Parents paying for their kids' college, thoughts?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zen, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. I'd be sleeping right now, but this thought is preventing me from doing so. I think it's because I recently read some stuff about changes in student loan rates.

    I had a conversation with a friend not too long ago and the conversation about parents paying for college came up. We were talking about the college campus nearby and wondering how much it would cost to attend it since it looked like a nice place and there was so much stuff to do. He stated that he would make his kids pay for their stuff when they turned eighteen. He wouldn't buy them a car unless it was dirt cheap and he would make them pay for their college expenses on their own.

    My parents paid for a portion of my college education before stating that I would either have to take out loans or work on my own. Here's my question, do you think parents should continue to look after their children's education after high school? Why? And do you think that your own struggles factors a lot into your perspective? My friend never received help from his parents for any of his expenses, so that probably factored into his opinion.
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  2. I like the "help those that help themselves" approach to college financing. If, and this is a big if these days, parents can contribute to their kids college education they should, provided that there is an agreement in place. Be it the student had to finance a portion themselves, via either paychecks from odd jobs and/or scholarships or certain level of attendence or even limiting the choice of schools. It is the child's future and they should be allowed to choose their major and have some say in the type of college they attend, but not everyone can or should attend an Ivy League institution. When either the parents or child tries to dicatate the whole thing it just builds resentment. Also these conversations should be had long before the child is making college choices. Every families finances are different. Every families motives for college education is different as well. Should the parents "waste" their money if the kid wants to major is something with poor income or low hiring rate. Should they be forced into a major they're ill suited for? Like most thngs in life it comes to communication. If the parents don't have it with the kids then there is bound to be much hurt and disappointment along the way.
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  3. I think that if parents can help their kids along in any way, they should. However, I disagree with parents who take care of all expenses and even buy their kids brand new cars and whatnot. I went to a wealthy high school (I wasn't rich, just happened to be within the district of the school. I was very poor.) and saw many, many kids driving around brand new expensive cars. Many of those kids didn't have jobs and their parents paid for everything, despite them being 17+ and having half days of school and being perfectly able to work a job. They went on to college and their parents continued to pay everything. This is a serious problem, in my opinion. I have a friend who is in college, her parents paid her way there and even bought her a brand new 2009 car right before she went. She gets weekly checks from her parents that are the same amount as a paycheck. They bought her a smartphone and pay the bill, they pay for her food and also her insurance.

    This friend expressed concern to me a few weeks ago that she's nervous about when she graduates, because she's scared that once she's out in the world making $10/hour without this help from her parents, her quality of life with go way down (Her parents will no longer pay all her bills once she's graduated). I had to be completely honest with her and tell her that she will notice a big decrease in her quality of life, and that she won't be able to afford the luxuries she's used to now. It's hard as hell living off on $10/hour, let alone minimum wage, I don't see how McDonald's workers do it. But yes, I believe that parents should help their kids, not carry them. Then again, maybe I'm a little bitter because my parents have never been able to help me whatsoever. It's a good possibility. ;p

    Carrying your children through college financially will only hurt them in the long run, that is my opinion because of what I've seen in the past two years. Making your children dependent on you is, in a way, dooming them. I have way too many friends who grew up this way and are still living with their parents and using cash from their parents well into their twenties. It's just not right, they're perfectly capable of making their own way at this point.

    Sorry if any part of this post seems a little off, just woke up at 5 AM after getting 4 hours of sleep. Gotta love it!
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  4. I absolutely agree with angrycactuar above.

    I was one of those kids. To say that I lived a privileged life is an understatement. I went to a great high school in an upper-middle class to upper class neighborhood. All of my expenses were paid for. In college, I goofed off and slacked and watched TV and played MMORPGs and did all kinds of stupid shit college kids do. When my hand-me-down car broke down and cost more than its value to repair, my dad bought me a brand new car. Not a super-expensive car, but not cheap either. I won't specify because I am not trying to brag, but I strongly believe there are millions upon millions of people who will work their asses off all their lives and still never be able to afford the car that I drive around daily, the car my parents GAVE me without asking me for anything in return.

    My parents paid my tuition in full and covered any expenses that weren't personal; that is, they paid for food, gas, and, to an extent, clothes - I did not abuse these privileges as I'd only buy things I needed, but still, to me it was all paid for. Literally if something was not for personal purchase, I'd swipe it on my parents' credit card since I'd been added to their account, and I wouldn't even give it a second thought.

    I never kept receipts, I never kept track of my spending. On top of that my parents gave me an allowance of $100 a week. This may not seem like much, but when you consider that they paid for EVERYTHING else: tuition, car payments, car insurance, rent, food, gas, clothes... a hundred a week is a lot. Most working-class people are LUCKY to be left over with $100 a week (or $400 a month) after paying all their expenses.

    At the time, I just saw it as love. My parents told me they did it because they love me, and I don't doubt that. I do believe that they love me, but in retrospect, sometimes I wish they loved me less. It was hard for me to transition from living a carefree life to one of actual, real responsibility. It's still hard. Sometimes I see nice things that I would really like to have, or that I know my husband would really appreciate, and it's a struggle to walk away. I was never taught these valuable life lessons that I was forced to learn the hard way after staring at overdraft charges and overdue credit card statements.

