Children of Divorce Pay More for College: Study

Children of Divorce Pay More for College: Study

By Josh D. Simon
Updated: July 17, 2014
divorce news

First they had to deal with the adverse economic impact of having their parents split. Now, children of divorce are disproportionately getting dinged in the pocketbook by an unlikely source: their college. 

That’s according to a recent study by researchers at Rice University and the University of Wisconsin , who found that children of divorced or remarried parents pay significantly more to attend college than students whose parents are still together. 

Looking at the numbers, the study found that students with married parents cover about 23% of their own college expenses, while students with remarried or divorced parents cover a whopping 47% and 58%, respectively.

While the study’s findings are disconcerting, at least as far as the negative economic impact of divorce is concerned, they aren’t a surprise. 

“What my research does is help to explain one mechanism by which divorce can be detrimental to kids,” commented Ruth N. López Turley, the study’s co author. 

However, what did come as a surprise, was seeing just how little remarried parents chip in to ease their children’s financial burden. 

“We expected the remarried parents to make smaller contributions [compared to married parents], but we didn’t expect the difference to be that big,” said Turley.

It’s unclear whether this study will give college administrators cause to re-think their financial aid packages; many of which require families to shoulder more of the cost of college than ever before.  


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July 16, 2012

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