Post # 1
In another thread, a poster observed that many people would choose the number of kids to have based on the number of college educations they felt they could afford. I was curious how many people believe that as a parent, there is an obligation to pay for the college education of your children. (We are not talking in a perfect world where we are all rich and can pay without blinking an eye, but for the average Joe s’Mo, with much sacrifices involved.) It’d be great if you can share whether your belief matches up with how your parents handled the situation.
For me, my parents paid a sum equal to a good state school and I paid the rest with loans and outside scholarships. I feel this made me appreciate my education more than if I didn’t contribute to it, but wasn’t unduly burdensome that I worried how to pay it back (some of the loans were interest-free from my parents) nor did it take away from my parent’s ability to retire. I could have gotten through free at other places, but I chose a more expensive school that didn’t offer merit scholarships.
While I’d like to be able to provide a full ride for my kids wherever they’d want to go, I feel only an obligation to pay the equivalent of tuition at a good state school (this is in part because I expect my kids to get a college education or the equivalent at some place such as a culinary school, depending on their dreams). I plan to agressively save when I have kids, and I will try to pay more, but I don’t feel it is my responsibility to do so, just as I don’t feel that my parents wronged me by not paying more for me.
Post # 3
we’re not planning on having children but have already offered financial support to my niece for university
in australia we have something called HECS, meaning you go to university but not pay for it until you earn over $45K and even then you are paying only 4% of your income in HECS fees, the max is 8%
we offered to support my nieces college because most degrees offer a discount (some 50% disc) if you prepay
Post # 4
I am paying for my college on my own with a federal grant and student loans. I know my parents can’t afford to put me through college and that is one reason I decided to take the step to put myself in school. I just started yesterday and I’m 32, so I don’t think is really is an obligation. If some parents can do it, then it’s really up to them. But I won’t be basing my children on school either. I will have whatever I get pregnant with and we will do what we need to do for the future. Things happen for a reason.
Post # 5
My experience was similar to yours excpet I went to a small liberal arts college, though, instead of a state school…my parents contributed the amount it would have been for a state school and I had scholarship and loans for the rest. I also have that appreciation you express, and I would like to have the same set-up for my kids.
Also, I am a college professor at a state school. So, I see the whole range… from kids with everything paid for by their parents, some of who waste it away, to adults who have raised their kids and are working their butts off to finally have their chance to go to school.
So, some help is good…it’s tough to really study and get through in a timely manner if you have to work full time to pay for school. But so contribution is good, too…school is less likely to be taken for granted when someone knows they are responsible for part of the cost.
Post # 6
I had zero private university debt and I am extremely grateful. However, we wouldn’t limit the number of children we have based on projected future income. We’ll save for college… we’ll do our best to give what we can to each child regardless of where they go… We do however want to send our kids to k-8 private school at min…. which is about 6k a year (now) per kid… oy
Post # 7
We have one on the way and honestly, I think we’ll pay as much as we can save up until Wombat (our baby’s nickname) goes off to college. It’s very important to me that we offer something as I am paying for everything by myself, which makes things very difficult for my husband and I now.
Post # 8
In my opinion, over 18 = my education is my responsibility. I got through on scholarships and student loans. I didn’t expect my parents to give me money for anything once I went to college and was “on my own”.
It would be nice if I could provide some help to my future kids, but I think it’s “something nice” not a “requirement”.
Post # 9
My parents did not help. I am now 20k in debt. I hope to be able to help my daughter and soon to be stepson.
Post # 10
The Darling Husband and I have already discussed this that we would like to pay for our children’s education or part of it, but we hope that they do not expect us to. Mother-In-Law paid for some of DH’s college education and my family didn’t help out. We want our kids to work for it.
ETA: I admit that I do have a lot of school debt. Yes, I would like less of it but I did learn a lot from having to pay for it on my own. In college I had less of the partying and more of the studying/working. The job that I have now really shows how hard I worked in school.
Post # 11
I don’t think they have an obligation to pay but if they can afford it, I think they should. Why not set your child up for the best possble future?
Post # 12
I don’t feel it’s the sole responsibility of the parent to pay for their child’s education. I think it’s important for them to help when possible if they can afford it. My mother didn’t pay for any of my sister’s higher education, but would send them a couple hundred dollars here and there to help out when she had the money to spare. My Darling Husband and I plan to help a little bit with our children’s college, but we’ll encourage them to work a few hours a week during High School and the summer to help cover what they can.
Post # 13
I would LOVE to be able to pay for my children to go to college and plan to help them as much as possible, but I’m not going to let that dictate how many kids I have. My parents paid for my first year of school and then after that I was on my own. I still have student loans, but no regrets and no resentment that my parents weren’t able to help me more.
My husband’s parents paid for his fancy degree, so he feels like he needs to do the same for our children, but we just aren’t sure it’s realistic.
Post # 14
My parents contributed only $500 towards my education. I have paid for everything out of pocket, no student loans just working full time and payment plans through the school. I do think that parents should help their children with their education as long as it is within their means to do so. My parents could afford to but they chose not too. I feel that after putting 18 years into a child, molding them to be the people that they are today why stop helping them when they are trying to develop themselves.
Post # 15
That is one of my main goals in life. I am always trying to save money so I can send my little girl to college someday =) then pf course for any other children I have too. My parents aren’t able to help me financially with anything, so to me it is important to be able to give these things to my children.
ETA I don’t think parents are obligated, it mostly depends on the whole situation and such =)
Post # 16
My Darling Husband and I have discussed this extensively. I do not believe we should pay for our children’s education. Both my Darling Husband and I paid for our own and believe it was the best thing for us. It was hard, but many valuable lessons were learned. We have discussed, that if we are financially able to, having a sum of money that the kids can either use for a downpayment on a home, or the last two years of college. Their choice….but who knows on that part.