Study: Parent aid lowers college grades

When parents pay their children’s college costs, students earn lower grades but are more likely to graduate, concludes a new study by Laura T. Hamilton, a sociology professor at University of California at Merced.

As parental aid increased, students’ GPAs decreased. “Students with parental support are best described as staying out of serious academic trouble, but dialing down their academic efforts,” Hamilton wrote.

Today’s college students spend an average of 28 hours a week on classes and studying — and 41 hours a week on social and recreational events, another study found.

According to Hamilton’s study, students with no parental aid in their first year of college had a 56.4 percent chance of graduating in five years, compared with 65.2 percent for students who received $12,000 in aid from their parents.

Grants and scholarships, work-study, student employment and veteran’s benefits do not have negative effects on student GPA, said Hamilton. Students may feel they’ve earned the money and take their responsibilities more seriously.

California colleges may limit recreation subsidies

California’s community colleges may limit access to low-cost P.E. and fine arts classes to focus scarce resources on students seeking degrees, certificates, transfer or job training. Under the proposal, students would be barred from repeating the same P.E. or fine arts class more than once, reports California Watch. Instead, colleges could create “community education” enrichment classes: Students pay the full cost and can take the class as often as they like.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District, for example, offers a $60 class called Total Body Workout for Older Adults, which receives no state subsidies. Foothill College’s state-subsidized Aquatic Fitness class costs $36, by contrast.

College athletes would be able to repeat courses in their sport and music majors would be allowed to repeat choir class if needed to meet transfer requirements.