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Later school start times benefit students and the economy

Filed in
  • School
  • Teens
  • School Start Times

By Corinne Lederhouse  |  Sep 12, 2017
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The health benefits of delayed school start times for students are well-documented. But what is the economic impact of starting school later?

Opponents argue that changing school start times would be expensive for parents and school districts. However, a recent study from RAND Europe shows that delaying school start times is cost-effective. Results suggest that starting school later could have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.

Researchers performed an economic analysis (in 47 U.S. states) of a state-wide school start time of 8:30 a.m.

“A small change [in school start time] could result in big economic benefits over a short period of time for the U.S.,” said research leader Marco Hafner in a news release. “In fact, the level of benefit and period of time it would take to recoup the costs from the policy change is unprecedented in economic terms.”

The researchers used a macroeconomic modelling approach. Their analysis estimated the benefits of improved academic performance of students and reduced car crash rates. The model projected changes to the U.S. economy over a 20-year period.

Study results suggest that the benefits of later start times outweigh the immediate costs. After only two years, the study projects an economic gain of $8.6 billion to the U.S. economy. After 10 years, the study shows that delaying school start times would contribute $83 billion to the U.S. economy. The 20-year projection shows an average annual gain of about $9.3 billion each year to the U.S. economy.

The study didn’t take into account other effects from insufficient sleep, such as increased obesity and mental health problems. As a result, the reported economic benefits from delaying school start times could be even higher.


  1. 1 Hey Mr Muscles. YOU KNOW 16 May
    This was very helpful for my debate research.
  2. 2 OldMcDonaldButBetter 23 Apr
  3. 3 teacher 19 Apr
    I agree with late start times. It would have multiple impacts of the economy and really help with teenage obesity, depression, and educational achievements. I fully support changing school times to a later time. Even if that change was as small as 30 minutes later. It would have so many benefits. Thank you for informing the public of this issue. 
  4. 4 Student 09 Apr
    good ideas for a project. somewhat helpful
  5. 5 A mom 22 Mar
    I agree with you, but I would like my child to have a much early time. I always take her to Starbucks and hang with her in the cold morning. I also like the thought of school starting much later. Thank you for this information, some of these comments are so idiotic. Grow up children.
  6. 6 A student 22 Mar
    omg tysm this was like so helpful!!!!!!!!11111!!!!111! glad you made this page and i won the debate!! TYY
  7. 7 studentoof 22 Mar
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  8. 8 also a student 13 Mar
    Student is a different person than me
  9. 9 also a student 13 Mar
    doing a debate in class. I don't know what side I'm going to be on yet. This was really helpful for reasearch
  10. 10 student 23 Feb
    extraordinary work, exceptionally helps with my work, very satisfactory. 
  11. 11 Student 06 Feb
    thank you this was very helpful needed the info for a report:,, - these are different links

  12. 12 Student 25 Jan
    This is very helpful information and it gives a lot of stating facts. I would recommend this site to other students or other people who are interested in this topic. Thank you for your help on my assignment! 
  13. 13 bob 11 Jan
    helped alot
  14. 14 Student 04 Jan
    Thanks this really help on my assignment 
  15. 15 Student 10 Dec
    This is really helpful. I am doing a research project and this has good info.
  16. 16 OldMcDonaldbutmoreknowledgable 29 Nov
    Corinne Lederhouse
  17. 17 OldMcDonald 16 Nov
    who is the author