Who Should Pay for College?

United States
January 18, 2007 3:25pm CST
People are being told everyday that you need a college education to have a good life, whatever that means. With this new "requirement" being added to the number of years spent in formal education, the question of finances becomes the focus of this idealzed future, and many parents cannot afford to pay for their young adults to continue their childhood past the age of 18. I hear many 18 to 22 year olds complaining about having to find their own funding and work their way through college. I understand their frustartion, but not much. College is not part of the basic education that parents are required to provide access to. Their obligation ends once you hit 18 or leave high school permanently. As a parent, I would be more than a little angry with my son or daughter if they were sitting around waiting for me to pay for their college years. I think they should work their way through this as it is part of their being adults. If you are the parent, do you truly accept your paying for college as an automatic right to be exercised by your son or daughter? As the potential college student, do you feel justified in expecting your childhood to continue in this fashion?
14 people like this
98 responses
@Rumple (301)
• South Africa
18 Jan 07
I think if the children want to continue their education then that is up to them and if their parents can not afford to help them through that then they should pay their own way through college. Not only is this a stepping stone to the rest of their lives, it also helps them understand the meaning of money better and teaches them to budget better. It very important for children to learn the basics in life and the earlier they get to learn the better. Im lucky enough to have my parents help me out but this hasnt stopped me contributing towards it. I like to pay my share and i think it is important from a growing aspect. College does seem to be a big thing these days but its not a must. There are so many ways for someone to become wealthy and live a comfortable life without college... But it is a big help if you can get it, if only as a fallback even.
5 people like this
@anuhya (58)
• India
19 Jan 07
this is true as all of us shoul d know the value of money from childhood
3 people like this
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
I guess it's supposed to be this way, both parties should take part in the situation. The children are not supposed to look up to their parents as financial sources for whatver they might need, especially as they get older. But then, if the children are trying so hard to find a job or a scholarship to help pay off their college fees but cannot- then I think the parent should help out. In the same way, I think the children should be resposible enough to help their parents in earning the money, if not pay for the money themselves. Nevertheless, since they belong to one family, they should therefore try to help each other and avoid putting a certain task to a certain person alone.
@opinder (421)
• India
19 Jan 07
i agree. throughout this discussion i've felt that parents and children ahve been considered as individuals and not as a part of the same family. kids should realise that they need to work in order to achieve education and parents should try and help whenever and in whatever way they can.
@rhea_lyn (199)
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
Hi:)For me of course the parents should pay for the their children tuition fee specially in college,because me now i payed my own college,bcoz i know my parents cant afford to sent me in school in college.So im trying to hard to work so i can pay all my bills in school then my expenses my daily needs in school. Its Kind hard but i need to be strong so i can finish my nursing course,i have more 2 years to go.So i really to do more effort and take note while sending myself in school i do help my family too sometimes for food.I really believe in my self that i can this all until i finish then find a work then help my family more,Then settle down.
@vityota (878)
• India
18 Jan 07
i think its the responsiibility of parents upto a certain stage and later on its upto the children if they wanna continue their college than they can earn a part time work and study so that they become responsible
3 people like this
@xionous (440)
• Belgium
19 Jan 07
ya its the responsibility of parents to pay their son or daughter upto a certain stage. if you dont like to give them the money completely then give them as a loan so that they can pay their initial costs and then live their own by working towards paying for college. u guys are exteremly lucky coz of living in USA. 18 years and older's can easily earn by part time jobs. im in bangladesh and there is no part time jobs here. im a rather independent person and i have always been tryn for ways to earn my own. my mom doesnt want me to study abroad and do part time jobs to pay my tuition fees and living. instead she wants me to stay here in Dhaka and do my graduation here. it means im not getting any job experience and im gonna end up earning a bad quality education. in bangladesh its like a war to find jobs after graduation. even there are many unemployed guys holding a postgraduate degree. so i rather dont see a point to continue my studies here in bangladesh. i wish my mom will give me a loan so that i can study abroad and start living my own and later pay her money back. i wouldnt have been looking further to my mom if i could find a student loan company which gives a loan to international students without any co-signer. i dont have anyone to co-sign me a loan in USA to get things done for me. i have been searching for a loan and didnt find any which can support me without a co-signer. so i had to look further to my parents and they are not gonna give me the support i need. so its a disaster for me as my parents arent co-operating. dont do it with ur children coz it feels really bad if ur children are helpless.
