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Should Parents Help Pay For College?

 
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Should Parents Pay For Part Of Children's College Education?
Yes
87%
 87%  [ 7 ]
No
12%
 12%  [ 1 ]
Not Sure
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 8

Should Parents Help Pay For College?
 PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Alan Skywalker V
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I read an article on MSNBC recently that basically said parents here in the United States should not have to help pay for their children's college. Do you think this is right?

I can kind of understand why the author think parents shouldn't have to help pay for college tution; the money would be coming out of their own pockets, not the kid's. Besides, if a kid was a partier through high school instead of studying and getting good grades, making him or her responsible for paying tution means parents wouldn't face the money problems if the kid continues to be irresponsible.

On the other hand, even if kids work during high school and throughout college, would they be able to shoulder the costs of their education without parents helping? Tution is skyrocketing every year. Add books and everything else involved(especially if a student lives on campus); could they honestly make it paying their own way, even with the help of loans?

I didn't have a single job in high school because my parents decided not to make me work. The only times I received money were at my birthday and Christmas, along with a summer allowance for doing chores around the house. When I started college, I spent three years at a community college and garnered 76 credit hours that all transferred to the 120 credit hour Bachelor's program. The first year I did 14 and 13 credit hours for the first two semesters; the remaining two years I did the minimum of 12 and did not take any summer classes. Dad paid for all my tution and books out of his pocket.

After graduating with my AA degree I transferred to a four year school. Thanks to the mess up on my part that left me in community college a semester longer than I had hoped, it only took me two years to finish at the university. Once again I only did the 12 minimum credit hours per semester and no summer classes. We had to take out loans to cover most of the tution cost and Dad paid the rest, as well as paying for all my books out of his pocket.

My parents made sure I knew what was expected of me when I started college - buckle down and study, no halfway doing assignments or skipping them completely. I did my best to justify their expectations. I earned mostly A's and B's with a few C's coming either through my own carelessness or because of a difficult class, but no D's or F's. I didn't have to retake any classes and graduated from the university with a 3.4 GPA.

In my case, I would say that my parents paying for my college and the hard work I put into my classes in return was a fair trade. Now, obviously, this won't be the case with all families; some parents may pay their children's way, only to be disappointed with a low GPA or a dropout.

What do you think? Everyone's opinion is welcome, even if you don't live in the US. Maybe the non-US members could share some insights into the college question in their own countries.


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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:01 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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I think it's important for parents to pay for post-secondary education, at least for one degree, if they have the financial capacity to do so.

My parents paid for my university degree, but they also made me get a job, as they didn't pay for my books, and only gave me a stipend to cover some of rent/food, but not all.

End result: I got my degree without having any debt.

That's the real issue: if the parents are physically capable of paying for an undergraduate degree, then the result is that their kid doesn't have m/any student loans, and so the ground they're on when they graduate is so much firmer.

I seem to remember my parents saying that they'd only pay for the first degree, which is fair. I stopped after my undergrad, but my sister got a Masters and went to teacher's college, and I don't think they helped with that. Which is fair. She was on her own two feet by then.

I also remember my parents saying that they'd only pay if we went to school right away, rather than doing a travel year. My sister wanted to travel (and she wanted to take the tuition money for that year and use it to fund her travel), and my parents said that if she wasn't in school in September, they would use the tuition money for that year to pay down their mortgage. That made her think twice lol.

My wife's parents paid for everything, and so she could devote all her attention to studying, but it was well within their means (he was the chief financial officer for a multinational), so why not, right?

Of course, I'm Canadian, and our universities are heavily subsidized. My tuition was about $4,500-5,000 per year, so that's easier for a parent to save for over the course of the child's first 18 years. (I understand it's a lot higher in the US?)
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:11 pm Reply with quote  
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  GrandMaster
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Depending on the school, it can be a lot higher. Public colleges and universities are a bit cheaper, but private schools (like my college) cost around $50,000 (for room and board), but you get much better financial aid than at a state school.

My tuition is about $50,000, but about $40,000 is covered by scholarships and grants. The rest is loans, work study, and my parents. I pay for my textbooks, and occasionally get money from my parents for grocery shopping.

With college tuition the price it is now (and issues with student loan rates, which doubled for a few days in July before Congress did anything), it is almost essential that parents help pay for college. Finding a job in high school that can pay for college is almost impossible. I wish we were more like Europe or Canada and tuition was subsidized.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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Yes, reason being a one word answer= Debt. My wife and I paid our own way through school and ouch. We both have well paying jobs, and should be rolling in the doe. But man, is it hard to start makin money when your paying off a house worth of debt. If they can they should, why make life harder on your own children if you have the means to help?!
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Alan Skywalker V
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GrandMaster wrote:
Depending on the school, it can be a lot higher. Public colleges and universities are a bit cheaper, but private schools (like my college) cost around $50,000 (for room and board), but you get much better financial aid than at a state school.

My tuition is about $50,000, but about $40,000 is covered by scholarships and grants. The rest is loans, work study, and my parents. I pay for my textbooks, and occasionally get money from my parents for grocery shopping.

