…But it can also delay graduation

Working while in school can actually boost academic performance, studies have found, as long as it’s fewer than 15 hours per week.

But low-income students who work more than that have lower grade point averages and are less likely to graduate in six years than their peers who work fewer hours, according to a report by the ACT Center for Equity in Learning.

That’s important because graduation rates at California State University and community colleges, which serve the bulk of the state’s students, are already less than stellar (though at CSU, they’re on the rise).

With some projections showing California’s economy faces a shortfall of a million college graduates by 2030, more policymakers are arguing the state needs to do something to address the cost of attendance. Agreeing on what to do has been more challenging.