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Are divorce and college incompatible?

Ending a marriage is not easy, especially when there are many different issues to consider. Pennsylvania parents often have to consider not only their own needs and wants, but also those of their children. Although most parents do their best, a recent study indicated that some may need to focus a little more closely on their children's future educational opportunities when going through the divorce. 

University researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, which included 15 years of information. The study had collected regular information from a group starting when they were young, and participants were all between the ages of 26 and 32 when the study ended. The researchers discovered that 27 percent of participants who had divorced parents went on to earn a bachelor's degree or something higher. Of those whose parents stayed married, 50 percent went on to earn their degree. The divide was smaller when looking at graduate or professional degrees, with 12 percent with divorced parents and 20 percent with married parents reaching this level of education. 

Income may be an issue for potential students. After divorce, individuals usually experience a drop in income, which can prevent parents from helping children afford the skyrocketing costs of higher education. Age is also believed to be a factor, as those who were older than 18 at the time of their parent's divorce were more likely to earn a college education. 

Many Pennsylvania parents expect their children to attend college, earn a degree and secure a good job. Unfortunately, setbacks to income can make this goal seem difficult or even unattainable. Parents who collaborate to address these types of issues during their divorce proceedings may be better equipped to help their children realize their dreams of earning a college degree. 

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