Monday, May 01, 2006

paying for college and the bank of mom and dad

I've received a number of wonderful comments and recommendations for my last post regarding parents paying for college. I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their opinions.

That said and with an opportunitity to contemplate various comments here and amongst the other members of the pf blog community, I'd like to state my updated thoughts.

Parents Paying for College
  1. Parents should pay for as much of their children's education.
  2. While children are in college, it's their own responsibility to pay for luxuries.
  3. Children earn their tuition payments by getting good grades and graduating in a reasonable amount of time from the best school they can attend or transfer into.
  4. If children are not ready to study while in college, they should take time off, work, explore, experiment and mature.
  5. Parents should not sacrifice their retirement savings to pay for college. If that's all the money they have, they should qualify for substantial financial aid from most colleges.
  6. Parents should take the lead on filing for and obtaining financial aid. Children are not experienced enough nor prepared for the effort.
  7. Parents should make their expectations for grades and academic performance very clear to their children before the children commit to attend college.
  8. If a parent can cover graduate school without imperilling their finances, I recommend it.


I'm fairly traditional. I expect the bride's parents to play an active role in the wedding financially, etc.... I also expect the groom's parents to play a role, too. In my case, my wife's parents covered as much as they could, about 40%, my parents 20% and we covered about 40%. It was the best we together could afford and it turned out well.

Personally, my wife and I expect to save a reasonable amount of money for our children's weddings and would expect to split the cost with our future in-laws. If our finances change, we'll have to compromise by contributing less.

Financial Outpatient Care

The Millionaire Mind had a wonderful discussion of the disastrous financial consequences of parents paying for their adult-children's lifestyles.

This I find unacceptable and a road to misery for all parties involved.

There's a difference between paying for college (an investment in your child) and substituting an allowance for the income they should be earning.

I pray my wife and I are never in this situation.

Have a wonderful day,


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