(Closed) How much financial help should parents give college student?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 31
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Mine paid for everything but I did have a part time job to gain experience for a job after graduation so I used that as spending money for fun stuff. I am SO thankful they could pay for everything so I don’t have to worry about paying back student loans. It’s different for every family though so what works for some won’t work for others. I hope to be able to do the same for our children one day. 

Post # 32
597 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think parents have to provide anything for their children’s education. That being said, it’s a wonderful gift to be able to give, and we plan to have hefty savings in place for our kids when the time comes. My parents paid my tuition for my undergrad and that was it. I paid for my books, spending money, cell phone, etc. I chose to live at home to save on lodging. Both my sisters got the same deal but they moved away from home and now have student debt because of it. But they’re still sitting very pretty compared to people who got no help.

Post # 33
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

I think parents pay what they’re comfortable with. That being said, in my opinion, I think my parents had the best solution. They helped pay a portion my room and board, but I was on my own for spending money, books, sorority, etc. 

Each year, I knew I had to come up with X to pay the rest of my room and board. I also knew I needed to shop around for the best prices on books (which was a good lesson). I always worked full time in summers and part time during the school year to be able to afford the other fun things I knew I wanted during the year. I learned how to negotiate at a job for better pay, how to budget, how to save, that nothing in life is ‘given’ to you, etc. As compared to some of my friends who never held jobs, paid for anything, etc I have a lot more financial freedom and responsibility as an adult. 

As soon as I went to college, my parents made it pretty clear to me that I got $x/year. I knew they could afford to help me more, but they didn’t .At first I was mad about it, but I learned that it’s no one’s job but your own to pay your way and figure it out. Just because someone can give you more, doesn’t mean they should or have to. Valuable lesson to learn at 18.

Post # 34
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

Before beginning college, my dad made me a deal that I would take out student loans for school and once I graduated he would pay them off. While in school he paid my car insurance, health insurance and cellphone. I worked part-time to pay my rent and any other living expenses. He kept his word and paid off my loans right after graduating. I think this was smart on his part to ensure he wasn’t throwing his money away. There are so many variables based on the parents financial situation and a student’s discipline. I definitely think I am better off because I wasn’t completely taken care of.

Post # 35
209 posts
Helper bee

Parents paid for none of my college expenses. I took out student loans and worked part time jobs all throughout college. 

Post # 36
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We’ll pay for tuition, books, board, for up to 6 years of college.

Our son can make his own spending money. That said, we’d rather him spend his time on valuable internships vs. working at the local pizza joints, even if that means its unpaid.

 If he’s smart, he’ll get through a master’s degree in those six years. If he wastes his time, he’ll finish up a bachelors.  That said, what we’ll pay will be contigent upon grades and to some extent, major. As in, we won’t be paying 100% for a C average in a hard to use degree, like History (unless he has a burning desire to be a history professor or something, which I doubt). Also won’t pay for him to bouce around from major to major, figuring out what he wants to do.

Post # 37
8273 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Carolsays :  parents should pay for what they want and are able to without sacrificing their own retirement. I am lucky that my parents paid for tuition, room, and board. I paid for my own books and incidentals. 

Post # 38
3712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

My first two years of college were paid for through scholarships, but my parents paid for my final two years (including room and board). I was very blessed that they offered to do so. The only stipulation was that I kept my grades up. I also lived at home for a couple of years after I graduated from college. During that time I was able to save money and go to grad school (which I paid for myself). My husband also lived at home for a while. Doing so has allowed us to save up a good nest egg and put money away into savings and retirement accounts. I want to do the same for my future child. I don’t think there’s any set way that “should” happen though. 

Post # 39
140 posts
Blushing bee

Agree that it depends on the kid.

I paid my own way almost completely, living at home in my first year and then moving out. It was the best thing that happened to me, despite graduating with debt.

Darling Husband had some help, about the equivalent of rent I think per month. With scholarships and summer jobs he managed to avoid having to work through the school year, but he still worked like a crazy person in the summer to shore up his finances. He is the type of guy that would have done this even if his parents paid for it all. 

