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Why I Did Not Pay for My Children's College

Susan has been a high school teacher for 26 years. She has a BSEd in Elementary Education and an MSEd in Secondary Education and English.

I do not believe parents are required to pay for their child's college education.

I do not believe parents are required to pay for their child's college education.

You Don’t Have to Pay For Your Kids’ College

Many people wonder how they are going to save money for their children’s education. Some people go into debt for their children’s education.

We chose not to worry about how to pay for our children’s education—not because we didn’t want them to go to college or not because we didn’t care, but because we did not have an extra dime to our name when our children were born.

We wanted our children to have ownership in their education.

Our Story as Parents

We had our son two years after we were married. Neither of us had a college degree, but after he was born, we decided if we were going to get anywhere financially and intellectually while we raised him, we needed college degrees. My husband and I waded through mountains of paperwork each year to get grants and loans in the beginning. Then, because we had the responsibility of our little family and worked so hard studying to keep our grades up, we were able to earn the Presidential Scholarship and the Dean’s Scholarship.

Our parents helped us by babysitting when we needed them to and by understanding how hard we were working to make our family successful for our son. They were supportive, but neither side was able to contribute financially to our college fund. That was left up to us, as well it should have been. We had gotten married young, 18 and 20, and we were living with the choices we made and doing alright. We were proud of what we were doing and our parents were proud of us. We never expected our parents to pay for college or for our decisions/choices in life. Even if we had taken the traditional route of high school then college then marriage then children, our parents would not have been able to afford college tuition for us. Looking back, I am glad about that, because we were awesome college students since our own time and money were on the line.

We paid for our own college and our kids will have to, too.

We paid for our own college and our kids will have to, too.

Why Kids Should Figure Out How to Pay for College

Making your children pay for their own college may seem harsh to some, and it may feel like an impossibility to others. There is no need to feel guilty for not paying for your kid’s college.

Kids need to take ownership of their own education. When parents are paying tuition, many kids, not all, do not appreciate it and party their first year away. Their grade point average drops, as do their chances for keeping or gaining scholarships. They come from high school, they do not know how to structure their lives in order to balance homework (tons of it), time, work, and any small amount of social life. They do not want to give up their social lives. When it is their money or their grant that their college future is riding on, rather than mom and dad’s bank account, it becomes an entirely different issue. Again, for the most part, when they have ownership in their education, they will do the work to succeed. They are doing it for themselves. How many of us know a student who has switched majors several times and is in college for a couple of extra years beyond the norm? Why not study and be a student when you aren’t paying for it? Students are more accountable with their choices/decisions, grades, and actions when their money, grants, or scholarships are on the line.

What Are Parents' Responsibilities?

Parents can play an integral part in helping kids be prepared for college.

  • First, from your child's early age, read to them and expose them to age-appropriate activities that will make them have a love for learning; for instance, taking them to a science museum or to historical landmarks.
  • As they grow older, be involved in their school work, but expect them to do the work. You can't do the work, and you cannot expect the teacher to spoonfeed them.
  • There will be times of success and failure. Teach your child how to recover from failure and how to graciously accept success.
  • Set high but reasonable standards for your kids and encourage them along the way.
  • When they are in junior high and high school, make sure they are taking classes and are in activities that match their ability.
  • Know that not every student is an honors student or even a college-bound student. That is okay if they have a good work ethic and high morals so they will be working at a job they enjoy.
  • College and workplaces are looking for kids who have worked and/or volunteered in the community and can be team players. These are skills you can help your child/children with as they grow and mature.

These are just a few of the ways parents can be involved in helping their kids' educational experience to be a positive one.

Some examples of important classes for high schoolers.

Some examples of important classes for high schoolers.

Classes Your Kids Should Take in High School

Of course, your kids should take the core classes, but help them pick electives that will suit their learning style and interests. Some states have programs for juniors and seniors that will allow them to work as tutors during one period out of the schedule, which, if requirements are met, such as a 2.5 GPA and a 95% attendance record, the student earns a certificate to go to a 2-year state community college for free. Kids can get their general education out of the way or get an associate's degree in a variety of vocational fields simply by being good students. If they mess up, it is on them and has hopefully taught them a life lesson, and you have not wasted your money.

