This report presents, and summarizes selected findings gathered from the 2016 Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey administered at the University of Iowa. Below are some selected highlights:

Findings from the 2016 administration of SERU continue to confirm previous findings that close to 60% of the student body chooses to work while being enrolled at UI (compared to 48% at other universities administering SERU). When examined further, we find that UI students work not only in higher rates but also for more hours (≈3 hours per week) than the comparison institutions.


  • The majority of UI students report that working does assist in the development of communication skills
  • (69%), confidence (67%), leadership (65%), problem solving skills (96%), and time management (75%).
  • While the work undergraduates do is often not related to any academic assignments (68%), students report that working has helped them develop skills that could be useful in the future (60%) and they benefit from the examples and experiences of others (63%).


  • Student responses show that higher levels of concern about finances, across the board, are negatively associated with cumulative GPA.
  • Over half (52%) of students report worrying about their financial situations “often,” which is comparable to the rate reported by students in the benchmark group (55%).
  • 72% of UI students report being “satisfied” with the value of the education they are receiving, a 7-point difference from the comparison group (65%)
  • 60% of UI students report that given the amount of financial aid they receive the cost of attendance is manageable, slightly higher than the comparison group (57%).

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To read more, open the pdf document, A Review of Student Financial Concerns and Effects of Working at the University of Iowa (Spring 2017).  You can also access an archived copy of the 2015 Student Financial Concerns Report.