    I'm not saying that parents should make their kids pay for everything. For most students, it's too difficult to make ends meet if they have to pay for EVERYTHING. I know that if I have kids, when they go to college they will be partly responsible. They need to work, and they need to understand the kind of hard-earned money that goes into their education, so that they understand its value and its importance. I treated college as a joke. I played more than I worked. And every day I hate myself for it and wish I could undo it all. They may still be young, but it's much easier for them to learn these things while they still have a cushion to fall back on, than to baby them and spoil them until they graduate, and then expect them to fend for themselves when you feed them to the wolves.

    Sigh. Sorry for the rant.
    #4 fatalrendezvous, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
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  5. If the parents can afford to, they absolutely should! I've always liked how some parents make a savings account for their kid and add to it throughout their whole life. By the time they're 18, they have a collection of money they can access for college. I want to do so for my son. It won't cover his entire college career, but it will help with a great portion of it! If he decides college isn't right for him, he can use the money for other ambitions like traveling/exploring, getting a new house, or just leaving it in the bank so he can add to it and keep getting interest. :] It'll be used responsibly either way, you know?

    Other than that, I agree that the kids should earn their own. Apply for scholarships, get some job experience, sell valuables that are worth more money than sentimentality. They'll develop more skills that way and learn the meaningfulness that comes with hard work. I don't feel like I have much to add to that, seeing how good the responses above me are. <3 My thinking is alike with the rest of you.
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  6. I have a lot to say on this, but most of it is just rambling.
    Major point: if you're going to shove money at your kid, college is probably the best form to shove it in.
    I'm getting my college paid for because I'm a spoiled little white girl who has never worked a day in her life. I'm also an accident and my mom had to sacrifice her vacation to Mexico fund to pay for the hospital bill for my birth. My college fund is coming out of the real estate investment. At least I'm a grateful little parasite?
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  7. I'm going to college strictly on a Pell grant, and that pays for all school expenses. However, i still have to pay for bus fare, and lunches, and there my parents do help. I also have a job however, so I don't take that for granted. I've always hatred the idea of parents just kicking their kids out at 18, but it shouldn't be completely their responsibility.
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  8. Are you saying you're the seal of the family Asmo? Awww you poor thing.
  9. Where I come from, it's the parents responsibility to see their kids get a college/university diploma. So long as our parents can still afford to do so, then why not? You see, there are places in the world where people unfortunately believe that finishing college paves way to success (hence, kids are shoved into college without their say so).

    I can sense there's some sort of stigma not having to work for college tuition but really there's nothing wrong with accepting help. If it's about discipline that worries you, then know that it is you who can train yourself to be thrift or wise or whatever; it doesn't necessarily have to be your parents' job. Learn to make the most of what is available to you.

    *laughs* Sorry, didn't mean to preach. Basically, what I want to say is that as long as parents can afford to help you, then they should. Not because they're your parents but because they have the opportunity to help someone (you or another random kid who wants to go).
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  10. I think it's their choice.

    If they want to pay, that's great. If they don't, I'm sure they have their reasons.

    But I wish that they would tell the kids when they're growing up!

    For example, [MENTION=1030]Zen[/MENTION] your friend said that he would make his kids pay for their education and be completely responsible of it themselves. If he tells them that jokingly when they're young and even in high school makes them work hard for their personal purchases and teaches them a sense of responsibility, then I wouldn't be upset with him if he didn't finance their education.

    If however, a parent gives a child everything or mostly everything up until college and then says, oh whoops by the way you're on your own, I don't think that's fair at all.

    In a perfect society and in a cultural sense, I think parents should take care of their children up until high school and then finance at least half their college while allowing them to be independent. There are many ways to teach them that. Phone bills, car bills, grocery, personal purchases. Instead of completely throwing them off on their own.

    Of course, I'm bitter and prejudiced on this topic, so excuse me if I'm picking bones, it's not on purpose.

    My mother, the sole income bearer in the family has paid the full college expenses of both older siblings and has the capacity to pay mine, but just stubbornly won't. I'm not asking for her to buy me my way through college, but I'm already working three jobs, living on my own and balancing engineering school. It's tough enough as it is paying your bills on $14/hour pay in between classes when you're sneakily trying to study your textbooks during work because you have an exam right after.

    Also, I guess I was under the impression that she would pay since she paid their's. If I had been told she wasn't going to halfway, I would have been better prepared for this headache.
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  11. One thing to keep in mind also is the parents' income can make it difficult, if not impossible, to get many types of financial aid. Your parents' income can alter how much college costs by many thousands of dollars. I don't think it would be fair for a parent to say 'We make enough money you are ineligible for all needs based financial aid but we aren't going to help you pay for college.' Unfortunately I have met quite a few people where that exact thing happened to them. Working some is one thing and can provide good experience but if your life is school, work, sleep odds are both your health and grades are going to suffer.
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  12. jared555 makes a good point. I was unable to get financial aid because my parents make pretty good money (my dad joked when filling out the income form for financial aid that there weren't enough spaces to properly fill in our household income lol). That said, I still think that no parent should let their child live for free. They need to learn responsibilities outside of being in school.

    jared555's post also reminds me, the common saying I heard in college was this:

    There are four things most people look for in college:
    - Good grades
    - Social life
    - Income
    - Sleep

    You can only choose three.
  13. I never said let them live for free. But financial aid exists for a reason. If you make enough to negate financial aid you should at least try to give the kid that much support. Make them work or take out loans for stuff that normally wouldn't be paid for by financial aid. (Big name school without scholarships, partying, etc.)
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