If your student is an athlete with good grades, there are many scholarships out there, and there will be several college scouts looking for students to be a part of their program. Encourage your children to be good team players and to do their best (whether they are in a sport or not), but do not push them into doing something they will not enjoy. Sports scholarships are great, but many do not provide a full ride.

If you have an honors student, encourage him/her to take as many honors classes as possible. Keep in mind that your kid needs to be a kid, too, so no high pressure. High expectations are great, but burning your kid out by constantly riding them to do well is discouraging. Have your honors student take what he/she can manage. They have their whole adult lives to be responsible, hardworking, nose-to-the-grindstone productive members of society. Don't kill that sense of self-learning and wonder by going overboard pushing them to do well.

Our Experience With Our Kids

Missouri has the A+ Program in place so my kids both tutored lower-level kids in high school, kept their grades above a 3.0, and went on to one of our local community colleges. My son partied his first year, lost his required 2.0 GPA, and had to pay for the last year of community college. I must add that if your kid is looking at colleges but does not have a lot of money, community colleges are cheaper and a great way to get their general education out of the way. My son graduated from the community college with his general education associate's degree. He took time off to go to boot camp, got married, had a tour of duty in the Middle East, came home, and started his major in a university using the GI Bill.

During high school, my daughter felt she was "above" going to a community college and had all kinds of plans to move to a university in a land far, far away. Well, she could not find one far enough or close enough that would grant her a full-ride scholarship. When she graduated, she finally came back to earth and enrolled in the local community college. So far, so good with her. Of course, she has her brother in the background constantly harping about how he screwed up and she needs to keep her grades up. She is working and saving to pay her tuition when she moves onto a university.

This is not to say if you pay for your children's college that they will not be successful. Many kids are, but it is often the case that the first year is the most difficult time for adjustment. We chose not to pay for our kids' college because we wanted them to want it for themselves, and nothing makes a kid want something more than when they are having to pay for it or figure out a way to achieve it themselves.

A CNN Money Statistics on Student Loans

CNN reported that 2011 college graduates owed an average of $27,000. That is a lot of money. Students need to budget for payments when they choose a field of study. Careful consideration needs to be given to how much money they will make in their career. Choices students make will affect them down the road, but if they make wise choices they will reap the benefits and ownership of their education for the rest of their lives.

More about kids:

  • How to Raise Kids to Survive Their Future
    We are being called an enabled society and a nanny state. Do individual parents have responsibilities to help kids be good citizens? Parenting is a difficult job; do you have the skills to do it?

If You Are Helping Your Kids Search for Loans, You Need to Read This Article

Questions & Answers

Question: What would you say is the average education level and occupations of those parents who have sent their children to college?

Answer: I can only speak from my experience. Many parents have college degrees, and many have jobs where they worked their way up without a college education. Of course, there are some who do not work. I would not venture to place a number on them.

Question: My parents didn't pay for my college. I worked 2 jobs my first year and worked a 40 hour week after that and when to school full time (12 credits per semester). My question to you is what are your thoughts on why they would encourage their grandson not to work while attending college so he can focus on class. I really don't understand. It breaks my heart they insisted I pay my own way, and don't expect the same from my nephew?

Answer: Possibly, your parents have more money now and can afford to help their grandson. You are stronger for having worked so hard and you own it. Your nephew will not learn the value of that ownership and will always be expecting help from someone. You are independent. You might be hurt because they are paying his way, but look at all you have gained. Embrace YOUR accomplishment because it is huge!

© 2012 Susan Holland


Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on January 08, 2019:

Hi "Selfish,"

Many disagree, and I understand. No, we were not selfish while raising our children. They never needed or wanted for anything. While we did not pay for their college, we did help them with many other things. Both of my adult children made mistakes and learned from them, but it was at their cost. They didn't make the same mistakes twice. Once they decided to leave home, they did not want interference from us - they wanted to stand on their own (while still coming home to raid the fridge and cabinets and do laundry - ha). If they asked for help and most times when they did not, we gave.

