Decline in Student Volunteering

College students are less interested in helping out. Or maybe they just aren’t able to do so.

According to an article by Melody Brumble in USA Today:

The percentage of college students who volunteer is declining, reflecting an overall drop in volunteerism nationally. In 2010, 26.1 percent of college students around the United States volunteered, about on par with the overall percentage of Americans who volunteered that year. College student volunteerism peaked at 31.2 percent in 2004, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

This is despite the fact that more than half of community colleges and about a quarter of four-year institutions have service programs.

So why is service declining? Brumble doesn’t speculate, but it might have something to do with the cost of college. High tuition likely leads more students to try to get jobs when they’re not in class. Between 1984 and 2001 the percent of college students who worked increased from 49 to 57 percent.

No wonder they don’t volunteer; they probably don’t have time.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer