No longer. A new 2008 study by the Newspaper Association of America has reaffirmed the findings of a groundbreaking 1987 study that found that students with journalism experience had better grades and standardized college entrance test scores than students without journalism experience.
Just over 31,000 college students were sampled for the study, roughly 20 percent of whom had experience on their high school newspaper and/or yearbook. As in the 1987 study, the journalism students had statistically significant higher scores in the following areas:
- High school overall grade point average
- ACT composite score
- ACT English score
- College freshman English grades
- College freshman grade point average
According to the study itself:
"If nothing else, we can conclude that high school newspaper or yearbook staff involvement is an excellent outlet for talented, active and involved students. It also gives them a chance to apply their natural leadership abilities while also exercising their critical thinking, designing and writing skills."