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Here's some interesting news:
A recent study conducted by the American Sociological Review found a small, but significant, correlation between the amount of money contributed by parents and the grade point average of students. But it wasn't a positive correlation. It appears that the more money mom and dad supply, the lower the grades are.
This makes sense when you think about it. Students whose college years are largely – or completely – subsidized by their parents have far less of their own "skin" in the game. It's not their investment that depends upon maximizing their performance in the classroom. It's someone else's. And it's a lot easier to be careless when you're playing with someone else's money.
This certainly doesn't mean parents who are financially able should stop helping with tuition and other expenses. But it does make me think that many students receiving such assistance may need a reality check when it comes to being accountable for how the money is spent.
Ideally, that accountability should originate with the student. And in many cases, it does. But parents also should be willing to say "enough" when their kid starts placing more importance on the next keg party than studying for his math final.
Just writing more checks isn't helping. It's enabling. And insisting on proper effort as a condition of continued assistance isn't just good business – it's good parenting.