A new national study has found that the more money parents pay for their kids’ college educations, the worse their kids tend to perform, at least when it comes to grades. According to “More Is More or More is Less? Parent Financial Investments During College,” a paper by Laura Hamilton, a sociology professor at University of California, Merced, larger contributions from parents are linked to lower grades among students at a variety of four-year colleges.
The study’s results are striking because most parents assume that the more money they pay for their children’s education, the better their children will perform. If students don’t have to spend time working a job to support themselves, goes the thinking, and they aren’t burdened by the weight of heavy loans, they will be free to study more diligently.
But it turns out that students whose educational costs are paid for entirely by their parents, engage in more leisure activities. In other words, they party instead of study. Most students don’t party so hard that they flunk out of college, but they do damage to their academic performance.
Hamilton found less of an impact on grades at more elite colleges than at other private out-of-state schools. And despite their lower grades, the graduation rate for students whose parents paid their full freight was higher than for those whose parents didn’t. That’s not surprising, since many students leave college for financial reasons.
CONTINUE READING The More You Pay For Your Child’s College Education The Better Their Grades Will Be… Not So Much