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11 Ways to Deal With Homework Overload

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 Fact Checked

Making a Plan

Staying motivated, starting good homework habits, expert q&a.

This article was co-authored by Jennifer Kaifesh . Jennifer Kaifesh is the Founder of Great Expectations College Prep, a tutoring and counseling service based in Southern California. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience managing and facilitating academic tutoring and standardized test prep as it relates to the college application process. She takes a personal approach to her tutoring, and focuses on working with students to find their specific mix of pursuits that they both enjoy and excel at. She is a graduate of Northwestern University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 253,540 times.

A pile of homework can seem daunting, but it’s doable if you make a plan. Make a list of everything you need to do, and work your way through, starting with the most difficult assignments. Focus on your homework and tune out distractions, and you’ll get through things more efficiently. Giving yourself breaks and other rewards will help you stay motivated along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck! Hang in there, and you’ll knock the homework out before you know it.

Things You Should Know

  • Create a checklist of everything you have to do, making sure to include deadlines and which assignments are a top priority.
  • Take a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of studying. This can give your mind a break and help you feel more focused.
  • Make a schedule of when you plan on doing your homework and try to stick to it. This way, you won’t feel too overwhelmed as the assignments roll in.

Step 1 Create a checklist of the tasks you have.

  • Make a plan to go through your work bit by bit, saving the easiest tasks for last.

Step 3 Work in a comfortable but distraction-free place.

  • Put phones and any other distractions away. If you have to do your homework on a computer, avoid checking your email or social media while you are trying to work.
  • Consider letting your family (or at least your parents) know where and when you plan to do homework, so they'll know to be considerate and only interrupt if necessary.

Step 4 Ask for help if you get stuck.

  • If you have the option to do your homework in a study hall, library, or other place where there might be tutors, go for it. That way, there will be help around if you need it. You'll also likely wind up with more free time if you can get work done in school.

Step 1 Take a break now and then.

  • To take a break, get up and move away from your workspace. Walk around a bit, and get a drink or snack.
  • Moving around will recharge you mentally, physically, and spiritually, so you’re ready to tackle the next part of your homework.

Step 2 Remind yourself of the big picture.

  • For instance, you might write “I need to do this chemistry homework because I want a good average in the class. That will raise my GPA and help me stay eligible for the basketball team and get my diploma.”
  • Your goals might also look something like “I’m going to write this history paper because I want to get better as a writer. Knowing how to write well and make a good argument will help me when I’m trying to enter law school, and then down the road when I hope to become a successful attorney.”

Step 3 Bribe yourself.

  • Try doing your homework as soon as possible after it is assigned. Say you have one set of classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and another on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Do the Monday homework on Monday, instead of putting it off until Tuesday.
  • That way, the class will still be fresh in your mind, making the homework easier.
  • This also gives you time to ask for help if there’s something you don’t understand.

Step 3 Try a study group.

  • If you want to keep everyone accountable, write a pact for everyone in your study group to sign, like “I agree to spend 2 hours on Monday and Wednesday afternoons with my study group. I will use that time just for working, and won’t give in to distractions or playing around.”
  • Once everyone’s gotten through the homework, there’s no problem with hanging out.

Step 4 Let your teacher know if you’re having trouble keeping up.

  • Most teachers are willing to listen if you’re trying and legitimately have trouble keeping up. They might even adjust the homework assignments to make them more manageable.

Jennifer Kaifesh

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  • ↑ https://www.understood.org/en/articles/homework-strategies
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/homework.html
  • ↑ https://kidshelpline.com.au/kids/tips/dealing-with-homework
  • ↑ https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/focused.html
  • ↑ http://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/august-2014/tips-for-fighting-homework-fatigue
  • ↑ http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/homework.html
  • ↑ https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/study-partners/

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Spend less time on homework

How many times have you found yourself still staring at your textbook around midnight (or later!) even when you started your homework hours earlier? Those lost hours could be explained by Parkinson’s Law, which states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you give yourself all night to memorize those geometry formulas for your quiz tomorrow, you’ll inevitably find that a 30 minute task has somehow filled your entire evening.

We know that you have more homework than ever. But even with lots and lots to do, a few tweaks to your study routine could help you spend less time getting more accomplished. Here are 8 steps to make Parkinson’s Law work to your advantage:

1. Make a list

This should be a list of everything that has to be done that evening. And we mean, everything—from re-reading notes from this morning’s history class to quizzing yourself on Spanish vocabulary.

2. Estimate the time needed for each item on your list

You can be a little ruthless here. However long you think a task will take, try shaving off 5 or 10 minutes. But, be realistic. You won’t magically become a speed reader.

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3. Gather all your gear

Collect EVERYTHING you will need for the homework you are working on (like your laptop for writing assignments and pencils for problem sets). Getting up for supplies takes you off course and makes it that much harder to get back to your homework.

The constant blings and beeps from your devices can make it impossible to focus on what you are working on. Switch off or silence your phones and tablets, or leave them in another room until it’s time to take a tech break.

Read More: How to Calculate Your GPA

5. Time yourself

Noting how much time something actually takes will help you estimate better and plan your next study session.

6. Stay on task

If you’re fact checking online, it can be so easy to surf on over to a completely unrelated site. A better strategy is to note what information you need to find online, and do it all at once at the end of the study session.

7. Take plenty of breaks

Most of us need a break between subjects or to break up long stretches of studying. Active breaks are a great way to keep your energy up. Tech breaks can be an awesome way to combat the fear of missing out that might strike while you are buried in your work, but they also tend to stretch much longer than originally intended. Stick to a break schedule of 10 minutes or so.

8. Reward yourself! 

Finish early? If you had allocated 30 minutes for reading a biology chapter and it only took 20, you can apply those extra 10 minutes to a short break—or just move on to your next task. If you stay on track, you might breeze through your work quickly enough to catch up on some Netflix.

Our best piece of advice? Keep at it. The more you use this system, the easier it will become. You’ll be surprised by how much time you can shave off homework just by focusing and committing to a distraction-free study plan.

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College Homework: What You Need to Know

  • April 1, 2020

Samantha "Sam" Sparks

  • Future of Education

Despite what Hollywood shows us, most of college life actually involves studying, burying yourself in mountains of books, writing mountains of reports, and, of course, doing a whole lot of homework.

Wait, homework? That’s right, homework doesn’t end just because high school did: part of parcel of any college course will be homework. So if you thought college is harder than high school , then you’re right, because in between hours and hours of lectures and term papers and exams, you’re still going to have to take home a lot of schoolwork to do in the comfort of your dorm.

College life is demanding, it’s difficult, but at the end of the day, it’s fulfilling. You might have had this idealized version of what your college life is going to be like, but we’re here to tell you: it’s not all parties and cardigans.

How Many Hours Does College Homework Require?

Stress from homework

Here’s the thing about college homework: it’s vastly different from the type of takehome school activities you might have had in high school.

See, high school students are given homework to augment what they’ve learned in the classroom. For high school students, a majority of their learning happens in school, with their teachers guiding them along the way.

In college, however, your professors will encourage you to learn on your own. Yes, you will be attending hours and hours of lectures and seminars, but most of your learning is going to take place in the library, with your professors taking a more backseat approach to your learning process. This independent learning structure teaches prospective students to hone their critical thinking skills, perfect their research abilities, and encourage them to come up with original thoughts and ideas.

Sure, your professors will still step in every now and then to help with anything you’re struggling with and to correct certain mistakes, but by and large, the learning process in college is entirely up to how you develop your skills.

This is the reason why college homework is voluminous: it’s designed to teach you how to basically learn on your own. While there is no set standard on how much time you should spend doing homework in college, a good rule-of-thumb practiced by model students is 3 hours a week per college credit . It doesn’t seem like a lot, until you factor in that the average college student takes on about 15 units per semester. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that a single, 3-unit college class would usually require 9 hours of homework per week.

But don’t worry, college homework is also different from high school homework in how it’s structured. High school homework usually involves a take-home activity of some kind, where students answer certain questions posed to them. College homework, on the other hand, is more on reading texts that you’ll discuss in your next lecture, studying for exams, and, of course, take-home activities.

Take these averages with a grain of salt, however, as the average number of hours required to do college homework will also depend on your professor, the type of class you’re attending, what you’re majoring in, and whether or not you have other activities (like laboratory work or field work) that would compensate for homework.

Do Students Do College Homework On the Weekends?

Again, based on the average number we provided above, and again, depending on numerous other factors, it’s safe to say that, yes, you would have to complete a lot of college homework on the weekends.

Using the average given above, let’s say that a student does 9 hours of homework per week per class. A typical semester would involve 5 different classes (each with 3 units), which means that a student would be doing an average of 45 hours of homework per week. That would equal to around 6 hours of homework a day, including weekends.

That might seem overwhelming, but again: college homework is different from high school homework in that it doesn’t always involve take-home activities. In fact, most of your college homework (but again, depending on your professor, your major, and other mitigating factors) will probably involve doing readings and writing essays. Some types of college homework might not even feel like homework, as some professors encourage inter-personal learning by requiring their students to form groups and discuss certain topics instead of doing take-home activities or writing papers. Again, lab work and field work (depending on your major) might also make up for homework.


Remember: this is all relative. Some people read fast and will find that 3 hours per unit per week is much too much time considering they can finish a reading in under an hour.The faster you learn how to read, the less amount of time you’ll need to devote to homework.

College homework is difficult, but it’s also manageable. This is why you see a lot of study groups in college, where your peers will establish a way for everyone to learn on a collective basis, as this would help lighten the mental load you might face during your college life. There are also different strategies you can develop to master your time management skills, all of which will help you become a more holistic person once you leave college.

So, yes, your weekends will probably be chock-full of schoolwork, but you’ll need to learn how to manage your time in such a way that you’ll be able to do your homework and socialize, but also have time to develop your other skills and/or talk to family and friends.

College Homework Isn’t All That Bad, Though


Sure, you’ll probably have time for parties and joining a fraternity/sorority, even attend those mythical college keggers (something that the person who invented college probably didn’t have in mind). But I hate to break it to you: those are going to be few and far in between. But here’s a consolation, however: you’re going to be studying something you’re actually interested in.

All of those hours spent in the library, writing down papers, doing college homework? It’s going to feel like a minute because you’re doing something you actually love doing. And if you fear that you’ll be missing out, don’t worry: all those people that you think are attending those parties aren’t actually there because they, too, will be busy studying!

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9 Ways to Finish Homework in College Even When You Don't Feel Like It

  • Student Success

Do you put the “pro” in procrastinate?

In truth, we’ve all experienced how difficult it feels just to start. So we tend to ignore it and focus on something more fun instead. But then, before we realize, a project that at first seemed manageable now appears next to impossible to complete. 

So we go into a deadline-induced panic. 

Even if you think you work well under stress and pressure in college, you probably still feel the overwhelming sense of anxiety that accompanies procrastination, whether or not you meet that looming deadline.

But if you want to break your procrastination habit, you can. It’s fixable. All you need is a solid support system and a few clever productivity tactics to keep your self-discipline and focus in check.

So instead of falling into the frantic last-minute cycle again , use this list of tools and strategies to push ahead and finish what needs to be done.  

1. Play That Music

Music boosts your energy and keeps you alert. So if you are distracted by the slightest of sounds in a usually quiet atmosphere, music can drown out any spontaneous interruptions. It also has a powerful effect on your mood and recall. When you select the right song to play while studying, writing a paper or posting in the discussion board, the tune can trigger your memory.

