Student Loans (and Contracts) are Good for Grades

Amidst the chatter about how student loans create a financial burden for student after graduation, a new study finds that students with student loans do BETTER in classes than those students without loans. They earned more credits and received a higher GPA. And, community college students with loans are 11% more likely to transfer to 4-year colleges.

When students are motivated to complete their degrees in a shorter period of time because they are paying for the courses, they will finish quicker and they’ll study harder than students whose parents are footing the bill.  When parents whip out their checkbooks to pay tuition, room and board, and living expenses, why would their children rush to leave such a sweet deal? Four years of partying with no parents in sight! Hmm.

I’ve created a 4-Year Plan and Contract for my students to make sure that both students and parents benefit from the college experience.  We lay out all of the student’s major, electives, and general education requirements so the student understands what they’ll be taking and why.  Then they sign a contract indicating what the parents will pay for based on course completion and grades.  If the student’s grades drop or they withdraw from classes, the student is responsible for a portion of the tuition and room and board.  It’s a great way to make sure that college students understand that their parents are making a huge sacrifice to send them to college and this gives them incentive to do well and graduate on time.