If parents pay for college, GPA drops but graduation more likely

However, the chances of graduating in 5 years or less goes up

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17 2013 9:51 p.m. MST

Hamilton's research set the odds a student would graduate within five years at 56.4 predicated probability for those who had no financial help from their parents. When parents chipped in $12,000, the probability increased to 65.2 percent.

Other sources of financial aid, including grants and scholarships, student employment and veteran's benefits don't have the same impact on GPA. The researcher said it's possible those funding sources leave a student with more of a sense they "earned" it. But those funds are also harder to get in tough financial times.

"Ultimately, it's not bad to fund your children," Hamilton told the Times. "My kids are little, but I plan to pay for them — after we talk about how much it costs, and what grades I expect them to achieve."

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