For the students who came into college and completely supported themselves, where are they now? Did they graduate faster or get better grades?
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Brigham Young University recently released a study with results showing that students who pay their own tuition throughout college will have less risky behavior and feel like more of an adult.
Researchers involved in this study surveyed a total of 402 undergraduate students and their parents to determine how much support was given. Following the survey, some parents wondered if the factor of supporting their child had to do with the care and love level for their child. The study showed that the supporters providing less did not have any weaker relationships with their child.
“I think that if a student pays for their own college, they might value it more, but I don’t think that that will make them an overall better student,” sophomore liberal studies major Alexandra Khandjian said.
In the study published in the Journal of Adult Development, the scholars decided that a free ride is not necessarily the best option for students.
I feel it is encouraging for students attending APU to know they have options if they too are supporting themselves. Hospitality Services, such as many other on-campus jobs, offer a work-study program, which is a great way to work and pay for schooling.
“I think no matter what, you are still putting the work in and are going to value school and respect your parents in the same way,” sophomore social work major Tahlene Yacoubian said.
Researchers also found that parents at BYU covered tuition, books and housing for half of the students surveyed. BYU scholars think that the findings “suggest a middle ground, somewhere between full and minimal support, is the best approach for parents to take,” according to The Salt Lake Tribute.
An article published in The Deseret News included a graphic that explains the percentage of parents who provide financially support in the following: daily expenses — 59 percent, recreational expenses — 28 percent, most or all of their children’s tuition expenses — 70 percent, Cost of books — 65 percent and housing expenses — 58 percent.
While research showed that students receiving financial support might graduate faster, it also noted that they tend to party more and work less.
Students who have a free ride from their parents and who are also not working tend to have more free time on their hands. The study explained how that then leads to more casual hangouts, which, in time, can turn into parties and drinking.
Although we did not have this same study and research done at APU, students were surprised to hear these results that were discovered at BYU.
“Students graduate faster because they have that pressure on them, but that does not mean they party more,” Khandjian said. “I do not think that having financial support and partying go hand in hand.”
Parents seem to always want the best for their children, whether that means helping their child slowly transition into adulthood or making them transition faster on their own.
But the best thing to do if parents want what is best for their child is to find a balance, BYU professor Larry Nelson said in The Deseret News.
There are still questions that researchers are looking into, such as whether the effects of receiving little financial help from parents differ depending on the students’ sense of support in other ways. While researchers also noted that it is possible that children’s behaviors directly influence the level of parental financial support, they did not address the issue in the study.
After reading through this study, I do not think that I agree with it completely. Although a
few of the points made sense, I felt that the main point was practically saying that students
who are supported financially by parents turn out to be lazier. I know firsthand that
although I do not pay for college with my own money, I do not take advantage of my
parents’ money. I can even say that I work harder knowing that it is their own hard-earned
money that has helped me get this far.
Ramanda Lazaris is a sophomore journalism major. She is from Yorba Linda, Calif. and loves to go to the beach and be with her friends. She plans to travel the world and be a journalist in New York one day.