My sister has had a ton of help from my dad, on top of loans, and well past her college graduation. She is mid twenties and still struggles to be independent even though she lives 4 hours away from us. 

So yeah, it realllly depends on the person. 

Post # 40
2318 posts
Buzzing bee

If the parents concern is about the child becoming independent this question is irrevelant because EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. When Independence happens is different for everybody and no two situations are alike.  They need to have an honest conversation with the child and ask them how things are going, what would they like to do once they graduate, how much support they can give etc. and make an informed decision about the best moves for their child and the family.  

You cant say “well, Jane’s parents cut her off after her first year so that’s what we are doing for you”  What you dont know is that Jane’s finances, school schedule, extra-curricular activites, maturity level, aspirations after college, overall preparededness etc. Also to be conidered is her standard of living.  I honestly believe College is the wrong time to cut of kids that are used to having ample cash for entertainment, food, shopping and meeting every need or want.  

As an alternative to cutting off, teaching and requiring the development of life skills such as budgeting, time-management, increased responsibility, problem solving etc will do more to foster independence than a “Big Chop”.  If a child is doing well and honestly studying and making the most of the college experience an allowance may be appropriate so that they can max their potential.  If the child is slacking off, cutting off some assistance could give them a taste of the real world.  It all depends.  

Since we do not know the details, I would ignore all of the advise on the board.  (except this 1 sentence)

Post # 41
5053 posts
Bee Keeper

julies1949 :  Count me here with Jules. I would have been horrified if my parents spent their retirement on me. They helped me here and there with bills and I stayed with them rent free and ate dinner with them. I bought groceries and took out a student loan and worked in college. 

That said, each family is different. I’ve worked with people who have super rich parents but they will only pay for certain degree paths (ie one was law only). I have seen others make them work for it even if they paid the way and ice seen others pay for literally everything to the point where a grown up didn’t understand how car insurance worked. So I’ve seen it all. And even the ones who are deemed spoiled, some were fantastic humans even though spoiled and I’ve seen those spoiled that turn  into horrible people. 

I really hate my autocorrect. Sorry for the typos, too many to fix.

I think that decision really depends on how much parents can afford and the personality of the child. 

Post # 42
14969 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Parents “should” pay for as much as they want to.  If they can afford to pay for everything and then some and choose to, great… if the can afford to but wont, well, too bad.  If they can’t afford to and want to try, that is their perogative.  If they can’t afford to and dont try, that is understandable.  Personally, my parents did pay for tuition (no room and board cause I lived at home) and let me drive their car.  I honestly can’t remember if they paid for my books and personal expesenes since I know they did give me a credit card to use, or if I paid for that with my own job which I had after freshman year.  I had it pretty easy and I do realize that, and am incredibly greatful to start my life after college with no loans and a great paying job with my engineering degree.  And I hope to be able to provide the same for my children in the future.  (Though at this rate, I’m spending their college fund just to conceive them… but that’s another story…) 

Post # 43
815 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Carolsays :  it all depends on what the parents can afford. They should help as much as they can! They should also put money aside for the child in advance. But not everyone is rich so however much possible without them suffering themselves financially! 

Post # 44
46 posts
  • Wedding: January 2018

My mother’s a single parent (she does quite well for herself now that us kids are out of home now, though), and she doesn’t pay anything for me. Before moving in with Fiance, I was working 3 part-time jobs to pay for rent, food and utilities. I’ve taken out student loans to cover course fees that will get repaid eventually when I’m qualified (I still have another 3 years, ugh).

Although some assistance would have made things a lot easier, it isn’t impossible to work and study at the same time. It makes you appreciate the little things in life and you learn very quickly how to budget 😉

Post # 45
3183 posts
Sugar bee

Parents should pay as much as they want to. I’m one of seven. My family is super poor. Scholarships, grants, and loans paid my way through college. Spending money was what was leftover after tuition and books, and my work study job that provided $900 a semester. It was not easy. 

I plan to help my child out as much as possible.

ETA: I was lucky and declined a few unnecessary loans. It made paying for things a struggle, but I came out of college with $2k in loans to repay. I lived with my parents in a room I shared with my little sister the first year out of college to pay that off quickly.

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