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School Enrollment and Work Status: 2011

Report Number ACSBR/11-14
Jessica Davis


This brief presents data on school enrollment and student work status for the nation based on the 2011 American Community Survey (ACS). It takes a look at the proportion of students who worked and how much they worked over the previous year. Work status questions in the ACS are asked of persons aged 16 and over, so in addition to college students, high school students are included in this analysis.

College students have a history of working, independent of the type of institution they attend, their age or family responsibilities, or even their family income.1 College professors and administrators generally recommend that students work 10 to 15 hours per week on campus.2 While 10 to 15 hours per week is considered optimal for college students, many of them work longer hours and not necessarily on campus.

This report is one in a series to promote results from the 2011 ACS. The ACS provides detailed estimates of demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics for congressional districts, counties, places, and other localities every year. A description of the ACS is provided in the text box.

1 See American Council on Education issued brief, Working Their Way Through College, May 2006, at <>.
2 See Perna, Laura W., “Understanding the Working College Student,” Academe, July–August 2010, at <>.


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