2. Find a Study Buddy

If you find it difficult to sit down and create a study guide for your next exam, team up with a few classmates to draft a master study guide. Assign each person a section to work on. Perhaps one of your teammates has a better understanding of the material in a specific section and can help you better grasp the concepts. Then, combine everyone’s work for a complete and comprehensive guide.  

3. Grab Your Phone

Use your smartphone to your advantage. Make use of those awkward segments of time throughout the day when you may have a 10-minute opening. Waiting for your kid to finish soccer practice? Have a couple minutes before your meeting starts? Study anytime by loading your notes onto your phone or turning them into digital, on-the-go flashcards.

4. Make It Fun

It’s ok to face it - we avoid tasks because they seem boring. The easiest way to fix this is to make those tasks fun. For example, if you are writing a paper, invite a friend who might have their own work to do to join you at a coffee shop. Or recruit your kids to quiz you on your study material. Your kids will love helping (and they’ll learn something too!).

5. Take Advantage of Web Apps

Writing apps like Hemingway and Grammarly can ease the process of writing papers by helping you write more clearly. Think of these apps as your own personal writing coach. As you write, the app identifies hard to read sentences, as well as awkward phrasing, and promotes better word choices.

6. Set an Alarm

Not just any alarm. One programmed to tell you what you need to do and how it will impact your day. Think, “start working on your paper now and you’ll be able to go to a movie.” If you ignore that one, then set another saying, “if you start your paper now, you can watch an hourlong drama,” and so on. This type of self-reward system can help you better manage your time and still fulfill your wants later on.   

7. Recruit a Supervisor

Being accountable to someone is often the drive we need to kick us into gear. Use a similar tactic to ensure your schoolwork is done on time. Ask someone to check on your progress periodically to assure you’re staying on task. This someone can be your spouse, a friend or even your children. Choose wisely, though. You want someone who is serious about helping and won’t try to bother you while you are working. Your teenaged son or daughter will probably be very good at checking up on you and keeping you on task. Maybe even too good.

8. Do Your Least Favorite Work First

When you do your least favorite work first, you will increase your confidence and decrease your stress levels. And, naturally, avoid procrastination later on. Finishing the largest item on your to-do list will give you the productivity boost you need to do other assignments you may have pushed aside.

9. Change Your Perspective

Are things just not right in your usual study space ? Or do you just not like it anymore? Maybe it’s too loud, too quiet, too dark or just too hot. Consider making a change. Try working in your local coffee shop, in a community library or a nearby park. The change in scenery and perspective will impact your productivity for the better.

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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Take Control of Homework

Find the right college for you, don't let it control you..

Although very few students love homework, it does serve a purpose. Homework helps you:

  • Reinforce what you've learned during the day.
  • Build study habits that are essential in college.
  • Prepare for your classes.
  • Get a sense of progress.

College life involves a lot of adjustments for students. Will you have homework in college? Yes. And it can be one of the most daunting tasks you face there. Out-of-the-classroom learning is part of the college experience and essential for academic success. The good news is that learning some homework tips now will make it easier to do college homework later.

Set the Mood.

Create a good study area with everything you need (e.g., a calculator). If you don't have a quiet place at home, try your local library.

Know Where to Begin.

Make a list of everything you need to do. Note all deadlines. Do the more challenging assignments first so you don't have to face them at the end.

Study at the Same Time Every Day.

Even if you don't have homework every night, use the time to review notes. If sitting down to work is part of your everyday routine, you'll approach it with less dread. Also, you'll become a pro at using time productively.

Keep Things in Perspective.

Know how much weight each assignment or test carries. Use your time accordingly.

Get More Involved.

Keep your mind from wandering by taking notes, underlining sections, discussing topics with others, or relating your homework to something you're studying in another class.

Organize the Information.

People process information in different ways. Some people like to draw pictures or charts to digest information, while others prefer to read aloud or make detailed outlines. Try to find the methods that work best for you. Ask your teacher for recommendations if you're having trouble.

Take Advantage of Any Free Time.

If you have a study period or a long bus ride, use the time to review notes, prepare for an upcoming class, or start your homework.

Study with a Friend.

Get together with friends and classmates to quiz each other, compare notes, and predict test questions. Consider joining a study group.


If you have concerns about the amount or type of homework, talk to your family, teachers, or counselor. They can help you understand how much time you need to allot for homework and how to manage your tasks.

Celebrate Your Achievements.

Reward yourself for hitting milestones or doing something unusually well.

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How to Get Your Homework Done in College

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In contrast to the academic requirements of high school, college courses present a much heavier, more consistent workload. And with everything else that college students have to manage -- jobs, personal life, relationships, physical health, cocurricular obligations -- it can sometimes seem like getting your homework done is an impossible feat. At the same time, however,  not  getting your work done is a recipe for disaster. So, what tips and tricks can you use to get your homework done in college?

Tips for Successfully Doing College Homework

Use these tips to create a process that works for you and your personal study style.

Use a Time Management System

Put all major assignments and their due dates in your time management system . A key part of staying on top of your homework is knowing what's coming; no one, after all, wants to realize on Tuesday that they have a major midterm on Thursday. To avoid surprising yourself, make sure all of your major homework assignments and their due dates are documented in your calendar. That way, you won't inadvertently sabotage your own success simply because you've mismanaged your time.

Schedule Homework Time

Schedule times to do homework each week, and keep those appointments. Without designated time for addressing your to-dos, you're more likely to cram at the last minute, which adds to your anxiety levels.

By putting homework on your calendar, you'll have the time allocated in your already-too-busy schedule, you'll reduce your stress by knowing when, exactly, your homework will be done, and you'll be better able to enjoy whatever else you have planned since you'll know your homework is already taken care of.

Sneak in Your Homework

Use small increments of time whenever possible. You know that 20-minute bus ride you have to and from campus every day? Well, that's 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week which means that if you did some reading during the ride, you'd get more than 3 hours of homework done during your commute.

Those little increments can add up: 30 minutes between classes here, 10 minutes waiting for a friend there. Be smart about sneaking in small bits of homework so that you can conquer the bigger assignments piece by piece.

You Can't Always Get It All Done

Understand that you can't always get all your homework done. One of the biggest skills to learn in college is how to gauge what you  can't  get done. Because sometimes, there really is only so many hours in a day, and the basic laws of physics mean you can't accomplish everything on your to-do list.

If you just can't get all your homework done, make some smart decisions about how to choose what to do and what to leave behind. Are you doing great in one of your classes, and skipping the reading one week shouldn't hurt too much? Are you failing another and definitely need to focus your efforts there?

Hit the Reset Button

Don't get caught up in the get-caught-up trap. If you fall behind on your homework , it's easy to think -- and hope -- that you'll be able to catch up. So you'll set a plan to catch up, but the more you try to catch up, the more you fall behind. If you're falling behind on your reading and are feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to start anew.

Figure out what you need to get done for your next assignment or class, and get it done. It's easier to cover the material you missed when you're studying for an exam in the future than it is to fall further and further behind right now.

Use Your Resources

Use class and other resources to help make doing your homework more productive and efficient. You might, for example, think that you don't need to go to class because the professor only covers what's already been addressed in the reading. Not true.

You should always go to class -- for a variety of reasons -- and doing so can make your homework load lighter. You'll better understand the material, be better able to absorb the work you do out of class, be better prepared for upcoming exams (thereby saving you studying time and improving your academic performance), and overall just have a better mastery of the material. Additionally, use your professor's office hours or time in an academic support center to reinforce what you've learned through your homework assignments. Doing homework shouldn't just be a to-do item on your list; it should be an essential part of your college academic experience.

  • Is Homework Good or Bad for Students?
  • What to Do When You're Behind in Your College Classes
  • How are College Academics Different from High School?
  • 17 Things to Do on a College Campus When You're Bored
  • Tips for Preparing for the New School Year
  • Top Tips for Succeeding in Statistics Class
  • Time Management Tips for Graduate Students
  • What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed in College
  • How to Be Successful in College
  • How to Stay Organized in College
  • 4 Tips for Completing Your Homework On Time
  • How to Stay Motivated at the End of the Semester
  • How to Find Time to Exercise in College
  • How to Keep up With College Reading
  • Study Tips for Middle School Students
  • 5 Steps to Get Organized in College

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"homework" in college.

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Since coming to Harvard, I don’t recall even once hearing the word “homework”—which is a pretty strange thing considering the role it played for the first 12 years of my education (spoiler alert: this doesn’t mean that we don’t have assignments and work to do).

However, the type of work that’s assigned in college is different from what I was used to in high school, so I’m here to break it down for you.

Problem Sets

Problem sets, or “psets”, are typically packets of questions that are assigned and due on a regular basis. Most of my pset classes have been math and science courses, although they don’t necessarily have to be. I think the biggest difference between psets in college compared to similar assignments in high school is that they can be really challenging, and many courses expect and encourage students to work together on them—I made some of my best friends while struggling through organic chemistry psets lasts year!

Completed homework with comments and a congratulatory sticker featuring a monkey

Sometimes you even get stickers.

Rather than lots of shorter assignments, many classes opt for a few essays spaced throughout the semester. Humanities classes (English, history, etc.) are typically essay classes, although many science classes also have you practice scientific writing through grant proposal or review-style papers. If you’re not super comfortable writing academic papers coming into college, not to worry! All freshmen take a writing course (Expos) during the first year to make sure that everyone is on the same foot. There’s a ton of individual feedback, so it can be really beneficial no matter what your level of writing is coming in.

Discussion Posts

Particularly if it’s an essay class, you might be assigned additional questions to respond to on an online forum for the course. It’s a nice way to keep people on track with the reading, and the responses are often used to start discussion in section.

*Most larger courses have weekly “sections” with 12-15 students and a teaching fellow leading discussion—it’s an opportunity to review the material and go more in-depth with the readings.

Reading (sometimes a lot of reading)

One of the bigger adjustments for some students is learning how to get through hundreds of pages of reading per week. Granted, this depends on what type of classes you’re taking—it is possible to tailor your schedule to an amount of reading that’s appropriate for you. I’ve found that my humanities classes have a much higher volume of reading, but that my science courses have denser reading—sometimes a seven page primary lit paper from a science journal takes me the same amount of time to read as forty pages in a novel. If you are struggling to get through all of your assigned reading, or just want to use your time more efficiently, the Bureau of Study Counsel offers “speed reading” courses during the year which are said to be really helpful!

Author with book over her face

I was found very diligently reading my book.

I have to say, I’ve had some pretty cool project assignments in college. In my multivariable calc class, our final project was to use Mathematica (a math tool) to come up with equations that would form a 3D object, so I made and printed a 3D minion. In a genetics class, we spent the semester analyzing our own DNA in lab, looking for markers that might indicate lactose intolerance, ancestral history, etc. (I wasn’t lactose intolerant, thankfully.) One of my friends is in a Folklore and Mythology class on quilt making, and her final project is to make a quilt. Pretty cool, huh?

Photograph of author holding a toy "minion" from the film "Despicable Me"

My minion!!

Ah yes, not one to forget. On the plus side, there tend to be fewer exams in college than in high school—for classes that do have exams, you would likely only have 1-2 midterms and a final. Studying is often more effective in a group, so it’s another chance to meet people in your class!

Whew! While this is not a complete list, hopefully it gives a sense of the type of work you might be asked to do here. You can choose a schedule of classes that’s a good fit for you—while some people really like taking four essay classes or four pset classes at once, for example, I always try to strike a balance halfway in between. Particularly if you’re taking classes that you’re really interested in, the work doesn’t even seem so bad. :)

Halie Class of Alumni

college lots of homework

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Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

A conversation with a Wheelock researcher, a BU student, and a fourth-grade teacher

child doing homework

“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat. “It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.” Photo by iStock/Glenn Cook Photography

Do your homework.

If only it were that simple.

Educators have debated the merits of homework since the late 19th century. In recent years, amid concerns of some parents and teachers that children are being stressed out by too much homework, things have only gotten more fraught.

“Homework is complicated,” says developmental psychologist Janine Bempechat, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development clinical professor. The author of the essay “ The Case for (Quality) Homework—Why It Improves Learning and How Parents Can Help ” in the winter 2019 issue of Education Next , Bempechat has studied how the debate about homework is influencing teacher preparation, parent and student beliefs about learning, and school policies.

She worries especially about socioeconomically disadvantaged students from low-performing schools who, according to research by Bempechat and others, get little or no homework.

BU Today  sat down with Bempechat and Erin Bruce (Wheelock’17,’18), a new fourth-grade teacher at a suburban Boston school, and future teacher freshman Emma Ardizzone (Wheelock) to talk about what quality homework looks like, how it can help children learn, and how schools can equip teachers to design it, evaluate it, and facilitate parents’ role in it.

BU Today: Parents and educators who are against homework in elementary school say there is no research definitively linking it to academic performance for kids in the early grades. You’ve said that they’re missing the point.

Bempechat : I think teachers assign homework in elementary school as a way to help kids develop skills they’ll need when they’re older—to begin to instill a sense of responsibility and to learn planning and organizational skills. That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success. If we greatly reduce or eliminate homework in elementary school, we deprive kids and parents of opportunities to instill these important learning habits and skills.

We do know that beginning in late middle school, and continuing through high school, there is a strong and positive correlation between homework completion and academic success.

That’s what I think is the greatest value of homework—in cultivating beliefs about learning and skills associated with academic success.

You talk about the importance of quality homework. What is that?

Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives. It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families. In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful. It has to do with the value of practicing over and over.

Janine Bempechat

What are your concerns about homework and low-income children?

The argument that some people make—that homework “punishes the poor” because lower-income parents may not be as well-equipped as affluent parents to help their children with homework—is very troubling to me. There are no parents who don’t care about their children’s learning. Parents don’t actually have to help with homework completion in order for kids to do well. They can help in other ways—by helping children organize a study space, providing snacks, being there as a support, helping children work in groups with siblings or friends.

Isn’t the discussion about getting rid of homework happening mostly in affluent communities?

Yes, and the stories we hear of kids being stressed out from too much homework—four or five hours of homework a night—are real. That’s problematic for physical and mental health and overall well-being. But the research shows that higher-income students get a lot more homework than lower-income kids.

Teachers may not have as high expectations for lower-income children. Schools should bear responsibility for providing supports for kids to be able to get their homework done—after-school clubs, community support, peer group support. It does kids a disservice when our expectations are lower for them.

The conversation around homework is to some extent a social class and social justice issue. If we eliminate homework for all children because affluent children have too much, we’re really doing a disservice to low-income children. They need the challenge, and every student can rise to the challenge with enough supports in place.

What did you learn by studying how education schools are preparing future teachers to handle homework?

My colleague, Margarita Jimenez-Silva, at the University of California, Davis, School of Education, and I interviewed faculty members at education schools, as well as supervising teachers, to find out how students are being prepared. And it seemed that they weren’t. There didn’t seem to be any readings on the research, or conversations on what high-quality homework is and how to design it.

Erin, what kind of training did you get in handling homework?

Bruce : I had phenomenal professors at Wheelock, but homework just didn’t come up. I did lots of student teaching. I’ve been in classrooms where the teachers didn’t assign any homework, and I’ve been in rooms where they assigned hours of homework a night. But I never even considered homework as something that was my decision. I just thought it was something I’d pull out of a book and it’d be done.

I started giving homework on the first night of school this year. My first assignment was to go home and draw a picture of the room where you do your homework. I want to know if it’s at a table and if there are chairs around it and if mom’s cooking dinner while you’re doing homework.

The second night I asked them to talk to a grown-up about how are you going to be able to get your homework done during the week. The kids really enjoyed it. There’s a running joke that I’m teaching life skills.

Friday nights, I read all my kids’ responses to me on their homework from the week and it’s wonderful. They pour their hearts out. It’s like we’re having a conversation on my couch Friday night.

It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Bempechat : I can’t imagine that most new teachers would have the intuition Erin had in designing homework the way she did.

Ardizzone : Conversations with kids about homework, feeling you’re being listened to—that’s such a big part of wanting to do homework….I grew up in Westchester County. It was a pretty demanding school district. My junior year English teacher—I loved her—she would give us feedback, have meetings with all of us. She’d say, “If you have any questions, if you have anything you want to talk about, you can talk to me, here are my office hours.” It felt like she actually cared.

Bempechat : It matters to know that the teacher cares about you and that what you think matters to the teacher. Homework is a vehicle to connect home and school…for parents to know teachers are welcoming to them and their families.

Ardizzone : But can’t it lead to parents being overbearing and too involved in their children’s lives as students?

Bempechat : There’s good help and there’s bad help. The bad help is what you’re describing—when parents hover inappropriately, when they micromanage, when they see their children confused and struggling and tell them what to do.

Good help is when parents recognize there’s a struggle going on and instead ask informative questions: “Where do you think you went wrong?” They give hints, or pointers, rather than saying, “You missed this,” or “You didn’t read that.”

Bruce : I hope something comes of this. I hope BU or Wheelock can think of some way to make this a more pressing issue. As a first-year teacher, it was not something I even thought about on the first day of school—until a kid raised his hand and said, “Do we have homework?” It would have been wonderful if I’d had a plan from day one.

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Sara Rimer

Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald , Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times , where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

She can be reached at [email protected] .

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There are 81 comments on Does Homework Really Help Students Learn?

Insightful! The values about homework in elementary schools are well aligned with my intuition as a parent.

when i finish my work i do my homework and i sometimes forget what to do because i did not get enough sleep

same omg it does not help me it is stressful and if I have it in more than one class I hate it.

Same I think my parent wants to help me but, she doesn’t care if I get bad grades so I just try my best and my grades are great.

I think that last question about Good help from parents is not know to all parents, we do as our parents did or how we best think it can be done, so maybe coaching parents or giving them resources on how to help with homework would be very beneficial for the parent on how to help and for the teacher to have consistency and improve homework results, and of course for the child. I do see how homework helps reaffirm the knowledge obtained in the classroom, I also have the ability to see progress and it is a time I share with my kids

The answer to the headline question is a no-brainer – a more pressing problem is why there is a difference in how students from different cultures succeed. Perfect example is the student population at BU – why is there a majority population of Asian students and only about 3% black students at BU? In fact at some universities there are law suits by Asians to stop discrimination and quotas against admitting Asian students because the real truth is that as a group they are demonstrating better qualifications for admittance, while at the same time there are quotas and reduced requirements for black students to boost their portion of the student population because as a group they do more poorly in meeting admissions standards – and it is not about the Benjamins. The real problem is that in our PC society no one has the gazuntas to explore this issue as it may reveal that all people are not created equal after all. Or is it just environmental cultural differences??????

I get you have a concern about the issue but that is not even what the point of this article is about. If you have an issue please take this to the site we have and only post your opinion about the actual topic

This is not at all what the article is talking about.

This literally has nothing to do with the article brought up. You should really take your opinions somewhere else before you speak about something that doesn’t make sense.

we have the same name

so they have the same name what of it?

lol you tell her

totally agree

What does that have to do with homework, that is not what the article talks about AT ALL.

Yes, I think homework plays an important role in the development of student life. Through homework, students have to face challenges on a daily basis and they try to solve them quickly.I am an intense online tutor at 24x7homeworkhelp and I give homework to my students at that level in which they handle it easily.

More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress.

You know what’s funny? I got this assignment to write an argument for homework about homework and this article was really helpful and understandable, and I also agree with this article’s point of view.

I also got the same task as you! I was looking for some good resources and I found this! I really found this article useful and easy to understand, just like you! ^^

i think that homework is the best thing that a child can have on the school because it help them with their thinking and memory.

I am a child myself and i think homework is a terrific pass time because i can’t play video games during the week. It also helps me set goals.

Homework is not harmful ,but it will if there is too much

I feel like, from a minors point of view that we shouldn’t get homework. Not only is the homework stressful, but it takes us away from relaxing and being social. For example, me and my friends was supposed to hang at the mall last week but we had to postpone it since we all had some sort of work to do. Our minds shouldn’t be focused on finishing an assignment that in realty, doesn’t matter. I completely understand that we should have homework. I have to write a paper on the unimportance of homework so thanks.

homework isn’t that bad

Are you a student? if not then i don’t really think you know how much and how severe todays homework really is

i am a student and i do not enjoy homework because i practice my sport 4 out of the five days we have school for 4 hours and that’s not even counting the commute time or the fact i still have to shower and eat dinner when i get home. its draining!

i totally agree with you. these people are such boomers

why just why

they do make a really good point, i think that there should be a limit though. hours and hours of homework can be really stressful, and the extra work isn’t making a difference to our learning, but i do believe homework should be optional and extra credit. that would make it for students to not have the leaning stress of a assignment and if you have a low grade you you can catch up.

Studies show that homework improves student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college. Research published in the High School Journal indicates that students who spent between 31 and 90 minutes each day on homework “scored about 40 points higher on the SAT-Mathematics subtest than their peers, who reported spending no time on homework each day, on average.” On both standardized tests and grades, students in classes that were assigned homework outperformed 69% of students who didn’t have homework. A majority of studies on homework’s impact – 64% in one meta-study and 72% in another – showed that take home assignments were effective at improving academic achievement. Research by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) concluded that increased homework led to better GPAs and higher probability of college attendance for high school boys. In fact, boys who attended college did more than three hours of additional homework per week in high school.

So how are your measuring student achievement? That’s the real question. The argument that doing homework is simply a tool for teaching responsibility isn’t enough for me. We can teach responsibility in a number of ways. Also the poor argument that parents don’t need to help with homework, and that students can do it on their own, is wishful thinking at best. It completely ignores neurodiverse students. Students in poverty aren’t magically going to find a space to do homework, a friend’s or siblings to help them do it, and snacks to eat. I feel like the author of this piece has never set foot in a classroom of students.

THIS. This article is pathetic coming from a university. So intellectually dishonest, refusing to address the havoc of capitalism and poverty plays on academic success in life. How can they in one sentence use poor kids in an argument and never once address that poor children have access to damn near 0 of the resources affluent kids have? Draw me a picture and let’s talk about feelings lmao what a joke is that gonna put food in their belly so they can have the calories to burn in order to use their brain to study? What about quiet their 7 other siblings that they share a single bedroom with for hours? Is it gonna force the single mom to magically be at home and at work at the same time to cook food while you study and be there to throw an encouraging word?

Also the “parents don’t need to be a parent and be able to guide their kid at all academically they just need to exist in the next room” is wild. Its one thing if a parent straight up is not equipped but to say kids can just figured it out is…. wow coming from an educator What’s next the teacher doesn’t need to teach cause the kid can just follow the packet and figure it out?