No, they did not go to Ivy League universities, but they did go to challenging colleges and universities. They each graduated with their bachelors, and each are in competitive fields. They are successful, and they did it and are proud of their accomplishments. We were there for them in many ways, but they made their life decisions. We did prepare them to live responsibly - we prepared them to see that personal independence is more valuable than money. If you feel we were selfish for not taking on their financial responsibilities, so be it.

Our kids have perspective - work over entitlement.

I guess if we wanted to control their lives and dictate what we thought they should and should not do, we could have held them hostage with finances, but we wanted them to learn how to control their own lives with their own decisions. All the statistics cannot replace the valuable life lessons we learn on our own. Nor do the statics hold up in real life. We aren't living in the '80s because the money our kids make is far above what we were making - they can handle and even more importantly, they know they can handle it.

I give my kids credit for decisions they make. They did not live in dorms. They worked and rented with friends. They learned many lessons that way. They were not deprived of making great memories, and we were not standing over their shoulder controlling them - we had already done that while raising them. We knew they would make some bad choices, (who doesn't?) but we knew we had raised them to have common sense to take care of their mistakes. They are independent, loving adults who are compassionate and giving. Go figure...

They are responsible, productive members of society who do not expect anything to be given to them because they know working for something and receiving self-satisfaction is far more fulfilling than something they were not invested in financially and emotionally. Both have careers they chose, both pay their bills and care for their families, both pay their loans, both strive to achieve their ambitions. They own their lives and love coming home to continue to share in our lives.

So, I guess you are right. We are selfish parents. We selfishly have maneuvered to raise responsible children who want to continue sharing life with their ole parents. Mission accomplished. :-) Not all millennials are entitled or enabled to continue their bad habits because they know their parents will pick up the mess. That goes for those who have parents who don't and do pay for college. The entire group cannot be stereotyped, nor can their parents.

Thanks for reading.

Selfish on December 27, 2018:

Let me say I vehemently disagree with this! This is nothing other than SELFISH and a "me first" mentality. Credential creep via educational requirement is very real and jobs that once required a AA/AS are now requiring a BA/BS and those requiring a BA/BS often require a MA/MS....yet you act like it is still 1980.

Children cannot pay for a college (4yr university) on their own without going crazy imo. I do not think burdening a 18yr old with a 15k/year bill for 9 months of school and that doesn't count living expenses is wise, smart, or helping them out it is a cop out. That is the equivalent of 500/week job while having to go to school full time? Are you nuts? Unless the only plan they can have is a Community College then transfer and still how do they pay the tuition without out loans?

That doesn't take in to account dorms, apartments, or more competitive institutions that cost far more then 15k/yr. You are limiting your children which is fine if that is what you want to do.

To me any parent especially a two parent income family who says, "Nah I'm not paying for college or helping aside from you can live here. See, I paid for my school, and you can too!" is living in the past, isn't living in reality, and is doing their children a huge disservice.

You can make them own "IT" without yoking your kids with years of debt. If you want your kids to go to a CC and then a state school while accumulating 20k in debt go for it.

My wife and I will work a little more, make them get jobs, make them contribute, but no debt or minimal, and we will see where their hard work in high school takes them. They may flounder, they may fail, but they won't have debt because mom and dad were to selfish to help them out. Nor will they have the pressure of working 40hrs a week.

In 2018 when the average cost of a state school with room and board is over 25k/yr.

It is funny because parents always teach their kids to be forward thinking, plan for the future, but how many parents say, "Whoopsy planning for your college, I'm sorry, I forgot to do that?

Lastly, the college you described is the most basic kind, it is the working adult version of it. It is not the 4 year, competitive institution with research every summer, clubs, study abroad, and volunteering that many kids do today. What do those kids do?

