College Facebook Users Getting Lower GPA’s?

April 15th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Facebook Logo

A recent college survey reported that college students who are frequent Facebook users tend to get lower overall grades than non-users. The study was conducted by an education researcher at Ohio State University, Aryn Karpinski, who polled over 200 college students. Her study found out that college Facebook users have GPAs on the 3.0 to 3.5 range as compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for average for non-users.

The study also showed that college Facebook users generally study anywhere from one to five hours weekly while non-users average from 11 to 15 hours per week. This is a possible reason why college users of the popular social networking site generally get lower GPAs. But this is not enough reason to blame Facebook. Even the study author herself says so.

Karpinski stated that correlation does not equal to causation. Facebook alone may not be the only culprit why some college students who happen to be active in online social networks also have lower scores at the end of the day. There can be other variables that may also contribute to this. Karpinski adds, "I’m just saying that there’s some kind of relationship there, and there’s many third variables that need to be studied."

With all the possible distractions out there, spending time social networking online is but only one small part of the whole picture. On the other hand, having after school jobs and other extra curricular activities may also be possible causes.

But the said study does show how college students today are trying to spend most of their time outside class. College students who try to spend more time enjoying themselves rather than study might get into the nearest and most convenient distraction available to them such as what Facebook may offer.

The survey also showed that around 85 percent of the undergrads use Facebook as compared to 52 percent of graduating students. A majority of the college students in the study ironically also say that the social networking site does not interfere with their studying. It may be that college students may be denying that they are spending just too much time on Facebook or are enjoying themselves too much to even see how it affects their study time, or their scores.