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High-school students' grades suffer when they work in part-time jobs for more than 20 hours a week, a new study by George Washington University researchers has found.

Based on interviews with 446 college-bound students employed by seven fast-food restaurant chains nationwide, the study6found that students who worked more than 20 hours had an average grade-point average of 6.47 on a 9-point scale--a B. The grade-point average of those who worked fewer than 20 hours a week averaged 6.81, or a B-plus.

A follow-up study found that, among students maintaining an A average, fewer than one in four worked more than 20 hours a week; among students with lower grades, between two-fifths and three-fourths worked at least that much.

"These findings suggest that responsible adults have been unwilling or unable to convey to adolescents the existence of a 'safe upper bound' in the number of employment hours while attending high school," states the report, "Intense Employment While in High School: Are Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Parents Misguiding Academically Oriented Adolescents?"

"It would seem a propitious time for these same responsible adults to start applying the brakes," it concludes.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the National Institute for Work and Learning. About 58 percent of the students surveyed worked more than 20 hours weekly.

Free copies of the report may be obtained by writing Charlotte Ericson, Office of University Relations, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052, or by calling (202) 994-6460.

The decision by several colleges to eliminate or restrict the use of standardized admissions tests has been popular among administrators and prospective students, according to a new study by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, or FairTest.

The study, based on interviews and surveys at seven institutions that no longer require standardized tests for admission, or have modified their use, found that applications increased after the new policy was adopted.

"This report proves better alternatives do exist for colleges that dare to seek them," said John Weiss, executive director of FairTest.

Copies of the report, "Beyond Standardized Tests: Admissions Alternatives That Work," may be purchased for $5.50 each, postpaid, from FairTest, P.O. Box 1272, Cambridge, Mass. 02238.

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