Marriage in College

Fourteen percent of women between the ages of 25 and 29 who had been married were divorced. Although this seems like a significantly high rate, it represents a 30 percent drop from just ten years ago. More people are waiting until later in life to get married, contributing to the lower divorce rate.

Some still prefer to marry young, though, and even choose to make the leap at while in college. Doing so may be thought to be rash, or to require at least one parent to put off finishing school or take online classes for college, but in fact couples willing to face the challenge stand chances as good as anyone else of making a lasting marriage.

For college-age newlyweds, marriage can actually be a smart option. Getting married at a young age can prove to be financially viable. Financial aid for college is determined based on the income of students’ parent’s until they are 24 years old. Even if students are legally independent, they have to include their parent’s income regardless unless they are married, older than 24, or have children.

College students have notoriously low incomes, and would often qualify for more financial aid if they could apply as financially independent from their parents. A married college-age couple is able to apply for financial aid with precisely this advantage.

However, most people who choose to get married in college do so for reasons other than money. You find that special someone and decide that you cannot wait to spend the rest of your life with them. For some, this can work out well. A well-thought-out marriage founded on common interests, good communication, and a strong bond can be a blessing during a tumultuous period of life.

Being young doesn’t mean one isn’t emotionally ready for marriage any more than anything else. Although the divorce rate has decreased among women ages 25 to 34, it has actually increased from 27 to 37 percent for women ages 60 to 69. Of course this doesn’t mean every student should go out and tie the knot, but it does show youth isn’t a overriding factor in the viability of a marriage today.

Married life isn’t all fun and games for the young students who make the leap. Getting married while still in school can lead to a great deal of added stress. In addition to academics, students must also balance their married lives and all of the problems that go with them. Making enough time for a serious relationship can be difficult for any college student, and particularly so for newlyweds.

Students also may have problems maintaining their other social relationships. While other students are out partying and living the life of little responsibility, married couples might struggle to figure out where to fit into this social scene.

Deciding whether to maintain a busy social and night life or adjust to more settled leisure can be a big decision for new couples. If they do try to remain socially active, married students may find it difficult to interact with peers who aren’t in serious couples themselves.

Meanwhile, despite the possible financial aid benefits, money can also cause issues within the new marriage. Figuring out how to balance household expenses and deciding on joint or single accounts is stressful to most married couples. Deciding who pays for what and striking an optimum balance takes time that may not exist for students already distracted by full-time school and work.

Children may also be an unexpected development. Even if family planning puts the decision firmly in the young couple’s hands, they may find their opinions changing about when to have kids after being married. For college couples, children add a slew of worries and costs to already thinly stretched budgets. Being able to adjust to the demands of parenting while in school can be problematic and tiresome.

Children are a blessing, but the realities of finding babysitters or trading off taking care of the baby while the other spouse works are daunting. As students, college parents may at least have some recourse: many schools offer childcare programs for students, and of course many other students will be available to babysit for minimal cost.

Considering these factors before taking the leap can be the key to marriage success. For most people, it would seem marriage is being put off until later in life. In 2003, men were married on average around 27, while women made the commitment at about age 25. Over the prior fifty years, this age has risen.

Though the average couple waits to finish college and get some grounding in life, the important thing is whether the marriage is right, not whether the couple’s in college. Those who do make the leap are less likely to get divorced than they were even ten years ago. Although college life can put added stressors on newlywed couples, any stage of life comes with its own set of problems and dilemmas. Can a marriage made in college last? Most certainly.

About the Guest Post Author: Marina Salsbury planned on becoming a teacher since high school, but found her way instead into online writing after college. She writes around the Web about everything from education to exercise.

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One Response to “Marriage in College”

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  1. Jeny says:

    I certainly give anyone willing to get married and stay married at that age a lot of credit. Those years for me were an enourmous period of change. And while I had relationships in my 20’s and was also educated, I knew I wasn’t ready to commit to marriage and kids. It didn’t happen for me until I was in my 30’s and I’m glad I waited. I don’t feel I”ve missed out on anything and I have married a great life partner.