Different strokes for different folks though and as long as your family unit is strong, bonds are close, and they are growing as adults/careers then that is awesome!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 15, 2018:

Congratulations on your hard work and best wishes with your boxing career. That is awesome. I do not think kids are "bums" when they rely on their parents for help. My kids had jobs and school, and for part of the time, they lived at home. I never considered them "bums," even when they were more into their social life than their academics. Ha! They were normal kids who were learning and growing as they went.

Thanks for sharing! I wish you the best and hope all goes well with you. I admire you for going after your dreams.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 15, 2018:

Wow... Many people marry young and are poor. Please do not "shame" those people for doing the best they can when you obviously do not understand. My mother helped me in a way she could as we did with our children. In return, there was lots of giving but not with money. There are lots of ways to help that do not include money or enabling. My kids are doing great. Both have great jobs and savings accounts because they know how to budget their money.

Yan Marrero on November 04, 2018:

I'm currently studying for a Major in Cell & Molecular Biology, my parents are willingly paying my tuition mostly because they understand that what I'm studying for is something I shouldn't need to work for how difficult the classes can be (to the point I was every night in the library). I'm also an amateur boxer and I was taking a break to focus on my studies. Currently I'm looking for work offseason to save up some money. I may not know the burden they've gone through but I'm willing to ease up at least some of it for college. Though I really don't mind going to work, my problem is whether or not parents pay or don't pay for their children. The one thing that bothers me that society perceive as people who studies but don't work and parents pay their tuition are considered bums because parents are "maintaining" him/her. Most parents do it because they want their child to focus more, and they don't mind as long as they graduate and become successful. Granted, I know students who manage to do both study/work and are honor students, and although they do manage, sometimes work gets between their academic progression. Although possible, I'm trying to balance it with boxing since I aim to turn pro in few years. However, it still bothers me that because students live with parents income are considered bums of society. I think people who thinks that way should no be concerned and at least let them do what they love.

Still, I can understand and agree with few points made in the article. I think parents should do what's best for their child, whether to teach them to defend themselves, but not to the point of putting all the pressure on him/her. We know as next leaders of the future of our nations we will need be prepared for what comes ahead.

Mindy on October 29, 2018:

Your parents should have charged you for daycare or told you to pay for it somewhere else to add to your struggle. You married young and uneducated. There is half of the problem. There was mever going to be the possibility of paying for their education, anyway. I wouldn’t never make my children pay for undergrad. It’s a gift so they don’t have to deal with a heavy financial burden. Kids of their own? Home ownership? Not likely with debt. It’s called opening a savings plan for 18 years and not having kids while poor. What a shame.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 08, 2018:

To "You don't understand..."

Yes, I do understand that parents' income is taken into account, but my kids still chose to go to college and own it. Yes, like me, they have student loans, but I did not "make" my children choose that route. As a matter of fact, they made some bad choices in their first two years that caused them to lose scholarship money. They were young and made mistakes and they learned from their mistakes and took on the responsibility for and the consequences for their actions. I am very proud of them for moving forward rather than quitting.

You don't understand... on May 28, 2018:

It is okay to choose not to pay for your child's education, but you should be aware of the financial burden that you are placing on them. Financial aid takes parents' income into account, whether or not the parents plan to contribute. You could easily make your child pay $60,000+ for a private institution when, in reality, their EFC is closer to $0.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2015:

Right, Vicki! As educators of college-aged students, we see the ones who appreciate their education and ones who feel they are entitled. We saw it as students, too. I remember thinking how disrespectful those kids who were there because their parents paid the way. They partied and skipped class and failed many courses. I was four years older than those who were coming from high school, and I don't think they were ready (some, not all). Maturity was needed - and I am not judging because I made plenty of immature, stupid mistakes (live and learn - ha!). When I was paying my own way, I knew I was ready. I loved college because it was what I wanted. Because it was my dime, I worked really hard to be successful for myself and my own little family. I believe kids need to be ready and responsible for their choices and to feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment. I don't believe our parents were treating us "like garbage" as DISAPPOINTMENT implied about me above, nor do I think that is what we intended when our kids had to make their own way, either. I think, no, I know we prepared them for living in this world and gave them a chance to feel self-satisfied in their own success. :-) Also, like you, my mom could not afford to even think about sending me or any of the 7 before me to go to college. What she did for me was much more valuable, which made it possible for me to strive to go to college. I feel blessed for having her as my mother and having the best life education from her. She was my true foundation for success.

