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We all know at least one person paying their own way through school without any financial support from home. You don’t? Actually, me neither. But according to a recent study, these mythical creatures will experience more success in college than the rest of us.
Laura Hamilton, an assistant professor in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California at Merced (I thought I smelled a hippie) has collected data from three federal databases and compared parental contributions and grades.
The findings reveal that the more your parents love you during these four years, the more you apparently suffer academically. Students who invest their own personal money into their education supposedly value it more and focus their time on schoolwork, rather than partying. Of course there is no mention of how having to work a job (or three) affects that noble, independent student’s ability to focus on schoolwork.
There is also one GIGANTIC caveat to Hamilton’s study:
…the study found a positive association (even controlling for other factors) between increased parental contributions and graduation over five years. In an interview, Hamilton said that she explained this finding (even if apparently contradictory with the results on grades) because those with minimal levels of parental support have a much more difficult job paying for college, and those who can’t pay, can’t graduate. “Kids who don’t have funds, they don’t stay,” she said.
When someone is at an interview after college, I don’t think their chances of landing a job are going to be all that great if they have to say something like, “Yes, technically I don’t have a degree but I promise I learned SO much when I was in college and I’m totally super smart!”
Hamilton, overlooking the fact that the lowered graduation rates all but negate the usefulness of her findings, stresses that parents who do choose to be human ATMs should discuss with their children what is expected of them. Looking back at a similar conversation I had with my mother freshman year, it went a lot like, “Do your homework and marry someone with a Roman numeral.”
Hamilton even goes as far as pinpointing Greek Life as a major factor in her findings, as if we didn’t already assume she was a GDI. She’s currently co-writing a book to be published by Harvard University Press in April, arguing that “students who bypass the [Greek] system may suffer social costs, but are likely to emerge with a much better education.”
Perhaps our researcher has decided to overlook the fact that since 1825 almost every single US president has been Greek, and 85% of Fortune 500 executives were Greek. But that’s all in the past, I suppose. What about today? Well, currently, Greeks have a 20% higher graduation rate than non-Greeks and on the majority of campuses the all Greek GPA is higher than the all campus GPA. Oh, and we actually get jobs after we graduate.
Sorry I’m not sorry you never got a bid.
I speak from experience when I say the speed with which my parents transfer money from their bank account to mine when I iMessage them “SOS” has absolutely no negative effects on my grade point average whatsoever. Contrary to the study, experiencing a lack of said financial support (See: the night I blacked out and lost my Amex), was the one time I found myself blowing off studying for an exam. American Express, if you’re reading this, thanks again for overnighting it.
If this study does turn out to be true, one thing’s for sure, I’m ditching my fratdaddy for that cute male Starbucks barista. Assuming he graduates.
[via Inside Higher Ed]