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Who should pay the tuition bill?

  1. Jul 17, 2011 #1
    I have a friend in college who seemingly belongs to a nice, loving family. However her parents basically told her she was on her own financially if she wanted to go to college. They said she must pay for it so that she "appreciates her education". To me this sounds like an excuse for never setting up a college fund or it's just plain selfishness. Both her parents have college educations, and make good money too, it wouldn't be a big deal for them to contribute a meaningful amount. So now she is piling up the loans and working at least 2 jobs. I don't think this is healthy, physically, mentally, or financially. What have your experiences been with who takes on the bill? I think a 50-50 split would be more reasonable.
     
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  3. Jul 17, 2011 #2

    Pengwuino

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    It's selfish not to shell out tens of thousands of dollars of your own money for someone elses benefit?
     
  4. Jul 17, 2011 #3
    I've been doing that as well, footing my own bill through college, except I've been financially independent from anyone for nearly my entire life. I've actually found that the apparent difficulty to pay tuition is exaggerated a little bit. I've had no troubles so far, haven't taken out any loans (3rd year) so far and have been completely fine at about a $14000/year tuition/living costs. I find that if you're willing to get down and work hard during the summers, not just part time, not just flipping burgers, but actually work, then you should be ok.

    I'm quite glad I've actually had to work for my own money, it's given me a great appreciation for every dollar earned and my education.
     
  5. Jul 17, 2011 #4
    If your own kid is just "someone else" to you, I think you missed the point in having kids. Generally parents want their kids to benefit and have a good life.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2011 #5
    That's good to hear, I imagine you have found a decent job. I worked all four years of high school, and got a job at college. But if you worked full time, 40 hours a week, in California at minimum wage you, would make about 15k a year. I don't think you could healthily work full time and be a full time student at the same time though.
     
  7. Jul 17, 2011 #6
    I came from that sort of situation and can see both sides of it-- my parents were successful financially but didn't have high school educations, let alone college educations. I secured $18,000.00 in scholarships but my parents were unwilling to help me with the additional $5,000.00 required to attend public university, suggesting that I go to beauty school. I was left in between a rock and a hard place and was so afraid of student loans that I let my dreams of college die. My parents weren't trying to ruin my life-- they actually thought (in their blue collar minds) that college degree would impede my ability to be financially stable in life. They always thought that the life of the mind was fun and cute but impractical. It took me five years to go back to school and begin a mathematics degree-- but the wait has done me some good. I have become practical in my undertakings and studying.

    My husband, on the other hand, is the child of two doctors who sent him to college no-questions-asked and he failed out his first year due to his disinterest in studying and his desire to be a young person and experience life rather than just get shoved an academic program. He matured and managed to become academically serious, but not without putting a major blight on his GPA.

    Is it better to have one's college financial needs furnished by ones parents or not? I cannot say. I regret not going to college when I was younger (as I feel that I missed out on a lot of college life and fun and relationship building)-- but I don't know that I would have been able to be as focused on my program as I was able to older.

    I think that all college needs to be subsidized so as not to be withheld from talented students for financial reasons.
     
  8. Jul 17, 2011 #7

    Pengwuino

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    Yes and one of the worst things to do is just pay for anything a child wants.

    EVERY person I know who does not pay for their own college education (excluding people on scholarships) half-asses it. Everyone I know who is on financial aid either hasn't graduated after 6-8 years, got a 2.5gpa, dropped out, or something else equally ridiculous. Of course, that doesn't mean people who don't pay their own way are all bad students, but having to work to pay for your own education is a huge incentive to doing well.

    To add to this, check out a few threads on the forum about tuition costs. Parents who will put down 2nd mortgages on their house to finance their kids education and kids who don't work and pile up students loans are one of the reasons universities know they can charge so much.
     
  9. Jul 17, 2011 #8
    See that's the thing, you can't work for minimum wage, that just doesn't work. I work for 17.00/hour, in Saskatchewan. The other thing is 40 hours a week, that probably won't cut it either, at my current job, I regularly put in 70-90 hour weeks. For example, this past Friday I worked from 4am to 9pm. It's just what you have to be willing to do to get a better future.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2011 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Wait that's pushing it. School should be a 40 hour a week job if you're being serious about it at the undergrad level. The time allowance doesn't add up.

    And ~80 hour weeks at $17/hour is almost $70k a year, hardly what a student needs to survive!
     
  11. Jul 17, 2011 #10
    Isn't knowing the fact that education is for one's own bright future, enough for getting motivated and working hard.?
     
  12. Jul 17, 2011 #11

    Pengwuino

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    Getting 4 hours of sleep everyday and not being able to actually live for 9 months out of a year for 4-6 years might get in the way of that ideal. And that's all just to give someone else your money. Couple that to the fact that many people are learning that a college education is no longer even close to a guarantee that you'll have a bright or even moderately successful future.
     