Thanks so much for dropping by! It is always good to "see" you! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2015:

Suzette, I am glad you didn't regret paying for your own education. I went to school in the 8O's and had to take out some loans for living expenses - my husband and I were poor as church mice. When my husband went to Iraq in 2003 (our 20th year of marriage) and received hazardous duty pay, I was able to finally pay off my loans. College is expensive, but it was my choice. I don't regret it either.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I know some kids have parents who pay for their college, and they are great kids. I also know that just as when we were going through college, there were, as there still are now, some kids who took advantage and partied because it wasn't their money. Some of them had to leave school, and some of them had parents who continued to pay for more years until the college student became serious about their education. My husband and I are glad we did it on our own (maybe backwards, but on our own terms - Ha!). We both appreciated how important our education was and didn't take for granted one cent we had to pay for school and the choice of being married. It made us stronger and frugal.

Thanks again, and I appreciate you dropping by! :-)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 01, 2015:

I agree, Susan! Parents do not owe their children a college education. Most can't afford it. My parents couldn't it. And we all learned discipline, as you mention, by getting grants, scholarships where we could, working when we could. I think parents are doing their children a disservice by paying for their college. If they're well off, maybe they could pay for certain things, but it is not owed. And students should at least contribute to their own education. Not paying for a kids' college education does not hurt them. I would argue that it does the opposite. It helps them more than it hurts! Great hub!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on April 01, 2015:

I had to pay my way through college. I lived at home and commuted to college and worked 25 to 30 hours per week and took full time classes. I paid all my own tuition and books, for a car and gas. It was not easy but I did it. My parents were financially situated that they could have paid my way, but they felt I would learn more by paying for my own education. They were right. I have never regretted paying for my own education. Of course I went to school in the 70's when it was possible to pay for your own college without having to take out loans. I was very fortunate.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2015:

Disappointment, you are correct in feeling parents should provide a foundation for their children and in raising them to be responsible and independent. My husband and I did that, but we chose not to pay for their college. Neither of my children feel like they have been treated like "a piece of garbage." Both receive our support in their daily lives, but they do not expect financial support. When they decided to leave home, they became responsible for their lives as adults.

Our children are well-rounded adults who want their own independence. They love and respect us and the choices that were made while they were raised. Our adult children are still the center of our world, and we are blessed and fortunate that they want us to be a major part of theirs. We call and text each other several times a week. They come home whenever they want because they want to. They are even Facebook friends with us. They know we are here when they truly need us. We have a wonderful bond and a loving family. I couldn't ask for more.

As you point out, the world is not a nice place to be, but at least our children have a safe place where they know they will always be loved and cherished. They do not resent us for not paying for their college. We raised them to survive in this world, not to feel entitled or to walk around with a chip on their shoulder. We raised them to make good choices in this world full of bad choices. My children are success stories and I am very proud of them.

Thanks for dropping by.

Disappointment on April 01, 2015:

I am truly disgusted at the thought of parents not paying for their children's tuition fees and etc. You chose to bring innocent child/children into this pathetic world and you let them suffer because of your selfish decision. I am truly disgusted with this mindset. Parents should be responsible towards their child/children from A-Z. They did not ask their parents to bring them into this world. So, if you choose to bring a child into this world you should be responsible. This is one of the reasons why I don't want to be a parent. I am not going to bring a child into this world just to let them suffer in this world. They don't and never will deserve to be treated that way. Yeah I know children need to learn how to be independent at some point but at least you should provide the foundation for them to be independent. They do not deserve to be treated like a piece of garbage. They worth more than that.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 20, 2015:

Mary, your hub fits perfectly here. I am happy to share it. I hope your son finds his way through the loans. My daughter is working through it all now. She loves her life, but paying for her own college tuition has caused her to discipline herself. She has friends whose parents who keep giving money to them while they party and fail classes. What a waste... Yes, it is sad for anyone to mortgage their homes for a kid's college education. I hope the kids stick with their majors, graduate on time, and appreciate the gift and sacrifice made for them.