2 people like this
18 Jan 07
I don't think that it is really being said that a college education is needed for a good life, I think that's your interpretation of it, but I do understand your point. I don't think that it should be the parents responsibilty to put their children through college, but I do think that education is important and if my son wants to continue his education after he leaves school I'll support him in every way that I can, I don't feel so much that it is 'expected' but is something that I would want to do. I don't think that your obligation as a parent ever ends, though if they have the right sort of guidance then they are unlikely to be 'sitting around' waiting for their college to be paid for but to use their initiative to find other ways through financial difficulties. I personally never had any financial help from my parents when I decided to continue my education, but because they couldn't afford to, not because they didn't want to. Going back to your point about having a good life, it depends what you want from your life. If you want to achieve success and promotion in your chosen career then it really does help if you have a good education behind you, I'm not saying that it's right but that's the way it is, unfortuntely in a lot of areas nowadays experience is over looked for qualifications that don't necessarily map on to the real world.
3 people like this
@katenkim (240)
• Singapore
19 Jan 07
if im a parent, i am obliged to guide my son/daughter to the right path. i will help them even spending with their college fee. educaton is the only treasure i could give to them
2 people like this
@korek222 (702)
• Poland
19 Jan 07
i like your opinion on that - you help your child as much as you can and that is the right thing to do!
1 person likes this
@wiessied (646)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I think the government should pay for our childrens education,they are the future and everybody should have the opportunity without being 100,000 in debt when there done.
2 people like this
@kotad6 (209)
• Pakistan
19 Jan 07
The society, the country and the family are all should pay for the college but in fact, just parents pay for college in my country.
2 people like this
@gangasa (220)
• India
19 Jan 07
basically its about how u brought up your child it is pretty necessary to teach them earlier that u r not going to pay for their education after they hit 18 and i think it is the moral duty of parents to care of their child until they get settled and one more thing if child is not on right track then its for sure parents have not done enough for this is not it?
2 people like this
• Nigeria
19 Jan 07
I do not think that parents d have a soul responsibility to pay for college for their kids. What if the kids do not want to go to college themselves i think it all depends on the kids decision if he wants to go to college then the parents should support the kids..
2 people like this
• India
19 Jan 07
i think the students who has passed out should pay for collage.. because they also have some responsability about that collage... and what are they today that is due to that collage...
2 people like this
@UcoksBaBa (801)
• Indonesia
19 Jan 07
we are the people in indonesia should pay for college than many people here can't go to college cause wee must pay for it so expensive than wee can't continue our education and the cause the parents have a trouble to pay it.
2 people like this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I think that parents should help pay for tuiton if they can at all. College is really expensive and it really helps kids not to have all that debt when they get out. I personally want a degree very much, but have never been able to afford tuition. All college kids should work though.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Jan 07
I am a stay at home mother of three and just got my Associates Degree in Business Administration. I want to continue, but can not afford to go into debt any farther. In a few months I will have to start paying on my student loans, of which I can not afford either. I have taken full responsibilty for all my education since and including high school my senior year. My children, will have the option to get an education, but required to find a skill if not in college in order to support themselves and future families. I do plan on returning to work when the youngest who is now 2 begins kindergarten. Not having much of a savings, retirement, or life insurance I will have my own struggles to deal with in order to get caught up from not working. I will however help a little where I can, maybe long distance calling cards, a few necessities, and if they go to school locally and stay at home, they are welcome to stay with me to help cut costs! I do think however having to use parents income and property is wrong in some cases. Since my senior year in a private high school I have had to get loans and clean out savings in order to attend college, which is why it has taken so long for me! My parents, especially my father is a tight wad have multiple properties, lots of life insurance and retirement money and both working full time good paying jobs. Have always paid cash for everything! Even the home the live in and others they rent out. So I got nothing but a grant and a small scholarship. I didn't even go to that college due to the cost. So if the children must pay for their own, the parents information needs to be left out of the FAFSA in order to help them out with loans, grants and scholarships! I know I got a little of the subject here, but hit a spot with me as a 32 year old struggling mother who finally got two plus years finished! CC
@missyd79 (3438)
• United States
18 Jan 07
i went to business school and my parents got a loan for me to go to school and i also got a student loan to go to school. now my parents did pay for my books, but i also worked through my schooling to pay for my gas and car insurance and rent to my parents. after i graduated school, i took over the payments of that loan and paid my student loans also. I think it is great if a parent can help out with their kids education after high school but they also need to have some responsiblity also.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jan 07
I also do not feel it is the parents' responsibility to pay their children's way through college. I have been on both ends. My first year of college my dad paid full for it (room and board, too). I had a part time job to get spending money. It almost bankrupted my dad and the next year I got a loan, moved out of the dorms and worked more to pay my rent. It was hard as heck to concentrate on school when I was so tired from working. I ended up quitting but it was a good learning experience. I didn't really quit because I couldn't afford it. I got student loans to cover it all. I quit because I realized I wasn't interested in it anymore. I had no direction and was therefore wasting my hard earned money. I did like working, though. So I quit school and worked full time. I was happy with my life and still am (I am now married and a stay at home mom to 4). I met a lot of kids in college whose parents paid their way and even gave them an allowance so they didn't have to work. They had no appreciation for their education or money. They partied, failed classes and got nothing out of their education except a degree. I doubt they faired well once they got into the "real world". I believe a person that has to work for what they want learns more then just book smarts and that is as important. I have 4 kids and there is no way we could afford to send them to college. They are little now and by the time they are in college (3 of them at the same time) college is estimated to cost $20-30 grand a year for a state college. That would be $60,000 a year. That is probably more then my husband will be making a year. My dad took 2 mortgages out on his house to pay my first year and to pay most of my brother's first year of college. He is now retired and owes $20,000 more on the hose then he did when he bought it almost 20 years ago. All because he thought it was his responsibility to pay for our college. I quit after 2 1/2 years and my brother flunked out after bankrupting my dad. I never went back (couldn't handle it with 4 kids) but my brother is now back in school, paying for it himself and working 10 times harder then he did the first time (he is 28 now).
