Robert — thank you, all points well taken. Your articulate response is exactly what I was hoping for with my post. I certainly would not dismiss the finding, but I would recommend healthy skepticism.
I did want to add in this little tidbit. The lines right after the ones you cited say:
The opportunity to start making money may also seem alluring but could hurt students later on, says Julie Hartline, a school counselor at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Ga.
She says her responsibility is to get past that adolescent mind-set to show her students they can make more money later if they “stick this out.”
It’s understandable that Ms. Hartline would want to deter focusing on short-run paychecks over career preparation. But I question the verbiage here. Students should shun work in favor of college because wanting to earn money is an adolescent mindset?