Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 273–298

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


DOI: 10.1007/s11218-007-9050-y

Cite this article as:
Baker, C.N. Soc Psychol Educ (2008) 11: 273. doi:10.1007/s11218-007-9050-y


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.


Academic performanceAfrican AmericansLatinosHigher educationExtracurricular organizations

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research on Educational OpportunityUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA