Study: smartphones can lead to lower college GPAs

College student grade point averages may be impacted by how often they use their smartphones.

Kent State University recently surveyed 500 students and determined that smartphone use can lead to lower GPAs among college students. In fact, students who use their phones around 10 hours a day have an average GPA of 2.8. Those that are only on their smartphones two hours a day have an average GPA of 3.0. Local 6’s Blake Stevens spoke to students and faculty at the University of Tennessee at Martin about the topic.

Rikki Erwin, a freshman communications major at UTM, says she’s found the perfect balance between studying and using her iPhone 5c.

“I’m involved a lot here on campus and I don’t think that my phone has at all, like, damaged my ability to be involved on campus,” Erwin said. “I think if anything, it’s made it easier to communicate.”

She also says, it hasn’t impacted her grades negatively.

Amber Adams says she knows when to put the phone away. As an accounting major, she is taking some classes that she considers to be harder than others. 

“I try not to use it in accounting or anything hard,” Adams told Local 6.

Although students may be using educational apps like Blackboard and PowerPoint, others say the only way they stay up to date is through social media. 

UTM Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Angie MacKewn says she knows some students are still paying attention while on their phones. She doesn’t have a phone policy, saying it’s a “high school mentality.” Some students are actually retaining information while on their phones, she added. For her colleagues who are strongly against smartphones, MacKewn offers this advice.

“Up your game, be a little more interesting, throw something at them, and catch their attention,” she said.

Related Articles