Romantic partners may be just as, if not more, influential [on academic success] than [other] peer groups”

Post-secondary students are involved in a complicated process of balancing classes, projects, jobs, internships, exams, and love.

Yes, love.

Monmouth University’s criminal justice undergraduate director, Dr. Brian Lockwood, and associate professor, Julia Schmidt, found that romantic relationships play an influential role in an undergraduate’s academic success.

According to Lockwood and Schmidt’s research paper, Love and Other Grades, undergraduates in a romantic relationship are three times more likely to not attend classes than their single peers.

There’s still hope for undergraduates with a flair for romance. Lockwood and Schmidt failed to take into consideration the characteristics of students’ romantic relationships. With this in mind, Lockwood and Schmidt found no link between romantic relationships and declining GPA scores.

Despite this, other research suggests that peers can influence GPA and exam scores. In fact, the influence of peers has been shown to differ by gender; peers can increase the achievement for female students but have the opposite effect for their male counterparts. And, strong students seem to be impervious to low-achieving peers.

So, if your study buddy is also your partner, don’t fear! You may have a chance of doing better academically than if you were alone.

Whichever way you look at it, the cost of attending post-secondary institutions rise as enrolment rates increase (in spite of increasingly competitive entrance requirements). Universities should take a more realistic and progressive approach to love on campus and provide programs that help students foster not only a healthy relationship in a personal sense, but a healthy relationship with school work and the myriad of other responsibilities that come with being thrust into young adulthood.