Well then get a tutor right? Oh wait you are poor only affluent kids can afford a tutor for their hours of homework a day were they on average have none of the worries a poor child does. Does this address that poor children are more likely to also suffer abuse and mental illness? Like mentioned what about kids that can’t learn or comprehend the forced standardized way? Just let em fail? These children regularly are not in “special education”(some of those are a joke in their own and full of neglect and abuse) programs cause most aren’t even acknowledged as having disabilities or disorders.

But yes all and all those pesky poor kids just aren’t being worked hard enough lol pretty sure poor children’s existence just in childhood is more work, stress, and responsibility alone than an affluent child’s entire life cycle. Love they never once talked about the quality of education in the classroom being so bad between the poor and affluent it can qualify as segregation, just basically blamed poor people for being lazy, good job capitalism for failing us once again!

why the hell?

you should feel bad for saying this, this article can be helpful for people who has to write a essay about it

This is more of a political rant than it is about homework

I know a teacher who has told his students their homework is to find something they are interested in, pursue it and then come share what they learn. The student responses are quite compelling. One girl taught herself German so she could talk to her grandfather. One boy did a research project on Nelson Mandela because the teacher had mentioned him in class. Another boy, a both on the autism spectrum, fixed his family’s computer. The list goes on. This is fourth grade. I think students are highly motivated to learn, when we step aside and encourage them.

The whole point of homework is to give the students a chance to use the material that they have been presented with in class. If they never have the opportunity to use that information, and discover that it is actually useful, it will be in one ear and out the other. As a science teacher, it is critical that the students are challenged to use the material they have been presented with, which gives them the opportunity to actually think about it rather than regurgitate “facts”. Well designed homework forces the student to think conceptually, as opposed to regurgitation, which is never a pretty sight

Wonderful discussion. and yes, homework helps in learning and building skills in students.

not true it just causes kids to stress

Homework can be both beneficial and unuseful, if you will. There are students who are gifted in all subjects in school and ones with disabilities. Why should the students who are gifted get the lucky break, whereas the people who have disabilities suffer? The people who were born with this “gift” go through school with ease whereas people with disabilities struggle with the work given to them. I speak from experience because I am one of those students: the ones with disabilities. Homework doesn’t benefit “us”, it only tears us down and put us in an abyss of confusion and stress and hopelessness because we can’t learn as fast as others. Or we can’t handle the amount of work given whereas the gifted students go through it with ease. It just brings us down and makes us feel lost; because no mater what, it feels like we are destined to fail. It feels like we weren’t “cut out” for success.

homework does help

here is the thing though, if a child is shoved in the face with a whole ton of homework that isn’t really even considered homework it is assignments, it’s not helpful. the teacher should make homework more of a fun learning experience rather than something that is dreaded

This article was wonderful, I am going to ask my teachers about extra, or at all giving homework.

I agree. Especially when you have homework before an exam. Which is distasteful as you’ll need that time to study. It doesn’t make any sense, nor does us doing homework really matters as It’s just facts thrown at us.

Homework is too severe and is just too much for students, schools need to decrease the amount of homework. When teachers assign homework they forget that the students have other classes that give them the same amount of homework each day. Students need to work on social skills and life skills.

I disagree.

Beyond achievement, proponents of homework argue that it can have many other beneficial effects. They claim it can help students develop good study habits so they are ready to grow as their cognitive capacities mature. It can help students recognize that learning can occur at home as well as at school. Homework can foster independent learning and responsible character traits. And it can give parents an opportunity to see what’s going on at school and let them express positive attitudes toward achievement.

Homework is helpful because homework helps us by teaching us how to learn a specific topic.

As a student myself, I can say that I have almost never gotten the full 9 hours of recommended sleep time, because of homework. (Now I’m writing an essay on it in the middle of the night D=)

I am a 10 year old kid doing a report about “Is homework good or bad” for homework before i was going to do homework is bad but the sources from this site changed my mind!

Homeowkr is god for stusenrs

I agree with hunter because homework can be so stressful especially with this whole covid thing no one has time for homework and every one just wants to get back to there normal lives it is especially stressful when you go on a 2 week vaca 3 weeks into the new school year and and then less then a week after you come back from the vaca you are out for over a month because of covid and you have no way to get the assignment done and turned in

As great as homework is said to be in the is article, I feel like the viewpoint of the students was left out. Every where I go on the internet researching about this topic it almost always has interviews from teachers, professors, and the like. However isn’t that a little biased? Of course teachers are going to be for homework, they’re not the ones that have to stay up past midnight completing the homework from not just one class, but all of them. I just feel like this site is one-sided and you should include what the students of today think of spending four hours every night completing 6-8 classes worth of work.

Are we talking about homework or practice? Those are two very different things and can result in different outcomes.

Homework is a graded assignment. I do not know of research showing the benefits of graded assignments going home.

Practice; however, can be extremely beneficial, especially if there is some sort of feedback (not a grade but feedback). That feedback can come from the teacher, another student or even an automated grading program.

As a former band director, I assigned daily practice. I never once thought it would be appropriate for me to require the students to turn in a recording of their practice for me to grade. Instead, I had in-class assignments/assessments that were graded and directly related to the practice assigned.

I would really like to read articles on “homework” that truly distinguish between the two.

oof i feel bad good luck!

thank you guys for the artical because I have to finish an assingment. yes i did cite it but just thanks

thx for the article guys.

Homework is good

I think homework is helpful AND harmful. Sometimes u can’t get sleep bc of homework but it helps u practice for school too so idk.

I agree with this Article. And does anyone know when this was published. I would like to know.

It was published FEb 19, 2019.

Studies have shown that homework improved student achievement in terms of improved grades, test results, and the likelihood to attend college.

i think homework can help kids but at the same time not help kids

This article is so out of touch with majority of homes it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly sad.

There is no value to homework all it does is add stress to already stressed homes. Parents or adults magically having the time or energy to shepherd kids through homework is dome sort of 1950’s fantasy.

What lala land do these teachers live in?

Homework gives noting to the kid

Homework is Bad

homework is bad.

why do kids even have homework?

Comments are closed.

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How to Learn

Which College Assigns the Most Homework

by Jack Tai | Aug 30, 2019 | Articles

College is difficult.

It requires hard work, plenty of studying, and lots of homework. I

t’s easy to overlook this part of the college experience when it’s excluded from college brochures and movies about college life.

Yet, it’s a certainty that in order to graduate, students will need to spend tons of time studying outside of class.

However, even in college, homework isn’t standardized, and there are different homework expectations at each college. The reality is that students attending one college may have more homework, on average, than students attending another college.

college lots of homework

At all levels of schooling, there’s debate over whether schools are assigning too much homework. While some argue that homework supports student learning and achievement, others argue that more homework doesn’t necessarily lead to more learning.

Are you wondering if you’re attending one of the schools that assigns the most homework? Learn which colleges have the most homework, how homework could relate to career success, and what to do if you’re struggling with homework.

Which Colleges Assign the Most Homework?

To understand which colleges are assigning the most homework, Princeton Review surveyed students across the country. Here are the top 20 schools where students are studying the most, along with their acceptance rates and the early career salary of graduates.

California Institute of Technology, CA Acceptance rate: 7% Starting salary: $89,900

Williams College, MA Acceptance rate: 13% Starting salary: $68,500

Reed College, OR Acceptance Rate: 35% Starting Salary: $58,300

Olin College of Engineering, MA Acceptance Rate: 16% Starting Salary: $83,345

College of Wooster, OH Acceptance Rate: 54% Starting Salary: $51,600

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, IN Acceptance Rate: 61% Starting Salary: $76,200

College of the Atlantic, ME Acceptance Rate: 67% Starting Salary: $24,600

Harvey Mudd College, CA Acceptance Rate: 14% Starting Salary: $90,700

Webb Institute, NY Acceptance Rate: 32% Starting Salary: $80,900

U.S. Military Academy, NY Acceptance Rate: 10% Starting Salary: $83,500

Brown University, RI Acceptance Rate: 8% Starting Salary: $69,300

St. John’s College, NM Acceptance Rate: 65% Starting Salary: $58,200

Lehigh University, PA Acceptance Rate: 22% Starting Salary: $70,500

Gettysburg College, PA Acceptance Rate: 45% Starting Salary: $59,300

Wellesley College, MA Acceptance Rate: 20% Starting Salary: $60,500

Grinnell College, IA Acceptance Rate: 24% Starting Salary: $56,300

St. John’s College, MD Acceptance Rate: 55% Starting Salary: $53,500

Cooper Union, NY Acceptance Rate: 13% Starting Salary: $71,600

Hillsdale College, MI Acceptance Rate: 36% Starting Salary: $42,650

Bowdoin College, ME Acceptance Rate: 10% Starting Salary:$63,500

Does More Homework Lead to Career Success?

Among these top 20 colleges that have the most homework, the average early career salary is $65,645.

Comparatively, the average early career salary of those who attended the 20 colleges with the least homework is $51,920. That’s $13,725 less!

There are certainly other factors contributing to the earnings disparity between colleges that assign a lot of homework and ones that don’t. However, with the potential for a 26 percent salary increase, it may be worth it to attend a college with hard-working students.

How Can Students Get Help with their Homework?

For many students, it may not be the quantity of homework that’s challenging; it’s the difficulty.

While weekly tutoring sessions can be a helpful way to support learning, online platforms such as OneClass’ 24/7 Homework Help can provide the type of academic support that helps students achieve their goals.

To ask a question, students simply snap a photo of the homework problem that they’re struggling with. Tutors will reply by sending a step-by-step detailed solution. The team of knowledgeable experts typically replies within 12 hours, and you’re guaranteed to receive a reply within 24 hours.

Helping students from high school freshmen through college seniors, OneClass’ online tutors are subject matter experts. Tutors provide the on-demand support to help students improve their grades and prevent the problems that can occur when a student falls behind in classwork. Plus, a solutions database of more than 30,000 questions is publicly available, and your first Homework Help question is FREE.

Jack Tai is the CEO and Co-founder of OneClass . Visit the site to find out more about how this online tool has helped 90% of users improve by a letter grade.

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What’s the Right Amount of Homework?

Decades of research show that homework has some benefits, especially for students in middle and high school—but there are risks to assigning too much.

Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less.

The National PTA and the National Education Association support the “ 10-minute homework guideline ”—a nightly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. But many teachers and parents are quick to point out that what matters is the quality of the homework assigned and how well it meets students’ needs, not the amount of time spent on it.

The guideline doesn’t account for students who may need to spend more—or less—time on assignments. In class, teachers can make adjustments to support struggling students, but at home, an assignment that takes one student 30 minutes to complete may take another twice as much time—often for reasons beyond their control. And homework can widen the achievement gap, putting students from low-income households and students with learning disabilities at a disadvantage.

However, the 10-minute guideline is useful in setting a limit: When kids spend too much time on homework, there are real consequences to consider.

Small Benefits for Elementary Students

As young children begin school, the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning, and assigning too much homework can undermine that goal. And young students often don’t have the study skills to benefit fully from homework, so it may be a poor use of time (Cooper, 1989 ; Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). A more effective activity may be nightly reading, especially if parents are involved. The benefits of reading are clear: If students aren’t proficient readers by the end of third grade, they’re less likely to succeed academically and graduate from high school (Fiester, 2013 ).

