, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 273-298
Date: 29 Feb 2008

Under-represented college students and extracurricular involvement: the effects of various student organizations on academic performance

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Several studies indicate that students who are involved in extracurricular activities during college are more academically successful than are those who are not; however, most studies do not distinguish between different types of activities nor do they adequately consider the unique experiences of under-represented college students. Drawing on Ogbu’s theory of oppositional culture and Tinto’s theory of educational departure, I examine the effect of involvement in six different types of student organizations, as well as involvement in a co-ethnic student organization, on the academic performance of African American and Latino college students attending 27 different selective colleges. I find that student organizations differentially affect academic performance, depending on the type of organization and the race and gender of the students.

I wish to thank Belinda Robnett, Matt Huffman, and Cynthia Feliciano for their invaluable feedback on this paper.