2 people like this
@mom2boys (334)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I think they should try to pay their own way, i mean there are all kinds of grants, scholarships out there, why leave it all up to your parents to do it all for you, at one point they need to learn to stand on their own two feet and i think this is the perfect starting point, my parents didnt pay for my school, and my husband joined the airforce to pay for his.
2 people like this
@missy12 (65)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I am student in college and i am working my way through school. I am now 22 and i don't expect my parents to pay for me, because i want to be adult on my own. What you are saying is true, but fresh out of high school at 17 and 18 it would be good to have a little help and support from parents. Just because we are legal at 18 doesn't mean we're ready to be on our own. Another thing is the government sort of make it seems like the parents responsibility. When i apply for financial aid they want my parents W-2 info, they can care less about mine. I was born in 1984 and i live on my own, i have my own apartment and everything but i still need my parents info. The rule for 2006 was that you had to be born in 1982 to not need your parents info, which means you have to be 24 years old to not need your parents info for aid. I think it's the government that expects parents to pay not the young adults.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
19 Jan 07
The only other way around that requirement is to have your self declared to not be your parents responsibility (there is a legal term, can't think of what it is off the top of my head) be in the military, a former military personnel or be married.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 07
The legal term is "emancipated".
• United States
19 Jan 07
Actually in most cases a student is required to provide there parents information to apply for finacal aid, They have to do this until they reach the age of 23-24. So the government is saying that parents should be paying the bills. I don't agree with that as I think that once they hit 18 they need to start looking after themselfs. The problem with that is the government doesn't want to help them. They don't want to spend money helping people get an education. Also many student may run into the problem I am haveing with employers telling me that they don't think a student should work and go to school, they either need to be in school and thats it, or work, but not both. Again I also disagree with this as many students do not have the money to pay for it. I think that parents should be required to help pay and fill out the finacal aid forms for year 1. If the student is starting college right out of high school (I waited 3 years) This gives the student a chance to get use to school and a life without there parents telling them what to do. Then after that I feel it should be the students job to get through. Doing this though would require a complete overhaul of the current finacal aid and student loan system and I don't see that happening any time soon.
• United States
19 Jan 07
When a student enters college as a non-traditional student, which is after 19, the financial information for the parents is disregarded if the student hasn't lived in the home during the previous 12 months, here in Colorado. They also do not have to have sat scores. There are benefits to having a son or daughter wait before going into college here. There are also government sponsored college saving "programs". If you stop and think about hos the government has been known to gut programs and then make excuses for cutting them, AFTER they have used the money you have put in with good faith, many of the parents here do not use those programs.
• United States
19 Jan 07
When I applied to school I hadn't lived with my parents for 2 years. I'm 24 now and just finished 2 years of school. They told me it didn't matter, you still have to use your parents information to apply. I have also heard of people not having to. but they have allways told me to use them.
@klystron635 (1520)
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
My opinion on this discussion is that the parents should be the one responsible for the college education of their children. However, if the family is really poor well I guess it's upto the children themselves if they want to continue their education. I am currently in college. I have a scholarship grant that helps me financially but my parents still make sure that I have enough money for my school needs.
• Germany
19 Jan 07
So you think if the family is poor to offord the kid education, he shouls stop studying. What is government for then. They dont have responsibility of the citizen to develop in life. It should not be the curse for the kid to born in poor family.
• United States
19 Jan 07
I would love if the government would make it free so everyone could get a good education. I think if they did, then we would be a society of smarter people. PEople could better themselves.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 07
I agree. Right now we have alot of smart people wating tables and working 3 jobs because the got their college out of the way, but now have heavy debt and are in a market that cannot assimilate them.