For second-grade teacher Jacqueline Fiorentino, the minor benefits of homework did not outweigh the potential drawback of turning young children against school at an early age, so she experimented with dropping mandatory homework. “Something surprising happened: They started doing more work at home,” Fiorentino writes . “This inspiring group of 8-year-olds used their newfound free time to explore subjects and topics of interest to them.” She encouraged her students to read at home and offered optional homework to extend classroom lessons and help them review material.

Moderate Benefits for Middle School Students

As students mature and develop the study skills necessary to delve deeply into a topic—and to retain what they learn—they also benefit more from homework. Nightly assignments can help prepare them for scholarly work, and research shows that homework can have moderate benefits for middle school students (Cooper et al., 2006 ). Recent research also shows that online math homework, which can be designed to adapt to students’ levels of understanding, can significantly boost test scores (Roschelle et al., 2016 ).

There are risks to assigning too much, however: A 2015 study found that when middle school students were assigned more than 90 to 100 minutes of daily homework, their math and science test scores began to decline (Fernández-Alonso, Suárez-Álvarez, & Muñiz, 2015 ). Crossing that upper limit can drain student motivation and focus. The researchers recommend that “homework should present a certain level of challenge or difficulty, without being so challenging that it discourages effort.” Teachers should avoid low-effort, repetitive assignments, and assign homework “with the aim of instilling work habits and promoting autonomous, self-directed learning.”

In other words, it’s the quality of homework that matters, not the quantity. Brian Sztabnik, a veteran middle and high school English teacher, suggests that teachers take a step back and ask themselves these five questions :

  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Have all learners been considered?
  • Will an assignment encourage future success?
  • Will an assignment place material in a context the classroom cannot?
  • Does an assignment offer support when a teacher is not there?

More Benefits for High School Students, but Risks as Well

By the time they reach high school, students should be well on their way to becoming independent learners, so homework does provide a boost to learning at this age, as long as it isn’t overwhelming (Cooper et al., 2006 ; Marzano & Pickering, 2007 ). When students spend too much time on homework—more than two hours each night—it takes up valuable time to rest and spend time with family and friends. A 2013 study found that high school students can experience serious mental and physical health problems, from higher stress levels to sleep deprivation, when assigned too much homework (Galloway, Conner, & Pope, 2013 ).

Homework in high school should always relate to the lesson and be doable without any assistance, and feedback should be clear and explicit.

Teachers should also keep in mind that not all students have equal opportunities to finish their homework at home, so incomplete homework may not be a true reflection of their learning—it may be more a result of issues they face outside of school. They may be hindered by issues such as lack of a quiet space at home, resources such as a computer or broadband connectivity, or parental support (OECD, 2014 ). In such cases, giving low homework scores may be unfair.

Since the quantities of time discussed here are totals, teachers in middle and high school should be aware of how much homework other teachers are assigning. It may seem reasonable to assign 30 minutes of daily homework, but across six subjects, that’s three hours—far above a reasonable amount even for a high school senior. Psychologist Maurice Elias sees this as a common mistake: Individual teachers create homework policies that in aggregate can overwhelm students. He suggests that teachers work together to develop a school-wide homework policy and make it a key topic of back-to-school night and the first parent-teacher conferences of the school year.

Parents Play a Key Role

Homework can be a powerful tool to help parents become more involved in their child’s learning (Walker et al., 2004 ). It can provide insights into a child’s strengths and interests, and can also encourage conversations about a child’s life at school. If a parent has positive attitudes toward homework, their children are more likely to share those same values, promoting academic success.

But it’s also possible for parents to be overbearing, putting too much emphasis on test scores or grades, which can be disruptive for children (Madjar, Shklar, & Moshe, 2015 ). Parents should avoid being overly intrusive or controlling—students report feeling less motivated to learn when they don’t have enough space and autonomy to do their homework (Orkin, May, & Wolf, 2017 ; Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008 ; Silinskas & Kikas, 2017 ). So while homework can encourage parents to be more involved with their kids, it’s important to not make it a source of conflict.


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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 5 best homework help apps you can use.

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General Education


We know that homework can be a real drag. It’s time-consuming, and can be difficult to complete all on your own. So, what can you do if you’re struggling?

You might try looking online or in the app store! If you’ve already looked around you probably know that there are tons of homework sites for students and homework apps out there that all say they can help you improve your grades and pass your classes. But, can you trust them? And what are the best apps for homework help?

Below, we answer these questions and more about homework help apps–free and paid . We’ll go over: 

  • The basics of homework help apps
  • The cost of homework help apps
  • The five best apps for homework help
  • The pros and cons of using apps that help you with homework 
  • The line between “learning” and “cheating” when using apps that help you with homework
  • Tips for getting the most out of homework sites for students 

So let’s jump in!


The Basics About Apps that Help You With Homework–Free and Paid

The bottom line is, homework sites and homework apps are intended to help you complete your take-home assignments successfully. They provide assistance that ranges from answering questions you submit through a portal all the way to one-on-one tutoring, depending on the help you need! 

The big plus for both homework help apps and websites is that they usually offer help on-demand. So if you can’t make it to after school tutoring, or if you're studying late into the night (it happens!), you can still access the help you need! 

If you’re specifically looking for an answer to the question: “what is the best homework help website ?,” you can check out our article on those here! [LINK COMING SOON]

What’s the Difference Between a Homework Help Website and an App?

So if they’re both designed to give you a little boost with your take-home assignments, what makes homework apps and websites different from one another? First off, homework help websites are optimized to be used on a desktop, while apps are designed to be run natively on mobile devices. So depending on which devices you have access to, you may decide to use a website instead of an app…or vice versa! 

The other big difference between homework help apps and websites is that they sometimes offer different features. For instance, with the Photomath app, you’ll be able to submit photos of math problems instead of having to type everything out, which is easier to do by using an app on your phone. 

If you’re trying to decide whether to go with a website or app, the good news is that you may not have to. Some homework help websites also have companion apps, so you can have the best of both worlds!

What Makes a Homework Help App Worth Using

Apps that help you with homework should ideally help you actually learn the material you’re struggling with, and/or help you turn in your work on time. Most of the best apps for homework help allow you to ask questions and provide answers and explanations almost immediately. And like we mentioned earlier, many of these apps let you send a picture of a question or problem instead of writing it all out.

But homework help apps offer more than just quick answers and explanations for your assignment questions. They also offer things like educational videos, lectures, tutorials, practice tests and quizzes, math solving tools, proofreading services, and even Q&A with experts.

And the best part is, most offer these services 24/7! 

What You Should Look Out For

When it comes to homework help, there are lots–and we mean lots –of apps willing to prey on desperate students. Before you download any apps (and especially before you pay to sign up for any services), read reviews of the app to ensure you’re working with a legitimate company. 

Keep in mind: the more a company advertises help that seems like cheating, the more likely it is to be a scam. Actual subject matter experts aren’t likely to work with those companies. Remember, the best apps for homework help are going to help you learn the concepts needed to successfully complete your homework on your own. 

If you’re not sure if an app is legitimate, you can also check to see if the app has an honor code about using their services ethically , like this one from Brainly. (We’ll go over the difference between “homework help” and “cheating” in more detail a little later!) 

How Expensive Are Apps That Help You With Homework?

A word to the wise: just because a homework help app costs money doesn’t mean it’s a good service. And, just because a homework help app is free doesn’t mean the help isn’t high quality. To find the best apps, you have to take a close look at the quality and types of information they provide! 

Most of the apps out there allow you to download them for free, and provide at least some free services–such as a couple of free questions and answers. Additional services or subscriptions are then charged as in-app purchases. When it comes to in-app purchases and subscriptions for homework help, the prices vary depending on the amount of services you want to subscribe to. Subscriptions can cost anywhere from $2 to around $60 dollars per month, with the most expensive app subscriptions including some tutoring (which is usually only available through homework help websites.)


The 5 Best Apps for Homework Help

Okay, now that you’re up to speed on what these apps are and how they can help you, we’ll run you through the best five apps you can use. 

Keep in mind that even though we recommend all of these apps, they tend to excel at different things. We’ve broken these apps into categories so that you can pick the best one for your needs! 

Best Free Homework Help App: Khan Academy

  • Price: Free!
  • Best for: Practicing tough material 

While there are lots of free homework help apps out there, this is our favorite because it actually supports learning, rather than just providing answers. The Khan Academy app works like the website, and offers the same services. It’s full of information and can be personalized to suit your educational needs. 

After you download the app, you choose which courses you need to study, and Khan Academy sets up a personal dashboard of instructional videos, practice exercises, and quizzes –with both correct and incorrect answer explanations–so you can learn at your own pace. 

As an added bonus, it covers more course topics than many other homework help apps, including several AP classes.

Best Paid Homework Help App: Brainly

  • Price: $18 for a 6 month subscription, $24 for a year 
  • Best for: 24/7 homework assistance 

Brainly is free to download and allows you to type in questions (or snap a pic) and get answers and explanations from both fellow students and teachers. Plus, subject matter experts and moderators verify answers daily, so you know you’re getting quality solutions! The downside is that you’re limited to two free answers per question and have to watch ads for more if you don’t pay for a subscription. 

That said, their subscription fees average around only $2 per month, making this a particularly affordable option if you’re looking for homework help on a budget. Brainly subscriptions not only cover unlimited answers and explanations on a wide variety of school subjects (including Art and World Languages which aren’t always included in other apps), they also provide tutoring in Math and Physics!


Best App for Math Homework Help: Photomath

  • Price: Free (or up to $59.99 per year for premium services) 
  • Best for: Explaining solutions to math problems

This app allows you to take a picture of a math problem, and instantly pulls up a step-by-step solution, as well as a detailed explanation of the concept. Photomath subscription services also include animated videos that break down mathematical concepts–all the way up to advanced Calculus!--to help you better understand and remember them. 

The basic textbook solution service is free, but for an additional fee you can get extra study tools, access to one-on-one tutoring, and additional strategies for solving common math problems.

Best App for STEM and English Homework Help: Studypool

  • Price: Varies; you’ll pay for each question you submit
  • Best for: Science and English homework help in one app

When it comes to apps for science and English homework help, there aren’t lots of great resources out there, much less out there all in one place. While Grammarly is a good service for proofreading, SparkNotes has some decent summaries, and Khan Academy covers science, the best of the bunch if you need help with both subjects Studypool. Instead of using lots of different apps for STEM and English help, they’re combined together here! But while Studypool has great reviews, there are some downsides as well. 

The Studypool Q&A model is a little different than other homework help apps. After you create a free account, you ask questions, and tutors submit bids to answer them. You’ll be able to select the tutor–and price point–that works for you, then you’ll pay to have your homework question answered. You can also pay a small fee to access thousands of notes, lectures, and other documents that top tutors have uploaded.  

The downside to Studypool is that the pricing is not transparent . There’s no way to plan for how much your homework help will cost, especially if you have lots of questions! It’s also not clear how they choose their tutors, so you’ll need to be careful when you decide who you’d like to answer your homework questions. That said, if you only need a few questions answered per month, this could be cheaper than other monthly subscription services.

Best Homework Scheduling App: MyStudyLife

  • Best for: Keeping track of your schedule and deadlines

If the reason you’re looking for homework help is less about finding answers to questions and more about needing assistance with organization and time-management , MyStudyLife is a great option. This is a cross-platform planner that allows you to store your class schedule, upcoming tests, and homework assignments in the cloud so you can access it all wherever you are, and on any device. 

