Socioeconomic Status Impact on College Students' Grade Point Average

Document Type


Publication Date



Educational Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


Achievement in school is of high value in today's society. Students often push themselves to achieve a high Grade Point Average (GPA) in school in order to meet society's high expectations. There are many different factors that have been shown to correlate with academic achievement. Socioeconomic Status (SES) has been shown to have a positive relationship with academic achievement. The research lacks the integration of college students in regards to the impacts of GPA and SES. This study will examine the relation of Socioeconomic Status (SES) on college students' Grade Point Average (GPA). Specifically, the authors want to know if college students with a low SES had a low GPA and vice versa. College students will be asked to complete a survey either online or with pencil-paper by answering various questions regarding their SES, their academic habits, and academic performance. Instruments for data collection will be a variety of surveys adapted from SPARQtools (Adler, 2000). The independent variable (SES) will be measured by a variety of questions regarding student loans, parental assistance with college expenses, hours worked at a job, earnings from 2019, etc. The dependent variable (GPA) will be measured by four questions including: "What is the highest degree you have obtained?," "What is your cumulative GPA?," "What is your ACT score?," and "How many credit hours are you currently enrolled in?" It is hypothesized that SES and GPA will have a positive correlation. Knowing the relationship between SES and GPA might lead to a better understanding of the adversities students face before they even step foot in a school building. This study is important to consider because it shows a connection between financial burden and GPA, but it also brings up a possible protective factor of thinking towards a better future.

First Advisor

Gabrielle Strouse

Research Area

Counseling & Psychology in Education

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