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. So good to see you, and thanks for dropping by and the vote and share!! :-)

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 22, 2015:

I am thrilled to see my Hub on how my daughter won her Scholarships as a related one to this Hub. I now have a son who is attending our local community college and living at home. He was not as ambitious as the daughter who worked hard to win those scholarships, so now he is having to work and earn the money to attend college. I just read in a magazine about how many older folks who mortgaged their homes to pay for grandchildren's college. I think that is very sad.

Voted this UP, and shared.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 22, 2013:

Susan, I can understand your frustration because it took us 20 years to pay off our student loans. Our parents didn't make 200k and neither do we.

You sounded like a great student. Even when my kids had aid, they didn't do very well their first semester or two, but that was on them. We paid for their books when they couldn't, and they knew they could always come home. My youngest is just starting her major. She is very excited and is trying to get everything in order. She has learned how to be organized and how to handle finances - not a fun thing to learn but necessary for all of us.

I am sorry you have fallen on hard times. I hope you are able to use your hard-earned degree to get a job soon. I'm sorry your parents don't see or are ignoring your needs. I do believe in helping our children on hard times. I just wanted them to take ownership in their education - I didn't want to pay for their time to party and the resulting failed grades, and kids and parents often learn that lesson the hard way.

Best wishes to you! Thank you for sharing your story.

Susan on November 22, 2013:

My parents never paid for my school, I moved out at 16 and supported myself. I was able to get a few thousand in grants and scholarships but nothing substantial to pay for the education I received. I completed a year of prehealth and a nursing degree, second to top in the class, paid everything myself with student loans, I own a house now and have a daughter of my own. Work has been tough lately, sometimes working several casual jobs and/or contract work and at the moment I am on unemployment, actively looking for work. I owe 50, 000 in student loans and 10, 00 in credit card debt from school. My minimum monthly payments are 800 a month to pay student loans back alone plus other debts, all my money goes to debt, I have no money for savings. I am trying so hard to save for my daughters education, especially when working I put away as much as I can so she can have a better life,then me, one free of debt, I want to pay for her school, hopefully I will have saved enough for at least a degree's worth of tuition, so when she graduates she can be debt free and enjoy her life and the education that I provided for her. Myself, I am soo stressed out, I have chronic anxiety worrying about bills all the time, I cry everyday, and it's all I can do to accept that my parents chose not to help me, even though they make over 200K a year. I work very hard to try to not be resentful, because that just makes you more unhappy at the end of the day. If they could not have afforded to help I would understand, that is why student loans are there and these people should not feel guilt if you cannot afford it but if you can afford to save a little bit each month, for your child, please do, they will appreciate it. I almost had to drop out the last year when the loans weren't enough and they still turned me down even then, and I have never taken money from them ever and they have never offered, it is hard to feel good about myself today, knowing my parent's care so little about me and my daughters future and welll being and that they could help and choose not to. Paying for my own school did not help me feel any better about myself and I regret going to school now, so that is how it was for me, I am 30 years old.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 16, 2013:

Hi ShayMarie!! Congratulations on getting your degree in 4 years... took me 4 1/2 with summers. LOL I am so glad you mentioned the loan situation with your husband. I would like to encourage you to write a hub about it. People need to know this.

I received a Sallie Mae loan info in the mail the other day for my daughter. I still have it put aside to look over for her. I will be throwing it away now. We try to help her find scholarships. We always work on FASFA with her, and now we will be looking at loans with her. I received the old Stafford Loan at 8%, which was good back then. I had the financial department at the college help me. You are obviously a more recent graduate, so I think a hub on how the loans are good or bad or misleading would be so helpful.