One of the unique things about it is that it easily works for daily or weekly rotating class schedules that can get confusing, helping you keep track of when you need to finish your homework based on your changing schedule. You can get reminders for upcoming classes and assignments as well as past-due homework and any revisions you may need to do. It can even let you know when you need to start studying for a big test!

Best of all, you can actually schedule assignments and study sessions for multiple nights, and specify how much of the task you got done each night. That way you’ll know how much additional time you’ll need to spend! 


While homework apps might seem like magic, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before you commit to one. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Homework Help Apps?

Homework help apps can be useful tools if you’re struggling in any of your classes. But there are a few problems you might run into if you don’t use them ethically and responsibly. 

Below we’ll cover some of the good and the not-so-good parts of using homework help apps to complete your take-home assignments.

3 Pros of Using Homework Help Apps

Let’s start with the pros of using apps for homework help.

Pro 1: All-Around Better Grades

This is undeniably the main pro and the reason apps that help you with homework are so popular with students. Not only can you potentially get better grades on individual assignments, because they help you learn tricky concepts, you can also earn better grades overall .

Just keep in mind that if you want better grades you have to actually learn the material you’re studying, not just find easy answers. So be sure to use apps that provide good explanations . That way you’ll have the mental tools you need to succeed on your class exams and on standardized tests for college. 

Pro 2: Flexibility

It’s hard to beat homework help that you can access anywhere you are from your mobile device. You can also get assistance whenever you need it since the best apps offer their services 24/7. This is especially useful for students who need to study during hours when their free school resources aren’t available because of extracurriculars, jobs, or family obligations. 

If you need convenient and flexible homework help or tutoring services to fit your schedule, apps can be your go-to resource. 

Pro 3: Individualized Learning

Sometimes the kind of learner you are doesn’t match your teacher’s style of teaching. Or maybe the pace of a class is a little too fast or too slow for your tastes. Homework apps can help by allowing you to learn at your own speed and in ways that support your own learning style. 

You can use their features, such as educational videos, 24/7 conversations with experts and peers, and tutorials to review concepts you may have forgotten. These apps can also let you dive deeper into topics or subjects you enjoy! With homework help apps, you get to choose what you need to learn and how you learn it.


3 Cons of Using Homework Help Apps

Next, let’s look at the cons of homework help apps. 

Con 1: Questionable Info 

Unfortunately there are lots of less-than-reliable homework help apps out there. They might not hire actual experts in their fields to provide answers and create study tools, or they rely on user-submitted answers that they don’t verify. In those cases, you might not be getting the accurate, thorough, and up-to-date answers you need to really learn.

In addition to the possibility of running into plain-old wrong answers, even the best apps sometimes just won’t have a specific answer you need. This could be because you’re enrolled in an advanced class the app doesn’t really cover or because of the algorithm or chatbot a particular app uses. 

If that’s the case , your best bet will likely be to talk to your teacher or a free tutor (if your school provides them) to get help answering your question.

Con 2: Information Overload

While having tons of information at your fingertips can be helpful, the sheer amount and variety of videos, tutorials, expert answers, and resources a homework app provides can be overwhelming . It’s also easy to get sucked into a research rabbit-hole where you learn new things but don’t actually get your work done. This is especially true for students who tend to be easily distracted.

Additionally, you may be learning to do things differently than you’ve learned them in class , which could cause problems. For example, if your math teacher asks you to solve a problem one way, but you learned to do it differently through an app, you could get confused come test time! 

Con 3: Cutting Corners

There are a lot of apps out there that bill themselves as “the best app for cheating.” They allow users to type in a question or take a picture, then instantly provide an answer without any explanation of the material. Many of these are scams or provide unreliable answers, but not all. Some apps are legitimate and provide quick and easy answers that could allow you to do your whole homework assignment in minutes. 

The problem is that even though taking shortcuts on homework to save time is tempting, it can keep you from really learning. The point of practicing concepts and skills is so you develop them and can access them whenever you need to. This is especially true if skills build on one another, like in a math or English class. 

Sometimes s truggling with an assignment or question, trying, failing, then trying again until you succeed can help you learn difficult material. If you don’t let yourself really try, and instead take too many shortcuts, you may end up behind.


When Does “Help” Become “Cheating”?

When it comes to using homework help apps, sometimes the difference between “help” and “cheating” is really clear. For example, if you’re using an app to get answers while you’re taking a test, that’s definitely cheating . But what if you’re struggling with a math problem and need to know the correct answer so you can work backwards to learn the process? Is that “cheating” or is it “help?” 

The truth is, not everyone agrees on when “help” crosses the line into “cheating .” If you’re not sure, you can always check with your teacher to see what they think about a particular type of help you want to get. That said, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make sure that the assignment you turn in for credit is authentically yours . It needs to demonstrate your own thoughts and your own current abilities. Remember: the point of every homework assignment is to 1) help you learn something, and 2) show what you’ve learned. 

So if you’re relying on an app to do all of the work for you, there’s a good chance using it might constitute cheating. 

Think of it this way: say you’re studying for an upcoming math test, and are stumped by a few of the questions on the study guide. Even though you’ve tried and tried, you can’t seem to get the right answer because you can’t remember the steps to take. Using an app to explain the steps as you’re studying is “help.” Using the app to get answers so you can make a good homework grade is “cheating.” 

The same is true for other subjects: brainstorming essay ideas with others or looking online for inspiration is “help” as long as you write the essay yourself. Having someone read it and give you feedback about what you need to change is also “help,” provided you’re the one that makes the changes later. 

But copying all or part of an essay you find online or having someone write (or rewrite) the whole thing for you would be “cheating.” Ultimately, if you’re not generating your own work or learning to produce your own answers, it’s probably cheating. 


5 Tips for Finding the Best Homework Help App for You

If you’re serious about using a homework help app, our expert tips can help you pick one that’s right for you and your budget!

#1: Decide What Tools You Need to Succeed 

While most apps offer Q&A services, the best apps provide study tools to help you learn the material you need to learn . 

For instance, if you’re a visual learner, you might need an app that provides lots of videos. If you learn best by reading, an app that provides lots of in-depth written resources might be better for you. Or, if you learn best by actually doing things, look for an app that provides practice tests and quizzes, along with explanations for correct and incorrect answers.

Before committing to an app, take a quick survey of the tools they offer users to make sure they meet your unique learning needs. 

#2: Decide Which Subjects You Need to Study

Not all homework apps are created equal. One might provide tutoring in math and science, but no proofreading services to help you with writing. Another might be perfect for American History, but what you really need help with is your Spanish class. So, before you can decide which app is best for you, make sure to create a list of the subjects you need the most help in.

#3: Do Your Research

As we’ve said before, there are tons of homework apps in the app store to choose from, and the most important thing you can do is research what they offer students. Services, prices for those services, and subjects that the apps cover all vary, so it’s important that you look into your options. We’ve compiled our all-around favorite (and reliable) apps here, but it’s still a good idea to do your own research to find out what might meet your individual needs best.


#4: Learn Why People Like and Dislike the App

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “buyer beware?” It means that the person buying something should check for quality before actually handing over their money. This applies to both free and paid homework apps, but especially those that actually cost money.

Before you download anything, be sure to read the user reviews . While all apps will have both positive and negative reviews, you want to look for one that has more positive than negative. And if you’re considering paying for a service, be sure that users think it’s worth the price overall!

#5: Budget Yourself

If you find a paid app that provides the learning tools you need, covers the subjects you need to study, and that has good reviews overall, set a budget to pay for it before you hit that “install” button. The costs for paid homework apps vary, and especially if you’re using one that requires you to pay for individual questions or services, the prices can add up quickly. So make sure there’s money for it in your budget before you commit!


What’s Next?

If you’re not quite sure why you’re struggling with homework, or want to know how you can do your homework as quickly as possible , check out this list of 15 expert homework tips and tricks to make your life a little bit easier!

Effective studying requires the right balance of concentration, understanding, retention and rest. So if you need help striking that balance, read these 16 tips for better study habits in both the short and long-term.

Getting good grades is about more than just answering questions correctly on your assignments. It also requires planning ahead and participation. In this article we cover the academic survival strategies that can help you throughout high school .

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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College can still be rigorous without a lot of homework

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How hard should it be to earn a college degree?

When the book “ Academically Adrift ” appeared in 2011, it generated widespread concern that college was not effectively educating students and preparing them for today’s world. Among other things, authors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa claimed that most colleges were not rigorous or demanding, in part because college students were not reading and writing enough in order to build their critical thinking skills. But is it really how much work students are assigned that makes college rigorous and helps them learn?

As a scholar of higher education , I have taken a close look at college students’ academic experiences and outcomes for several years. Some people define rigor as how many pages a student reads or how many pages a student writes. But in a 2021 peer-reviewed study that I published with colleagues John Braxton and Ernie Pascarella , I found that if they do that, they might miss key elements of what it takes to help students develop critical thinking skills and become lifelong learners. They also might create an unnecessary burden for students who have other demands on their time.

What is rigor?

In education, academic rigor tends to be defined in two different ways : as a workload that is demanding and difficult or as learning experiences that challenge and support students to think more deeply.

Given the importance of critical thinking, the way rigor is defined makes a big difference in terms of the ways that the general public – as well as administrators, policymakers, journalists and researchers – assess if a college is rigorous. It also makes a difference in terms of faculties’ expectations for students, the types of classroom activities they use and the assignments they give.

In other words, if rigor means workload, then students who spend a lot of time studying should become better critical thinkers. In contrast, if rigor means academic challenge, then students who practice higher-order thinking skills, such as analysis and evaluation , during class, on assignments and during exams should become better critical thinkers.

That’s why my study examines each definition of rigor – workload and academic challenge – in terms of helping students develop critical thinking skills. The study also looks at those definitions of rigor in relation to two related dimensions of lifelong learning. One is reading and writing for pleasure, and the other is the habit of thinking deeply and critically about things.

The college difference

The study included about 2,800 students who attended one of 46 four-year colleges in the U.S. between 2006 and 2012. These students took part in the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education , which was a large, longitudinal study of how college experiences affected outcomes associated with a liberal arts education. They completed surveys and tests at three different points during college: at the beginning of their first year, at the end of their first year and at the end of their fourth year.

In these surveys, students reported their course workload, including how many books they read, pages they wrote and hours they spent studying for class. They also reported how much their courses challenged them to engage in higher-order thinking. Faculty ask students to practice higher-order thinking when they ask challenging questions in class and give assignments that ask students to analyze information or form an argument.

Since the Wabash National Study measured students’ critical thinking and lifelong learning skills at multiple timepoints, my study looked at how much students developed these skills in relation to their workload and the academic challenge of their classes. Of course, students who are motivated to get good grades may be more likely to develop these skills. And lots of other college experiences, like interacting with faculty outside of class or being in an honors program, might also make a difference. My study accounts for these factors in order to better understand the unique influence of each definition of rigor.

What matters

Here’s what we found.

In the first year of college, higher-order thinking was related to an increase in both dimensions of lifelong learning: reading and writing for pleasure and the tendency to think deeply. Higher-order thinking was not related to development of critical thinking skills. Workload was not related to students’ critical thinking or either dimension of lifelong learning.

