Comments about ‘College kids party harder if mom and dad pay for school, BYU study finds’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, April 17 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Gillette, WY

Which is why my husband and I help our kids get there the first year and then they are on their own. 2 out of 5 have graduated from Weber State, one still at Weber one more heading to Utah State this fall and the last one headed to High School next year. If they have ownership in their education they appreciate it more and do better! It's just like anything with kids if you just hand it to them they don't appreciate it unless they have to work for it.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Kids that are on a full ride from mom & dad also take longer to finish their degrees. When somebody else pays your tuition, it's easy to sign up for that bowling class that ends up distracting you from taking classes that you actually need for your major.

The full ride also makes kids more likely to change majors when they find the going gets tough.

Because I paid for college myself, I didn't take a single class that I didn't need to graduate and I never changed majors....I couldn't afford to pay for unnecessary classes or throw away years and dollars by changing majors.

West Valley City, Utah

I think its great that they are doing studies on these kinds of things, but the results from this one seem kind of obvious from the get-go.


my kids must really be parting hard at cougarville

Provo, UT

I took a class from Dr. Nelson, really great class. Nice study, provides some interesting implications for my future family.

American Fork, UT

I hope no government money was spent on this 'study'.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

It took a study at BYU to prove this?

Wow, what a no brainer.


My wife and I paid for 2 of her three degrees and 1 of mine without any financial support. I believe kids should have jobs and pay as much college as they can. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and appreciation for it. Some support from parents helps them graduate in a reasonable time, and shows love and care. That was our approach with our kids. Son paid for his own MBA, with help from work. If he had needed some help, we would have given it, though. We plan on leaving some money to help with our grandkids' educations, missions or home down payments if they don't use it all for college. It will only be given AFTER successful completion of each semester.

the truth
Holladay, UT

It is simply the fruits of entitlement.

Santa Ana, CA

1/2 got tuition, books and housing
1/3 got nothing
1/4 got everything paid for by parents.

Uh....that's more than 1 :-)

Nevertheless, I agree that kids need to work summers or part time during school for personal expeneses and more. The flip side is parents who could well afford to help their kids and don't, thinking that it is virtuous to insist they support themselves. This often requires the students to take 6-7 years to finish while supporting themselves. That does't make economic sense either.

Wasatch Front, UT

Too many in LDS culture believe that their children need to pay for most/all of college. This is as outdated as a paper calendar. While a few exceptionally talented students can manage paying for their own schooling while getting the most out of their education, too many end up dragging out their education for years, going to a school at a third rate institution, or never do sufficiently well to allow them to get into the best graduate programs. They have limited opportunities coming out of school and the parents blame their children's poor opportunities on George W, Pres Obama or "the economy".

If you look at the top undergraduate and graduate schools nationally, you find that a large percentage of the students have parents who are making significant financial sacrifices for the student to be there or they have saved and prepared just for such an event. When the student has some skin in the game, and KNOWS that mom and/or dad are giving up a lot for them to be there, those students, in my experience, work very hard. Most have worked hard to get there, and want to make the most of the opportunity.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Any student who spends his time partying, rather than studying and working, should be condemed. College should be about hard work and discipline, not the frivolous pursuit of temporary pleasure.

Students should work to put themselves through college--no exceptions. Any parent who puts his child through college is doing that child a real disservice by exposing him to increased risk of addiction and immorality.


@John Charity Spring,

You're funny and rather sad.

Mom of 8
Hyrum, UT

An interesting follow-up would be to investigate if students whose parents pay for their schooling are also those that "fail to launch."

Perhaps the longer someone depends on mom and dad, the slower they are to accept responsibility for their actions?

Students who have to pay their way through scholarships and work know the value of every quarter and every minute.

Being financially responsible, even if it may just be a shared expense, such as paying for their housing and food while parents pay for tuition, is a valuable life experience.

College is the perfect time for kids to start becoming adults responsible for their own lives.

If they don't learn that during the college years, when will they learn it? Living in Mom and Dad's basement after graduation?

Colorado Springs, CO

@John Charity Springs: You're all into condemnation, aren't you?

Far East USA, SC

"Any parent who puts his child through college is doing that child a real disservice by exposing him to increased risk of addiction and immorality."

Quite the blanket statement.

Any chance of seeing something to back up that statement? Or was that just a gem from the world of JCS?

Wasatch Front, UT

@john Charity Spring

You, sadly, reflect the very attitude that holds so many youth from reaching there full potential. Don't get me wrong. A child can help with the effort. But this isn't 1965 or even 1988 any more. Tuition, room and board costs have risen much faster than low-end wages. It simply isn't possible for most students to exit a better university without a lot of debt. There is a reason why education debt is the single largest debt bomb that still is yet to be addressed.

Your attitude reflects an outdated time period and is not based in reality. it is exactly this outdated and dangerous attitude that I was addressing.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

It's easy to look at the results of a study and say "kids will do this if given a free ride". The truth is that all of us are different. We have similarities and often face similar challenges- but we are all also very very unique and are still individuals. The only way nearly everyone studies social patterns is by abandoning the individuals behind those patterns. Perfect parents can raise kids who make bad choices and bad parents can raise kids who rise above their circumstance. The truth is- we all know right from wrong, we all have free will- and the best thing we can do is be thoughtful, prayerful, and attend to each other's needs. Helping each other isn't wrong. Sometimes less help or more help is wiser- but such decisions are best made individually. Studies showing whether 'this category' (rich, poor, black, white) only separate and categorize us into numbers that rarely provide actual answers for anyone. Meanwhile, living righteously does entitle us to an abundance of answers, good advice, and guidance through life.

I know, I know- I'm rambling on about those lousy inductive arguments, really guesses based on statistics again! :)


While students who work long hours to support themselves and pay college costs have the lowest level of high-risk behaviors like drinking, according to the research, they are also the least likely to graduate and they have the lowest incomes when they start jobs.

Stated differently, according to this article, kids who party do better in school, graduate sooner, and receive higher-paying jobs than kids who do not party!


My sister and her husband had program similar to WYOREADER; they paid for the first semester of the first year. As a result, their kids settled for less expensive, lower quality schools and pursued non-demanding majors that allowed them to work (while attending) to pay for school.

My program was different. We paid 100% of the cost of our kid's education contingent on them getting accepted to a good school and pursuing a useful degree.

The contrast between my children and my sister's children is stark. My two sons who have graduated to date have high paying jobs and are well situated to compete in today's global economy. My sister's kids: not so much.

South Korean and Chinese parents are paying for their kids' educations. The governments of Sweden, UK and others pay for their students' educations (even at U.S. institutions). U.S. parents who don't dramatically help their kids are setting them up to fail in our highly competitive global economy.

Because my sister did not do her part, my kids' future tax dollars could be subsidizing some of her kids. Parents: please recognize the world has changed and do your part.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments