Study Says More Attractive Students Get Better Grades

12/10/13 12:38PM EST

Study Says More Attractive Students Get Better Grades Study Says More Attractive Students Get Better Grades

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A new study found that students who are more attractive tend to earn higher grades and are more likely to go to college.

The findings are so stark that researchers have proved a definitive correlation, rather than a small-scale coincidence. While exact numbers aren’t available yet, Time reports that the difference in the grade-point averages of the most and least attractive students was equivalent to the difference in GPAs of students who come from two-parent and single-parent homes. Good-looking kids also reported lower rates of depression, more friends and more attention from teachers.

The findings come from a new study by the Society for Research on Child Development. The study followed 9,000 high school students across the United States. It began in the 1990s and followed participants into their 30s.

Although the correlation between attractiveness and GPA is clear, the causation is yet unknown. Interviewers made note of students’ attractiveness levels after meeting the students in person, so it’s possible that the students’ personalities influenced how attractive they appeared. For example, more confident students – who may be more likely to be high achievers based on confidence alone – may appear more attractive.

There are other possibilities. Teachers may naturally give more attention to more attractive students, or prettier kids may gain confidence from their looks and therefore participate more and ask for help when they need it. Or perhaps it’s the teacher interaction that emboldens students to try harder.

Regardless of what factors lead to the results, various other studies have come up with similar results. Good-looking women in the workplace earn 8 percent more than average, while the least attractive women earn 4 percent less than the average. For men, good looks earn a 4 percent wage bonus while unattractiveness means a 13 percent lower salary. Attractiveness even plays a role in phone conversations: people hear more warmth from someone on the phone when they believe the person is attractive. Beautiful people even get more call-backs for jobs, and people perceive them to be healthier and more trustworthy.

There is some good news for particularly repellant students. The least attractive participants in the study were on par GPA-wise with average-looking students.

I wonder what the GPA of the Delta Gamma girls at Florida State is..