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Does divorce lower college attendance rates?

Massachusetts parents usually do not jump into the decision to end their marriages without first giving it some serious consideration. Parents frequently consider how divorce will not only affect themselves, but also their children. This type of careful thought is important to use during divorce, as staying on top of serious matters can help minimize any potential negative impacts. 

Researchers from an out-of-state university recently studied the link between divorce and college education. They examined data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which covered about 15 years worth of information on thousands of minor children as they moved out of school, on to work and into adulthood. The most recent information was gathered when the study participants were between the ages of 26 and 32. 

They found that half of the study participants whose parents remained married went on to get a bachelor’s degree or more. Only 27 percent of those whose parents had divorced went on to earn a college degree. Social and financial issues seemed to be at play. The data indicated that participant’s parents who stayed married tended to have more education and earn higher incomes than the parents who divorced. Parents also tended to expect their children to follow in their educational footsteps regardless of income or marital status. 

Most couples understand that there are financial implications of divorce. Staying attentive and focused during proceedings is usually sufficient for those who hope to have a secure foundation waiting for them on the other side of divorce, but this study highlights an area where focus might be lacking. Parents in Massachusetts may want to consider addressing college costs and expectations during their divorce even if they are not otherwise required to. 


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