Getting through college can be a substantial financial challenge; many students rely on a good deal of assistance from their parents. But, a new study shows that parents who divorce may be less able to financially support their children during the college years.
Significantly Lower Contributions
A study recently published in the Journal of Family Issues surveyed some 2,400 undergraduate students about parental contributions for college expenses.
Researchers found that parents who were still married offered around eight percent of their incomes to financially support their children in college, meeting 77 percent of tuition costs.
Divorced parents, on the other hand, had lower overall incomes, and met just 42 percent of tuition expenses giving only six percent of their incomes. When divorced parents remarry, their income generally increases. Yet, even remarried parents could only offset 53 percent of expenses utilizing five percent of their incomes.
The authors of the study specifically noted one possible reason for the outcome: diluted resources.
Even if everything else remains the same, the same pool of income that was being used to support one household now has to serve two. Remarried parents take on a whole new set of obligations with a new family, often including stepchildren. Add in potentially high costs of a divorce, and it is no surprise that students from divorced families face an uphill battle for financial resources.
What You Can Do
If you are divorced or in the process of divorcing, it does not mean you have to sacrifice your children’s education. You may, however, need to save more, budget stringently, and cut down on divorce-related expenses. Speak with an experienced family law attorney to find out how to secure a brighter future for you and your kids.