EXTRACURRICULAR INVOLVEMENT IN COLLEGE: ITS EFFECT ON ACADEMIC SUCCESS, MENTAL AND SOCIAL HEALTH, AND PREPAREDNESS FOR LIFE AFTER GRADUATION
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWith many jobs, internships, and higher degree seeking programs requiring students to have some form of experience to be considered “well rounded,” many students are involved in extracurricular activities. However, previous studies report mixed findings regarding the impact of extracurricular involvement on student academic success. This study provides new data related to extracurricular involvement and its impact on various metrics, such as academic performance, mental and social health, and preparedness for life after graduation. The data in this study were collected using a Qualtrics survey that was sent to undergraduate students at the University of Arizona. Interestingly, students who reported 16–30 hours of extracurricular involvement each week were found to have higher GPAs (0.3125 points higher on average) compared to those who were not involved in extracurricular activities. However, students who were involved for less than 5 hours per week and those involved for 5 to 10 hours per week did not show a significant difference in GPA compared to those who were not involved. Furthermore, students involved in extracurriculars self-reported a stronger confidence in several transferable skills compared to their uninvolved peers, suggesting that involvement in extracurricular activities during undergraduate study may aid a student as they transition to postgraduate life (joining the workforce, continuing their education, etc). Many students also reported feeling stressed consistently throughout the semester, with stress levels reported at varying degrees. However, the survey data did not find a significant difference in the levels of stress experienced by involved students compared to their uninvolved peers. Taken together, the survey results suggest extracurricular involvement to any degree allows undergraduate students to feel better prepared for life after college and does not negatively impact academic success.
Degree ProgramPhysiology and Medical Sciences