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  • Serious question. Need everyone's input.

    Here is the question presented?


    My stepdaughter graduates high school next week. To be completely upfront, my wife and I have no intention of paying here tuition and make no apologies for not doing so. However, when I have been asked by friends/ co-workers about whether we are paying for her education, anything but an unqualified yes seems to anger some people. My wife has received a similar reaction. It’s to the point now where we simply don’t talk about it to others or we just say something to the effect of “we’re helping out”.

    My position is this. The answer to this question largely depends on the facts and circumstances. Among the factors to be considered, IMO are:

    1. The parent’s ability to pay
    2. The child’s academic aptitude
    3. Whether the child has sought loans, grants and scholarships.
    4. The child’s overall attitude.

    In our particular case, I am still paying off law school loans and have a pretty hefty monthly payment. My stepdaughter was an average student, isn’t exactly sure what she wants to do in life and has decided that she will go to community college. We are allowing her to live at home rent free, so long as she is enrolled. She is taking out a student loan and, even assuming she were to go on to get her four year degree, will probably have to pay back her loan to the tune of about $200.00 per month. That’s nothing, particularly if she has a decent job. In addition, she can wait tables on the weekends until her loans are paid off like so many hard working folks.

    Now a common response I get is “why should I start my kid off in life with debt? Why don’t I take out the loan under our name?” Think about the logic here. Let’s say you have $50,000.00 equity in your home and take a loan out in your name. Then, you pass away and your kid is your sole heir. Now that debt has to be satisfied, right? She may end up with nothing. What’s the difference then if she takes out the loan, you pass away, she inherits your 50K and pays off her debt. Doesn’t it come out the same?

    Sorry for the rant but it’s been a slow day and this was bugging the heck out of me.

    Any thoughts?

    "Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it". George Constanza.

  • #2
    I don't think that it is a big deal. You are correct, if I may say so. You are doing the right thing and teaching at the same time. Teaching self reliance and work ethic and a whole host of important life skills that are needed by a young man or women. As long as you show support, I think you have done it correctly.


    • #3
      Do you have a moral obligation to pay? The answer is no, you do not. Do you have a moral obligation to help, the answer is yes but within the means that you have available or are able to. In other words, you help her when you can or have the ability to.

      My mother couldn't pay for my university tuition, but she helped me when she could and left the rest to me. It is called responsibility. Secondly, I had people who helped me obtain the means to acquire resources to help pay for college. Not every parent, like yourself or mine, has 80,000USD to pay for college, and your neighbors or whoever they are need to understand that.

      College isn't cheap, so anyone "not talking to you" has issues because they lack the understanding that not everyone has a money tree in their back yard.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Pay if you want your daughter to have a bright future.


        • #5
          I don't think parents have any "obligation" to pay for their kids' college. I probably will, but we'll see. My parents didn't pay for my education.....and they both hold Master's degrees..... and were both educators. I would've thought they would have been perfect candidates! haha. They didn't refuse.... in fact, they offered, but I screwed up in my freshman year.... so I literally took it upon myself to move to another college and work my butt off.

          Funny how much better a person does when they $$ is coming out of their own pockets.

          If you can pay for her education, then do it. *BUT* there better be some STRONG stipulations in regards to how she does in school.


          • #6
            My parents paid for the first two years of college. After that, we were on our own. [There were five of us.]

            I'm big on education (I teach college) but I don't think you are off base with this. There are too many kids going to college on their parents' dime who just goof off because they aren't paying for it themselves.
            Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
            Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
            A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1


            • #7
              In another life I was a financial advisor, and I always told my clients to save for their retirement, because their kids can go to college on loans and grants. That's how I put myself through college. But, if you don't save any money for retirement, you will suck your kids adult lives dry as they try to pay YOUR bills.

              Your kids are tough, they can make it on their own.
              "The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly. -Teddy Roosevelt"


              • #8
                I paid for and am still paying for my college education. I DO NOT believe that a parent has any obligation to take care of their children beyond high school. Kids today are coddled too damn much. My wife and I have worked out an agreement with our children. If they want to go to college then they have to pay for it. If they get good grades and follow our rules, then we will reimburse them for their educational expenses to a point.


                • #9
                  Forum Member
                  Last edited by toasterlocker; 07-05-2013, 02:01 PM.


                  • #10
                    No obligation at all.....
                    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"


                    • #11
                      Didn't get a cent from mine. I joined the service so I could go on the GI bill. The cost for college has really skyrocketed too, what your parents paid and what you may pay aren't the same thing.


                      • #12
                        I don't think a parent has an obligation to pay for a college. I do agree though that it is our obligation to help them by obtaining scholarships, grants and loans. When the time comes for our youngsters to go to college, we will let them live with us rent free if they stay in school. Also, they were left an inheritance that will help some and both of sets of their grandparents contribute to a college fund for them. But the rest is on them. By the time they get to college (they're 10 & 12), the inheritance and college funds will pay for books and a semester of food.
                        I think it is really smart for your daughter to start out at a community college. If she doesn't know what she wants to do, she can take general courses that will transfer to most 4 year colleges. AND it's much cheaper.
                        I wish her luck! This is a big step!


                        • #13
                          My youngest son got a full ride scholarship in Music to a State College. Well, he goofed of so bad after the first semester he had to pay for the second semester. He asked me to pay it for him and I told him I would only co-sign his first college loan and if he didn't get back on the scholarship the following semester he was on his own. I haven't heard back from him since before Christmas. His mother told him I should be paying for his college, hell, my parents didn't pay for mine, I paid it myself.
                          I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

                          Cleaning the pool, one gene at a time.

                          I'm on a 30 day diet. So far I've lost 15 days!


                          • #14
                            I honestly think that people who pay their own way through school appreciate it more. If someone does not really want to be in school and learn then they shouldnt pay.

                            Being in college now I notice that. A lot of students are here because it seems like they "need" to be here for whatever reason. They goof-off and do not take it seriously. This in turns wastes their parents money.

                            While I do think you should support your daughter in case of an emergency, such as a "only use this card if you are about to die in some distant land and a short bus ride will land you to safety" card.

                            Other than that. Being in college.... I think you made the right choice.


                            • #15
                              My parents aren't paying for my college unless I run out of money on my own. I have a full-time job, and tried to get scholarships. (I was denied for all scholarships, most likely because I'm white, average grade-wise, and my parents could have afforded college for me) I agree with my parents' assertion. Same thing happened with my car. It was my dad's car and it was worth $4,400. They sold it to me for $500. That way I had to make an actual sacrafice of funds to get it, but It was a sustainable hit to my high school bank balance. It taught me a bit more responsibility and I'm greatful for it.
                              -2Adam29... 10-8. Code-7


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