  13. Jul 17, 2011 #12
    Sadly this is not even close to the case for many students. Many kids waste a lot of money by partying and flunking their classes. For me though, my parents/grandparents are paying the bill and I'm working my butt off and have a 3.8 GPA. My motivation is that I know how disappointed and frustrated my parents would be if I slacked off, and I truly do appreciate the education and want to be an eligible candidate for grad school.
     
  14. Jul 17, 2011 #13

    S_Happens

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    Seems silly to even have to ask, but since you obviously see that there is a difference in how students perform, why should there not be a difference in whether or not parents fund college education?

    Although I'm simply repeating what others have already said, I wasted a significant amount of money on my first attempt. I ended up with most of it as student loans, and because I didn't succeed, my father decided it was my bill to foot (he would have paid for most, if not all of it,had I succeeded). I paid it all off and have saved up enough to return, paid in full. I guarantee you my attitude is much different now that it will be paid for with my own sweat.

    I always had a job, since 15, but never had to work at school and after I left community college for a 4 year university I did not have a job. It's interesting that I have always had a good work ethic, but never considered school to be work.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2011 #14

    russ_watters

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    When the "someone else" is your kid, yes.
    College isn't an X-Box.
    1. That doesn't come anywhere close to matching my experience. I knew few who contributed much to their education - only one or two who worked to pay for it - and only a few who dropped out or did that badly. Most people I knew, their parents (or the government) paid and they did fine).
    2. There is a middle ground in between those two scenarios, called "parenting". Parents who fund a kid's college aren't just handing over a check (unless they are idiots), and they are monitoring the progress (unless they are negligent). My parents had a rule that anything under a C I would pay for, for example. And if it gets too bad (it did for one of my friends), funding gets pulled. Being a parent doesn't just mean kicking a kid out when they turn 18, you have to find a way to phase-out the parenting over the next few years. It's not easy to do, but kids need it otherwise they are unprepared for life.

    One of the biggest problems I see with my friends after college is them being financially crippled for the next 15-20 years of their lives with student loan payments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  16. Jul 17, 2011 #15

    Evo

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    I've always paid for anything Evo Child wanted and she goes to school full time, holds a tutoring job at a local college, and a part time regular job (her dad and I pay tuition, and cover her major needs).

    She has a 4.0 GPA, has a research position and is managing editor of the undergrad journal for the university, and has her eye on getting her PhD at an Ivy League school. She runs all of my errands for me and is just an all around outstanding overacheiver and she says it's thanks to how I raised her with no rules. She said if I'd enforced rules when she was younger she would have rebeled and no telling what kind of trouble she'd have ended up in. Instead, I "guided" her into making the right decisions herself which gave her a sense of responsibility. She knew I was always by her side if she needed anything and it made her want to do the right things. No partying, no drinking, no drugs, no trouble. She looked after her friends and tried to keep them from getting out of line.

    And she bought some cookbooks and taught herself to cook!! The kid can do anything! :tongue2: (I was worried for a long time that she'd never be able to operate a microwave)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  17. Jul 17, 2011 #16
    If your kid can't get a full ride somewhere, then they probably don't belong in higher education. Go to ivy's if you have the money, but you can get free tuition/housing/stipend at decent schools if you put in only a moderate amount of effort in high school. Don't reward your kid's laziness by buying their way into university.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2011 #17
    My parents never paid for any of my college, but they did allow me to move back with in with them earlier this year when I could no longer keep up with my mortgage payments AND pay for school. I first attempted to go to college right out of high school, but that only lasted two semesters before I decided that I liked working full-time and making money rather than going to college and paying money.

    That changed 3 years ago when I went back to school. I don't blame my parents for not having any college savings for me. They have no idea how to handle money. Whenever they got money, they spent it (including on a $80,000 boat). Neither have a high-school diplomas and now they've run into some financial hard times.

    But, I cannot complain about having to pay my own way. Sure, I'll graduate with about 12,000 in student loan debt, but I feel it's worth every penny.

    I don't feel parents have a responsibility to pay for their child's college tuition, but it sure is a nice thing to do if the parents can afford it.
     
  19. Jul 17, 2011 #18

    russ_watters

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    Just for clarity, there is a time limit to what I was talking about in my post. I don't think parents should feel obligated for a kid going back to school.
     
  20. Jul 17, 2011 #19
    At school I work (school work, study, etc) probably around that 40 hours a week, I don't put in ridiculous days all year long.

    But, during the summer, when I don't have school to worry about and have the question of how I'm going to pay for school to worry about, I work my a** off.

    70k/year works out to be about 5.8k/month, I need to make at least 3.5k/month to pay for school fully, not including extra expenses over the year.

    If I wasn't living at home during the summer, it would be close, with living expenses and food factored in there, but I am, so I do have a little extra spending cash :biggrin:
     
  21. Jul 17, 2011 #20
    Well, they didn't pay the first time. The reason I dropped out was money. I only went back when I decided I wanted an education more than I wanted money.
     
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