With college tuition the price it is now (and issues with student loan rates, which doubled for a few days in July before Congress did anything), it is almost essential that parents help pay for college. Finding a job in high school that can pay for college is almost impossible. I wish we were more like Europe or Canada and tuition was subsidized.


I did a combination of on campus and online classes for my AA degree and my Bachelor's was entirely online, because I'm hearing impaired and doing classes online was just better for me. However, it was still quite a chunk out of our pockets. A cousin of mine just started college this week. She's living in a dorm there with a friend. I shudder to think how much it's going to cost for her in the long run. The uni is only an hour away from where my family and hers live, but it's in the mountains.


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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:44 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Well, I'm not in favor of parents blanket paying for their kids' college education. Part of that stems from the fact that no one's "entitled" to a college degree. Yes, I know it's hard to compete in a global economy without one, but that's a different argument.

My brother had a novel approach to paying for his kids' education. His kids had to come up with the first semester's funds. At the end of the semester, if the grades were passing, my brother reimbursed them for the cost. They could then turn around and pay for their next semester.

There are alternatives to the traditional, out of high school and straight to a 4 year institution practice. An associate's degree cuts the cost of a 4 year degree. Also the schools like Ottawa and Phoenix University are alternate degree paths where you can work full time and earn a degree. Idk about Ottawa but Phoenix is not cheap.

Oregon has taken a novel approach which could just be a really viable roadmap for other states. On the day the college loan rates went up, Oregon passed "no tuition" college. You can go to school there free. When you graduate you pay back 3% of your annual salary for 20 years. So you can go get that almost worthless Anthropology degree because your debt isn't a fixed rate. It's contingent on whatever your salary is.

Also, putting the burden on parents isn't going to remain a viable option for much longer. The current generation of older adults is the "squeezed" generation, taking care of both adult children and longer-lived elderly parents, who often didn't have the means to ensure a financially comfortable old age. The burden is falling on these older adults to pay for their parents longevity. With their children delaying their adulthood (for whatever reason), this system is going to break. The older adults just cannot accept the financial burden of two different generations, and sorry kids, but the grandparents win this one.

I think the real issue is the cost of higher education, and the student loan situation. Until voters are willing to address the issue of how their elected officials are screwing them in regards to higher education, it isn't going to get fixed. Did you know that student loans are one of the few exceptions per bankruptcy? When colleges are strapping students with ridiculous tuition costs, and student loans are not designed in favor of the students, that is not right.

Btw both I and my ex-husband paid our own college costs. And yes I realize we did it at a time when costs were way more reasonable. However, my ex went to private college and Harvard for his grad degree. Trust me, it wasn't cheap.
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 PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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I think that parents should help with college expenses provided the kid makes decent grades and is responsible. However, I dislike kids who get a "free ride" so to speak and have their every whim catered to. My own parents have been unable to help me due to financial reasons. Thankfully, my state has several scholarships and such that have allowed me to go to college. I also work part time to pay other expenses.
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:18 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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My first thought is that not everyone goes to college. The national debate acts like college education is the norm for every one. Newsflash: Poor people still exist and contrary to right wing media they are not giving away free money.

I hate rich parents that make their children pay for things to "teach them responsibility". They probably spoiled them as children anyway and even if they didn't they will most likely share their parents sense of entitlement no matter what they do.

What they are really doing is taking jobs away from people who have to work to support their family, because people who already can afford to do so choose not to.
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:45 am Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
My first thought is that not everyone goes to college. The national debate acts like college education is the norm for every one. Newsflash: Poor people still exist and contrary to right wing media they are not giving away free money.


That was my first thought too, but I decided to narrow my answer to the specific question. However, the question itself pretty much denotes entitlement as do the majority results: 85% pro parents should pay.

I know a lot of answers were qualified with "...if they can afford it.", but that felt like tokenism. Outside of my reply, the only financial burden addressed was the one placed on the students. There was no recognition of the burden parents would have to incur. I found it curious that apparently (as in, I assume they're young etc) young, able-bodied, intelligent adults who have years, if not decades, to pay down their debt are willing to strap their parents with debt when the parents are phasing into a life stage of dwindling financial resources yet higher life expenses.

I guess I would turn the question around and ask "How willing are young college-educated, working adults to accept the burden of supporting their parents when the parents can no longer support themselves fully?"

You really need to think and plan beyond the goal of a college degree. The current economy is not a sustainable one for the financial health of the 2-3 generations we have of living adults.
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:04 pm Reply with quote  
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  1337Jedi
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^ I agree fully, and I would change my response of "if they can afford it" to "if they can afford it, above and beyond setting them selves up for they're next stage of life" your right that parents do a lot of supporting when it comes to children, so why is it fair that at a stage of they're life when the kids are moving out, and they are returning to a two person family, that they need to take that hit? Let them enjoy their money, travel, do what ever they did not get to do once we showed up and ruined all of they're fun! Lol but like Dog said if they are rich an trying to "teach" the kids a lesson, that's dumb.
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