If parents want their children to continue their education past high school, pushing them to enroll in extracurricular activities alongside studious peers may be the way to go, suggests a study in the journal Social Science Research.
According to the study, published this month, participating in any extracurricular activity during high school increases the odds of a student enrolling in college. When paired in those activities with peers who have higher-than-normal grade-point averages, students are twice as likely to continue on their academic careers after high school.
The study authors, led by Lance Erickson of Brigham Young University, examined data from 8,087 high schoolers across 80 high schools from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Overall, students who participated in extracurriculars were 1.3 times as likely to attend a four-year college (versus not enrolling in any college) than those who weren’t active in extracurriculars.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2014 edition of Education Week as Preparation for Higher Education