Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Divorced Families Cause Problems For College Students

Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA - detail ...Image via Wikipedia
The costs of putting your children through college are on the rise. Finding the money and saving it is hard enough. But when divorce enters the equation, college money suffers.

According to researchers from Rice University and the University of Wisconsin divorced parents contribute about a third of what married parents contribute to their children's education. Remarried parents contribute about half of what married parents contributed, though their incomes are similar to those parents that have stayed married.  

This is a shift of the burden from parents to other sources of money. Namely the student will be responsible for the money through borrowing or working much more.

Normally, married parents of students on average have contributed 8 percent of their income and have met 77 percent of the financial burden. Divorced parents contribute 6 percent of their income and only can pay 42 percent of the total college bill. When divorced parents enter into another marriage, they only can contribute 5 percent of their income and manage only 53 percent of the funds needed to go to college.

This makes sense because much of the family assets are used up in the divorce proceedings through lawyers and necessary expenses. Loss of income and money channeled  to support two separated residences, instead of the original one before divorce, causes money to be wasted. 

Another problem arises in divorced households is the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application that must filled out each year for financial assistance and grants. in a non-divorced home the FASFA is hard enough to deal with. In a divorced home the FASFA is much more complicated. Normally the household income is entered on the form, among other things, but the income of a spouse who remarried is supposed to be included. The step-father or step-mothers income must be included on the form. This may send the total household income through the roof resulting in no money for the student. Is it right to penalize the student because the parent has remarried. Isn't it right, that the students financial aid be arrived, at by just the biological parents. If a parent remarries why does the new step parents income have to be included. It should just be the biological parents income to determine financial assistance.

Even if one parent is dead, the FASFA does not take that into consideration. While the new step-parent may have children of their own, they to are penalized in this process because the new spouse's income must be included on the FASFA form. 

The results of divorced parents on their child are that the student has to pick up the slack of the lack of college money. They must work extra and save more. Applying for scholarships and grants are a way to help get the student through college and graduate. There are jobs that pay for college as you work. You need to get creative.

However you look at it, divorce takes it's toll on the children in ways we never have thought of.


  1. Hmmmmm, this is interesting, although I paid full tuition room and board for my two older daughters, and they were the unfortunate recipients of divorced parents. No financial aid there. This may be true for some, but not all divorced families.

  2. Very interesting fact here. I think if a student has a divorced parents, there should be a counseling between the student and parents so there will be no problem when the class begins. Thank you for sharing your royal essays here.


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