School, Work, Stress, Repeat: A comparative analysis of the academic success and student engagement of commuter, and residential students at Whittier College

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Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


Statistical data has indicated the population of college students has continue to grow all over campuses in the U.S. More significant the growth of commuter students has captured the attention of researchers. Past research has analyzed the academic difference between residential and commuter students by measuring GPA, age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Although these variables are significant factors behind students’ success research has not yet measured success through students’ engagement on campus. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between academic performance and levels of engagement between residential and commuter students. With that I ask, is there a difference in the academic performance and student engagement between residential and commuter students at Whittier College? This research consisted of mixed methods by conducting in-depth interviews with five residential and five commuter students, with 75 surveys on campus. The motivation behind mixed method is to capture what past research have not been able to accomplish, which are in-depth interviews supported by numerical data. In addition this research will define students academic performance by also taking a look at students engagement on campus. Results suggest that there is no relationship between students academic performance and their status as either residential or commuter. Results from interviews do suggest there is a relationship between how much a student is engaged on campus and whether they are a residential or commuter student.


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