Across four years of college, higher-order thinking was related to an increase in students’ critical thinking skills and both dimensions of lifelong learning. Workload was related to only one dimension of lifelong learning: reading and writing for pleasure. This relationship was driven primarily by the amount of reading students did, rather than the amount of writing they did or the amount of time they spent studying.

Perhaps most importantly, my study suggests that students learn important critical thinking and lifelong learning skills because of challenging class experiences regardless of the workload. In other words, college can help students be better critical thinkers and lifelong learners without requiring them to spend a lot of time studying.

[ You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can read us daily by subscribing to our newsletter .]

Implications for colleges

This study has implications for how courses and colleges are assessed as being rigorous. It also has implications for how faculty teach, as it suggests that they should create courses that engage students in higher-order thinking, rather than asking them to complete long reading and writing assignments.

These implications matter particularly for students from low-income backgrounds, who are more likely to work full-time during college. Low-income students are also more likely to commute to campus and have family responsibilities .

Because of these responsibilities, students from low-income backgrounds often have less time to dedicate to homework compared to students from wealthier backgrounds who live on campus and who don’t work as many hours. This creates an opportunity gap in students’ ability to be successful. A 2018 report from the Pell Institute shows that low-income students graduate at much lower rates than students from higher-income backgrounds.

If campuses want students from low-income backgrounds to graduate at the same rate as their peers, then it is important that these students have a reasonable workload in their courses so that they don’t have to choose between college and their other responsibilities.

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From pandemic to protests, the Class of 2024 has been through a lot

Tovia Smith

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Several hundred demonstrators crossed barricades to join pro-Palestinian demonstrators at MIT who had been given a May 6th deadline to leave the encampment. JOSH REYNOLDS/AP hide caption

Several hundred demonstrators crossed barricades to join pro-Palestinian demonstrators at MIT who had been given a May 6th deadline to leave the encampment.

Four years ago, Keilee Northcutt graduated near the top of her Tullahoma High School class in Tennessee. But instead of strutting across the stage in front of her proud parents, she was relegated to the front seat of her mom's car as they drove a lap around the football field, quickly grabbed her diploma, then drove home.

There were no smiling selfies with her besties, no class parties, and no fancy awards ceremony to fete the high achievers like her. Instead, she got a shoutout on Facebook.

Back then, it was COVID-19 that stole her moment. This time, as Northcutt prepares to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it's campus unrest that's threatening to rob her of a second chance at some pomp and circumstance.

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Keilee Northcutt's high school graduation celebration was disrupted by COVID-19. Now she worries her MIT commencement ceremony could be canceled due to ongoing protests against the war in Gaza. Tovia Smith/Tovia Smith hide caption

Keilee Northcutt's high school graduation celebration was disrupted by COVID-19. Now she worries her MIT commencement ceremony could be canceled due to ongoing protests against the war in Gaza.

Tensions have been mounting on campus for months over the war in Gaza. In April, student protesters formed an encampment on MIT's Kresge Lawn, and ugly and increasingly violent confrontations ensued. Before dawn on Friday , police in riot gear started breaking down tents and arresting students who had been refusing to leave. MIT President Sally Kornbluth called it a "last resort" to keep the campus "physically safe and functioning for everyone."

Protestors have vowed to return , heightening security concerns for the school's upcoming combined commencement ceremony, planned for May 30th. Colleges across the nation, from Columbia University to the University of Southern California , have already canceled school-wide ceremonies because of similar unrest.

Northcutt says she's bracing for the worst while hoping for the best. "It'd be nice to actually go across the stage for once in my life," she says, adding that her parents made plans long ago to travel from Tennessee to attend.

"My parents have already booked tickets and hotels. So to have to tell them that I'm not graduating again, that would be a little rough."

But if the Class of 2024 has learned anything, it's to expect the unexpected.

Students still scarred by their "stunted and weird" freshman experience

They started college fully remote from their childhood bedrooms and kitchen tables, met their classmates only in 2D over Zoom, and strained to make any real connection with peers and professors. By the second semester, many students physically returned to campus but were still restricted to formally registered six-student pods.

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MIT seniors Mikayla Britsch and Nicole Harris remember how hard it was to make friends while attending virtual classes as freshmen during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

MIT seniors Mikayla Britsch and Nicole Harris remember how hard it was to make friends while attending virtual classes as freshmen during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

"I feel like everyone in our year has only ten friends because our freshman year was so stunted and weird," explains MIT senior Mikayla Britsch. It is the scar tissue of the class of 2024: academic challenges of online learning, compounded by the social stresses of pandemic distancing.

Sitting in one of their last classes this week, Britsch and classmate Nicole Harris recalled the bad old days of COVID-19.

"It was doubly hard," says Harris. "I remember being super-stressed, trying to meet new people, but also worried about how to adjust to MIT classes."

"Yeah, I'm still traumatized by it," laughs Britsch.

The challenges would keep coming, with two tumultuous presidential elections, the racial reckoning that followed the police killing of George Floyd, and now, the upheaval since the Israel-Hamas war.

It's a lot – especially for this class that has endured more than their fair share.

"I was going back to my dorm and there were like hoards of state troopers out here," says Northcutt, recalling attempts earlier this week to clear the encampment. "That was actually kind of crazy."

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Student protesters demanding university divestment from Israel have set up encampments over the past month at dozens of campuses across the nation, including at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

Student protesters demanding university divestment from Israel have set up encampments over the past month at dozens of campuses across the nation, including at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

Protests lead to new fears and new friends

MIT Senior Marylyn Meyers, who is Jewish, says the fear and division is even more intense now than it was during the pandemic.

"COVID was tough from a social perspective," she says. "But the hostile environment that exists now is way worse."

It's painful, Meyers says, to see classmates become so entrenched on opposing sides.

"People have been kicked out of study groups, they have been encircled by protesters, and I felt personally attacked by a lot of my peers saying horrible things about me," Meyers says. She no longer feels safe on campus.

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Jamil Dellawer, an MIT student, says the experience of camping inside the barricades has been a positive one. "I've made a lot more friends here than I have over the past three years," he admits. Tovia Smith/NPR hide caption

Jamil Dellawer, an MIT student, says the experience of camping inside the barricades has been a positive one. "I've made a lot more friends here than I have over the past three years," he admits.

It is perhaps a sign of the depth of their divide that other students – who've been protesting, chanting, studying, eating and sleeping together inside the metal barricades of their encampment – describe their experience of these last few weeks as positive.

"Honestly, I've made a lot more friends here than I have over the past three years," says Jamil Dellawer, an MIT senior, sitting inside the encampment earlier this week. It's been great, he says, to meet so many like-minded students. "It's honestly really, really beautiful."

Another senior, Omar Dahleh, says he too has found a new community, and with it, new hope. A Palestinian Muslim from Jerusalem, Dahleh says he opposes "the construct of the Israeli state" and has found it heartening to connect with others who do, too.

"These moments will be etched into my mind for the rest of my life because, for the first time in a long time, I'm seeing a better future for my people is possible," he says. "It's not a distant dream."

Unique lessons in resilience and perspective for the graduating class

Meanwhile, students who aren't participating in the protests worry the ongoing unrest will disrupt their graduation celebrations.

How student protests are changing college graduations

Campus protests over the Gaza war

How student protests are changing college graduations.

Multiple commencement ceremonies have already been interrupted, including at Northeastern University's undergraduate ceremony last week, where one student was arrested after approaching the speakers' stage with a Palestinian flag.

Northeastern graduate John Cohen says he was most upset to see demonstrators with their hands painted red, a controversial symbol that he interprets as celebrating the killing of Jews.

"This was crazy, and it felt horrible honestly," says Cohen, who is Jewish. "You work so hard, and you have to sit there and watch these people throw your moment away. It's not okay."

Despite Gen Z's reputation as being emotionally fragile and pessimistic , Cohen is quick to add that all the disappointments and curveballs of the last four years only made him stronger.

"I used to be a bit more optimistic in general," he allows. "But right now I'm just rolling with the punches, seeing what life throws at you. That's the only thing you can do."

Resilience is definitely among the lessons learned the hard way by the Class of 2024; as is perspective. As one student puts it: it would be a shame if the commencement ceremony doesn't happen, but it's small stakes compared to the war that is on so many students' minds right now.


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Hillary Clinton Accuses Protesters of Ignorance of Mideast History

In an interview on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” on Thursday, Ms. Clinton criticized student protesters, saying many were ignorant of the history of the Middle East, the United States and the world.

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Hillary Clinton holds a microphone and wears a detailed jacket and black pants. She is seated and speaking next to an interviewer who also holds a microphone, and is wearing sneakers, black pants and a sweater.

By Livia Albeck-Ripka

Hillary Clinton on Thursday criticized campus protesters, saying young people “don’t know very much” about the history of the Middle East.

“I have had many conversations, as you have had, with a lot of young people over the last many months now,” she said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” on Thursday. “They don’t know very much at all about the history of the Middle East, or frankly about history, in many areas of the world, including in our own country.”

Ms. Clinton then went on to imply that young people “don’t know” that had Yasir Arafat, the former leader of the Palestinian Authority, accepted a deal brokered by her husband, President Bill Clinton, the Palestinians would already have a state of their own. “It’s one of the great tragedies of history that he was unable to say yes,” she said.

The comments, made in response to a sprawling question about radicalization on university campuses from the host, Joe Scarborough, were criticized on social media by those who said that Ms. Clinton, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, was underestimating students’ capacity.

While some said they agreed with Ms. Clinton, others described her characterization of the failure of the Oslo peace process — a yearslong attempt to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians that began in 1993 but ultimately failed — as an oversimplification .

“For Clinton to say this is really disingenuous,” Osamah F. Khalil, a professor of history and Middle East expert at Syracuse University, said in an interview. He noted that in the lead-up to the summit at Camp David in 2000, where negotiations ultimately faltered , Mr. Arafat had warned former president Bill Clinton that “the two sides were not ready.” To lay blame squarely on the Palestinians was unfair, he added, noting that there had been other missed opportunities for a solution. “Diplomacy is not a one-time mattress sale,” Prof. Khalil said.

Ms. Clinton’s comments about the students failed to give them, or the elite institutions at which many are protesting, due credit, he said.

The comments come after students walked out of Ms. Clinton’s class in November to protest what they perceived as the school’s role in publicly shaming students who had signed a statement saying the Israeli government bore responsibility for the war. Last month, others disrupted Ms. Clinton’s visit to her alma mater, Wellesley College.

Livia Albeck-Ripka is a Times reporter based in Los Angeles, covering breaking news, California and other subjects. More about Livia Albeck-Ripka

Our Coverage of the U.S. Campus Protests

News and Analysis

 Arizona State: The campus police chief was put on leave  after dozens of people were arrested at a pro-Palestinian encampment.

 UMass Amherst: The author Colson Whitehead canceled his commencement speech  after the University of Massachussetts Amherst called the police to remove protesters.

The New School: Faculty members in Manhattan set up what may be the first professor-led pro-Palestinian encampment  in a building lobby.  

A Brief Moment of Joy :  With fireworks, a marching band, celebrity congratulations and a drone show, the University of Southern California tried to smooth over the weeks of tumult that have cleaved its campus with a hastily assembled party for its graduates .

An Agreement to Divest :  Discontent over the war in Gaza had been building for months at Trinity College Dublin, but what had been a rumble suddenly became a roar . Here’s how pro-Palestinian students pushed  the school to divest.

