Who says money can buy success? A recent study released by Laura Hamilton of the University of California finds that on average, the more money parents provide toward their child’s college tuition, the lower that child’s GPA, according to a recent article from The New York Times.
In her study, Hamilton compiled statistics from different federal data sets and controlled for socio-economic status. Though her study concluded that greater parental contribution was positively correlated with lower college grades, it added that students from middle-class families were the ones who suffered the most from their parents’ monetary support.
“Affluent families aren’t hurt the most by the lower grades, because they had the connections to call the head of NBC or the NFL, and get their child a job,” Hamilton said. “It’s more of a problem for the middle-class parents, who worked hard to pay the college costs, used up their retirement funds and are out of money by graduation time.”
The inverse relationship between more financial support and lower grades was not as strong at elite universities, Hamilton acknowledged. In addition, she said students from wealthier families tended to be more financially ignorant since they typically receive a blank check and do not need to consider the value of their parents’ money.
Despite her research, Hamilton doesn’t advocate for greater student loans. She said she still plans to fund her children’s college education, but not until she sits them down to have the talk: What’s the value of a dollar? What’s the significance of a college degree?