Facts of the Month

How Full-time College Students Spend Their Days

As the cost of college continues to rise, often faster than inflation and people's paychecks, more and more students and parents are looking for creative ways to keep the cost of college down. For some students, that may mean looking at a low-cost community college for the first year or two with the intent of transferring to another campus to finish out a bachelor's degree. For others, it may mean living at home and commuting to campus. And in this climate, families are not the only ones getting creative. Knowing that cost can be a barrier (and often a significant one), colleges and universities are looking for new ways to offer a college education at a more affordable rate. Some are "locking in" tuition rates for four years for entering freshman. Others are minimizing loan debt for students at certain income levels. In Indiana, Manchester College recently announced an innovative "Fast Forward" program that allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in three years instead of the typical four (http://fastforward.manchester.edu/). The rules of the college funding game are changing. Be sure you have done your research and explored all your options.

A recent report published by Postsecondary OPPORTUNITY using data from the American Time Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed how today's full-time college students spend their days. It may be a bit surprising. According to data collected between 2003-2006, full-time college students ages 18-24 divided their 24-hour weekday intervals in the following ways:

Sleeping - 8.5 hours
Leisure & sports - 4.5 hours
Education - 2.9 hours
Working - 2.6 hours
Other - 2.1 hours
Traveling - 1.6 hours
Eating/drinking - 1 hour
Personal grooming - .8 hours

And these are full-time students. Hmmm?

Publication Date: March 2008