Hillary Clinton’s Accusation :  In an interview on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” Clinton criticized student protesters , saying many were ignorant of the history of the Middle East, the United States and the world.

Republican Hypocrisy:  Prominent Republicans have seized on campus protests to assail what they say is antisemitism on the left. But for years they have mainstreamed anti-Jewish rhetoric .

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Commencement 2024, college sports executive kiki baker barnes tells uno graduates be ‘ready to embrace the unexpected’.

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College sports executive and University of New Orleans alumna Kiki Baker Barnes gave the commencement address at the University’s spring 2024 commencement ceremony held Thursday, May 9.

College sports executive and University of New Orleans alumna Kiki Baker Barnes gave the commencement address at the University’s spring 2024 commencement ceremony held Thursday, May 9.

College sports executive and University of New Orleans alumna Kiki Baker Barnes, who holds both a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from UNO, knew without a doubt that she was a spectacular shooting guard. She’d excelled at the position all through high school, which is why she balked when her junior college basketball coach suggested she move to point guard.

The move felt like a setup for failure because handling the ball under pressure wasn’t her strength, Baker Barnes said Thursday at UNO’s Lakefront Arena where she delivered the keynote address during the spring commencement ceremony.

“This wasn’t just a change in position,” Baker Barnes said. “It was a transformation in role and mindset.”

She resisted—despite her coach’s insistence that her height and quickness would make her a formidable point guard and could help get her to the next level of the game.

She complained—repeatedly—to herself, said Baker Barnes who, in 2022, became the first African American woman commissioner in the history of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and in any conference in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, an association founded in 1937 that includes more than 250-member institutions.

Her recurring complaint: “I don’t see why he’s making me do all of this. It’s not like there is a professional basketball league for women in the United States,” Baker Barnes recalled.

When Baker Barnes graduated high school in 1993, the WNBA did not exist. Her coach relented and moved her back to her more comfortable post of shooting guard.

Fast forward to 1997 when Baker Barnes had just completed her undergraduate degree at UNO, as well as a stellar collegiate basketball and track career. She was offered a tryout with the WNBA, the new women’s professional basketball league that would debut that year.

“I was ecstatic,” Baker Barnes said. “I made it through the first round of cuts. I was playing some of my best ball!”

She was cut in the second round and was devastated. Her college coach would tell her later that the scouts thought she was skilled, quick and athletic. However, they were looking for a point guard, Baker Barnes said.

She encouraged graduates to take three pivotal lessons from her story.

“First, understand that just because an opportunity isn’t visible right now, doesn’t mean it won’t emerge,” Baker Barnes said. “Let this inspire you to pursue your dream with an open heart and an eager mind, always ready to embrace the unexpected.”

Second, remember that preparation is your most reliable guide through the unknown, Baker Barnes said.

“Equip yourself not just for the paths you anticipate, but also for the unforeseen challenges that may arise,” she said.

Lastly, she urged graduates to embrace failure as a necessary chapter in their success story.

“The true test is not in avoiding failure but in how you respond to it … How you choose to move forward from these moments will shape your journey and define your legacy,” Baker Barnes said.

“Graduates … step boldly into the future, prepared for the unknown, resilient in the face of setbacks and always eager to turn hidden opportunities into triumphs.”

The 2024 graduating class hailed from 32 U.S. states and territories and 32 areas abroad.

During the commencement, UNO President Kathy Johnson presented Baker Barnes with a medallion as a symbol of the University’s gratitude and applauded the graduates for their perseverance.

“My deepest hope is that your education at the University of New Orleans will enable you to help change our world for the better as you enter into this next phase of your life, whether that entails a career, more school or public service,” Johnson said.

The next step for music studies major Kalif Brown is going on tour with entertainer Robin Barnes and the Fiya Birds, he said.

“I play drums, piano and I sing,” Brown said.

But first, he had to keep a promise to his mother and collect his college diploma, said Brown, who carried a mortar board decorated with family photos.

“This is everybody who has helped me get to this point so far. You see a lot of pictures of my mom on here, that’s because my mom had me at 16 years old and I know I made (her life) a little more complicated,” Brown said. “One thing she always said is that she wanted to see me walk across the stage, and I promised her that I would do that.”

Meanwhile, Julia Mai plans to parlay her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences to become a physician assistant. Mai, who started a pre-PA club at UNO, is headed to graduate school to pursue a Master of Physician Assistant Studies.

Mai said she’s excited for what the future holds for her and for the future of the career support organization she helped to start.

“I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Michael Doosey for not only being the best club adviser ever, but for also being a huge advocate for the club since the start,” Mai said. “I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the UNO Pre-PA Club!”

English major Whittinee Cox’s mortar board perhaps proclaimed a sentiment held by many of the graduates as they laughed and posed for selfies in groups, in front of their college banners and solo. The glittery mortar board stated: “There ain’t nothing gonna stop me NOW!”

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St. Claude Gallery Exhibits ‘Beyond Family’ by UNO Professor Ariya Martin

Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston, a research fellow with UNO’s Urban Entrepreneurship and Policy Institute, talks with students during a financial literacy class.

Former New Orleans Saints Players Team with UNO To Offer Financial Education Course To High School Students

Madeline Foster-Martinez, an assistant professor in UNO's Department of Earth and Environmental Science and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, used recycled wreaths in Quarantine Bay in Plaquemines Parish for a class project in the wetlands.

UNO Class Uses Wreaths To Fight Coastal Land Erosion

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2024 NFL rookie minicamp Day 2 highlights: Drake Maye 'has a lot to work on,' HC says; Terrion Arnold nabs INT

A roundup of notable moments as rookie minicamp continues around the league.

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The 2024 NFL  offseason continues on with rookie minicamp as the newest members of the NFL family are getting situated with their new teams, and taking the practice field. 

Many rookie minicamps began on Friday, May 10. We have J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr . throwing footballs for the first time with their new clubs, Rome Odunze catching passes from Caleb Williams and JC Latham pushing a 380-pound sled. 

Games aren't being won and lost in the month of May, but the players that will win games for their franchises in the future are being crafted. Here are a few notable tidbits from around the league during Saturday's practice sessions. To see some of the best highlights from Day 1 of rookie minicamp, click here .

Drake Maye 'has a lot to work on'

The New England Patriots hope they have found their quarterback of the future in North Carolina's Drake Maye, but the transition for quarterbacks at the next level is a tricky one. When first-year head coach Jerod Mayo was asked for his first impressions of the No. 3 overall pick at rookie minicamp, he said the 21-year-old is a work in progress.

"He has a lot to work on. A lot to work on," Mayo said, via ESPN . "But I have no doubt that he will put the time in. He was here all night trying to get on the same page as everyone else."

This quote shouldn't raise up any red flags for Pats fans. Every new quarterback has a lot to work on. Maye's new teammate, fellow rookie Ja'Lynn Polk , took notice of Maye's arm talent and leadership qualities. 

"The guy can sling it, man," Polk said. "He's very confident. He's a leader, very vocal; he's setting the tone in practice, trying to get guys moving around and operating at a high level."

Drake Maye 🎯 pic.twitter.com/U7pLWa4h71 — Sophie Weller (@sophieewellerr) May 11, 2024

Terrion Arnold gets his first INT

The Detroit Lions found a new cornerback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft , selecting Terrion Arnold out of Alabama at No. 24 overall. Some viewed him as the top cornerback in this class, and he's expected to make an immediate impact in Detroit. 

1st pick for Agent 0️⃣ @ArnoldTerrion pic.twitter.com/shYi3DQG0N — Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 11, 2024

On Saturday, Arnold continued to make his presence felt and hauls in his first interception with the Lions.

Caleb Williams building chemistry with wideouts 

This year's first overall pick continued his Bears rookie minicamp Saturday, and the signal-caller is getting in plenty of work alongside the other new Bears. Here he is below working on some deeper throws down the sideline.

Caleb Williams throwing during #Bears rookie minicamp drills on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/pm4MfGxBpF — Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) May 11, 2024

Johnny Newton to have another surgery

Former Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton fell to No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft potentially due to foot surgery. Now he needs another foot procedure. Washington Commanders head coach Dan Quinn told reporters that Newton has an injury to his other foot, and will have a procedure done next week,  via NBC4Sports . 

Apparently, it's the same injury to the other foot, a Jones fracture. Newton was seen with a boot on his left foot Friday. 

"Not giving any timelines for that," Quinn said.

Rome Odunze out with hamstring tightness

After working out Friday, Odunze will not practice on Saturday for the Chicago Bears , as he's dealing with hamstring tightness,  per NBC Sports Chicago . It's unclear when Odunze suffered this injury, but the decision to hold him out was reportedly a precautionary move. 

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College football insiders evaluate LSU's ceiling, floor in 2024 season

T here are a lot of uncertainties as LSU prepares for the 2024 season, the third under coach Brian Kelly. But one thing is clear: This is shaping up to be a season of change.

That's to be expected when you lose a trio of offensive skill position stars to the draft, in addition to multiple defensive starters from a unit that already struggled while also adding new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

But while there are questions, this roster has talent, and it's hard not to be enamored by the potential. How good — and conversely, how bad — could this season be for the Tigers? On3 analysts Andy Staples and Cody Bellaire attempted to answer that question, breaking down both team's ceiling and floor in 2024.

It shouldn't be surprising that a team that has so many questions has a lot of variance between the ceiling and the floor. Staples and Bellaire agree that the ceiling is a berth in the 12-team College Football Playoff, but they have the floor set at 7-5.

It’s unfair to ask LSU’s offense to be as good as it was last year with Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels throwing to fellow first-rounders Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. (And Mike Denbrock, who left to run Notre Dame’s offense, calling the plays.) But it’s not out of the question that this version of LSU’s offense could come close. Quarterback Garrett Nussmeier waited patiently behind Daniels, and now he gets to be patient on passing downs thanks to stalwart offensive tackles Will Campbell and Emery Jones. Kyren Lacy should help pick up the slack in the pass game, as should Liberty transfer CJ Daniels. And that line should be able to open holes for a deeper stable of backs. The real question is on defense. This group was objectively awful last year, and coach Brian Kelly jettisoned the entire defensive staff and hired Missouri’s Blake Baker to perform the overhaul. Thanks to Kelly’s recent comments about the transfer portal, we spent much of this week highlighting how thin LSU is at defensive tackle. Cornerback also remains a question mark, which seems unbelievable given LSU’s history at the position. Linebacker Harold Perkins is the defense’s best player, but the question lingers as to whether he’ll be encouraged to do what he does best (get the ball or whoever has it) or forced into a role that doesn’t allow him to wreak much havoc. A merely competent defense probably gets LSU to nine or 10 wins. An above-average one puts the Tigers comfortably in the CFP. Anything resembling last year will point them toward the floor.

As Staples and Bellaire note, the biggest questions certainly come on the defensive side of the ball with several holes remaining that weren't adequately addressed in the transfer portal.

If the defense can indeed take a step forward, the Tigers could certainly find themselves in the playoff mix. But if it struggles once again, it's hard to imagine LSU wins 10 games for the third year in a row after losing a Heisman-winning quarterback and a pair of first-round receivers.

Contact/Follow us  @LSUTigersWire  on Twitter, and like our page on  Facebook  to follow ongoing coverage of Louisiana State news, notes, and opinions.

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This article originally appeared on LSU Wire: College football insiders evaluate LSU's ceiling, floor in 2024 season

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Brian Kelly of the LSU Tigers looks on prior to facing the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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