Study: It’s Better to Be Born Rich Than Smart

When it comes to success, shocking new research indicates it is better to be born rich than smart. The Georgetown University study, released Wednesday, indicates a child's success later in life is determined by their parents' wealth instead of their test scores.

The survey, which is comprised of national data, saw researchers analyzing the school and career trajectories of students in public and private schools, USA Today noted. What they found was 7 out of 10 wealthy kindergarten students with low test scores went on to prosper by the age of 25. Only three out of 10 kindergarten students who had high test scores but were from poor families went on to become affluent by early adulthood.

To arrive at these findings, researchers followed kindergartners in the 1989-90 school year through their high school and college years and into the job market.

"If you're born well off and you don't show talent, you have a better chance of ending up in a good job than if you're a low-income, talented student," said Tony Carnavale, director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce, which produced the study, according to USA Today.

Family support might be at the heart of the study's results. Students from higher and lower income households both encountered their share of obstacles, but the wealthier ones were able to bounce back much quicker.

"People of all abilities and backgrounds stumble throughout their academic journeys. But advantaged students have safety nets to keep them on track," the study said. "Because less-advantaged peers do not, they are more likely to fall behind and stay behind."

The issue can be addressed, but Carnavale concluded it would require a collaborative approach from schools to provide support to low-income and minority students.

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