first_imgOver the last half century the average cost of college has increased six fold, according to the National Center for Education Services, but the number of hours students spend per week studying has decreased.College students spend approximately 15 hours per week reading, writing and preparing for class, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement, which is administered to freshman and seniors at four-year colleges and universities. In 1962, college students spent an average of 24 hours per week studying.Productivity · Amy Ehrhart, left, and Jari Haile, right, study in Leavey Library with their computers. Some students said technology has decreased the amount of time they are able to devote to studying. – Arkadiy Garber | Summer TrojanVice Provost for Undergraduate Programs Gene Bickers, who has taught at USC for 24 years, said USC does not follow the trend of decreased time studying.“I have not seen a decline in studying,” Bickers said. “If anything, at USC there are stable study patterns or possibly an increase.”USC’s rise as a research university and its selectiveness have attributed to an increase in the number of hours USC students spend studying per week, Bickers said.“If you look at the academic qualification of the students, it has never been better,” Bickers said. “The students I come across are more talented and better prepared than 24 years ago.”Brian Rodriguez, a research assistant and doctoral student at the Rossier School of Education, said the rising cost of college tuition has forced students to work instead of study. About two-thirds of college students work part- or full-time to help finance their education, according to an Associate Press/Viacom poll.“The increase in cost of education coupled with stagnant financial aid makes having a job in college necessary for college completion,” Rodriguez said.Rodriguez said students should ideally spend no more than 10 to 15 hours per week working or taking part in extracurricular activities.“[Though] maintaining employment helps students with employment skills, it can compromise a student’s education,” Rodriguez said. “Students working excessive hours are more likely to miss classes compared to students who are working less than 20 hours per week.”Jason Perkins, a research assistant and doctoral student at Rossier, said though technology can cut the amount of time needed for research, it is not a substitute for studying.“With technology, the research time that is required is drastically reduced,” Perkins said. “But it can also be a distraction.”Claire Robertson-MacLeod, a junior majoring in communication, said the constant presence of technology decreases her productivity.“Even if I don’t bring my laptop so I don’t get distracted, I still bring my phone,” Robertson-MacLeod said. “There is always some way to connect to the Internet.”The NSSE study found that the number of hours students study per week is dependent on their major. Architecture and physics students studied an average of 24 and 20 hours per week, respectively, and psychology and communication majors studied on average 14 and 13 hours per week, respectively.Anne Cochran, a junior majoring in global health, said she studies about 10 to 20 hours per week.“I feel like you definitely have to study more [if you are pre-med], because it’s competitive and the classes are more difficult,” Cochran said.Bickers said students should study two hours for every one hour of class.“I know there are students that can get by without devoting as much time to studying as others do,” Bickers said. “But it often means you are getting a superficial experience.”An average USC student taking 16 units should, therefore, study about 32 hours per week.Rodriguez said students are often unaware of how much they should study for a particular class.“Professors should be more explicit about how many hours [students] should study,” Rodriguez said. “Students often don’t know how long they should be studying.”last_img

Students study less, national survey finds

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