Families and Paying for College
Students’ access to family help with paying for college tuition and living expenses varies by family resources, structures, and relationships, and can affect later outcomes and the extent to which students rely on various forms of financial aid. This study analyzes an originally collected dataset at two regional public four-year universities in the United States (N=2,979) to examine how families and relationships are related to how students pay for college expenses. Differences in payment methods are examined by students’ family structure, including their cohabitation, marital, and parenthood status; family background including parents’ education, marital status and loan status; and relationships with families, including whether students lived with their families of origin, sentiments about asking parents for money, and closeness with parents. Differences by race, gender, age and region are also examined. Families helped 51% of students in the sample pay for college tuition, and almost 70% of students had family help with paying for living expenses. Payment methods for college differed by all variables examined. Potential explanations for findings related to inequalities in access to family financial resources, social norms about providing family help to certain types of students, and role expectations associated with family structure and age are discussed.
"Families, Relationships and Paying for College,"
Journal of Student Financial Aid: Vol. 52
, Article 2.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/jsfa/vol52/iss2/2