In what will surely go down as one of the most profoundly satisfying academic studies of the year, sociology professor Laura Hamilton has found that the more money parents pay for their kids' college educations, the worse their kids' grades are. Naturally.
This finding backs the idea that parental financial support can act as a "moral hazard" in that students make decisions about how seriously to take their studies without having personally made the investment of cash in their educations.
The impact of parental contributions on grades was lower (but still present) at highly competitive institutions. Generally the grades were lowest for students with high levels of support from their parents at private, out-of-state and more expensive colleges.
Of course, the kids with rich parents will do better in life regardless.