More dollars from parents, lower GPA’s from students

(WEAU) - It's back to the text books and lectures for many college students and a new semester means another tuition payment.

But, who's footing the bill? You or your child? A new study shows that if you're helping to pay for your child to go to college, their GPA may suffer.

The study published in January's American Sociological Review shows that students who contribute to their schooling tend to work harder.

"They do help me out with living expenses and stuff. Other than that, all the school expenses are on me," said Wang Lee, UW Stout student.

Third year UW Stout student Wang Lee knows just what the value of a dollar means. It comes not only from working in the Financial Aid office, but having to pay for school.

"You kind of put yourself in debt paying for school and you have a better incent to work harder and get better grades," said Lee.

Some students at UW Stout say they're more motivated to wake up for class knowing that they're the ones paying for tuition.

Dean of Students, Joan Thomas says, students have less of problem academically in school when they're paying for it.

"The cost of education and the economy have I think increased the number of students that have some level of responsibility whether they're taking out loans or they're paying upfront," said Thomas.

She says she paid for her kids to go to college, but they both had jobs and had to support any other financial expenses.

"Our expectations for continuing to support them was that they make good use of our hard earned money and resources,” said Thomas.

But Lee says there are some students who don't get it.

"I see a lot of kids that don't understand what’s going on because their parents take care of it for them. They’re really not exposed to it yet," said Lee.

Thomas says she's seen some parents bargain with their kids before they leave for college.

"I've seen a trend where parents will say we'll reimburse you for your loans or for your expenses if you meet a certain standard," said Thomas.

"You have to work harder to pay off in the future, because once you're done with college you have to get a job and work to pay off that loan debt," said Lee.

The study also shows if parents don't give any aid, the GPA is predicted to be about 3.15.

If given $16,000 in aid, the GPA drops under 3.0. Then, at $40,000 it’s expected to hit 2.95.

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