Lower GPAs and Higher Graduation rates when Parents help pay for College

Stack of money - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers found that students who got financial help from their parents when attending college were more likely to graduate, but with lower grade point averages (GPAs). The study results will be published in the February issue of the American Sociological Review.

Laura T. Hamilton, a sociology professor at the University of California, Merced, studied what impact financial assistance from parents had on students’ grades and graduation rates. The good news is that parents who supported their child financially in college were best at avoiding serious academic trouble. However, at the same time earning good grades also diminished.

"Regardless of class background, the toll parental aid takes on GPA is modest," Hamilton wrote. "Yet, any reduction in student GPA due to parental aid—which is typically offered with the best of intentions—is both surprising and important."

Hamilton explained that college students spend an average of 28 hours each week attending classes and doing homework, which is much less than high school students do. College students manage to spend an average of 41 hours on social and recreational events each week.

If no financial support was giving to a student during their first year of college, they had a 56.4 percent chance of gaining a degree. If a parent gave $12,000 in financial assistance to the college student during the first year, these students had a 65.2 percent probability that they would complete college.

Hamilton found that GPA was not impacted when students received grants, scholarships, work-study, student employment, and veteran’s benefits.

Even though her study demonstrated a reduction in overall GPA when students got financial help from their parents, she cautions that parents should not cut off financing them. Instead, she suggests that parents should set standards to keep the student accountable for studying.

By: Dave Reddy

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