Work-Study, have a 3.2% improvement in bachelor degree completion six years later and a 2.4% improvement in employment six years later.
The study says that the academic improvements seem to be driven by the population of students who would have worked anyway, even without a student employment subsidy program. That’s because these students were able to work fewer hours, thanks to the subsidy, and apparently could devote more time to their studies. For students who would not have worked without the employment subsidy program, their grades declined in the first year of work study, but their graduation rates didn’t suffer and they enjoyed positive effects on their later employment.