Thanks for the information. I am so glad you dropped by! :-)

Shay Marie from California on June 15, 2013:

This is a great article. My parents were lucky enough to have the money to pay for my college education, but I know first hand that this is not always possible. My parents also only agreed to pay for school so long as I went to a public university in our home state. I chose a practical major and graduated in 4 years with a decent GPA (but nothing to brag about!). I firmly agree that going to community college, followed by 2 years at a university, is the smartest way to go when paying for your own school.

I believe that a students' motivation to graduate on time or make "smart" financial decisions will vary from student to student, based on their own personality and involvement from their parents. Much of my motivation to be responsible was internal. My husband, on the other hand, graduated from a private (for profit) university in 6 years and he paid for all his education on his own with loans and grants. It goes to show you that paying for your own education does not always equal financial responsibility!

Now, 4 years out of school, we're realizing that if things continue the way they have been, there is a good chance he will never be able to pay back his loans in full. The payments and interest rates are that high. I'm grateful that at least my financial situation is simple!

I think it is very important that if a parent does not pay for their child's college education, they at least help them make smart financial choices when it comes to taking out student loans. Federal loans come with excellent repayment options, but private loans leave much less wiggle room. If a private student loan is large enough, and a person does not have enough income to pay them, that lender will not offer income based repayment in the same way federal loans do. My husband (and his parents) did not know this when they took the loans out because they thought Sallie Mae was a federal institution. Also, the year after my husband started school was the year that bankruptcy protection was stripped from private loans. Many people in situations like ours have run out of options and, without the option of bankruptcy, there is no fail-safe. A lot of new borrowers do not know this and it is a dangerous lesson to learn after the fact.

John from Irvine, California on April 26, 2013:

Very interesting. I'm constantly finding ways to save money for my 6-year-old's future education, but I like your way better!

I think that all kids are different and each kid learns responsibility and accountability in different ways. Some people need only to be told what to do, while others need to be shown what to do.

Since you believe this system to have worked very well for you and yours, from a strictly genetic standpoint I think you may be on the right track!

Good hub. Keep writing. Voted up.

Shelly Epperly from Vancouver,WA on April 26, 2013:

Beautifu Hub...I agree whole heatedly, Our girls will all pay for their own college if they want to go. We will provide a place to stay if needed and help out with the essentials if they are pulling their weight with grades and responsibilities. Thank you for writing a great hub.

MaryBeth Walz from Maine on April 26, 2013:

Great hub! I found, as we put together financial stuff for our daughter to go to college this year, that my husband and I differed somewhat in how we thought about this as we'd had different experiences growing up. In the 80's, tuition was less than room and board and I was responsible for room and board. It was also possible for me to get a 40 hr/week job that paid above minimum wage. That's so different now. Even adults find it difficult to find jobs that are 40 hrs per week, especially just temporary ones. My husband was reimbursed completely for his tuition on the undergraduate level. We've decided to pay what it costs (tuition as she will live at home) what it costs to go to our local state university. Since she decided to go to a local college of art, she will pay the difference. Because of the scholarships she was awarded, it will not be too much, but enough so she has some stake in the process. The way we look at it, she earned those herself and deserves to have that included in her contributions. But we never saved for college and instead took trips to France a few times - worth a lifetime's education!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 24, 2013:

Thanks Tips to Retire! Responsibility and accountability are important lessons all children (and adults) should learn and practice. There are lessons in failing just as there are lessons in succeeding.

Thanks so much for dropping by! :-)

tipstoretireearly from New York on April 24, 2013:

Very helpful guide. I'm a firm believer in making sure the people who make decisions are responsible for paying the costs of their decisions, and your view of having children pay for their own college is an excellent example of that philosophy. Excellent hub!

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

I wholeheartedly agree. :)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 02, 2013:

Hi Danielle and Scribenet! I agree, if the child is willing to contribute by keeping grades up and concentrating on doing their best, parents who can help pay should. There is nothing wrong with helping our kids. We should not enable them or make them feel they are entitled to something they haven't earned, though. If the appreciation is being shown in some form, great! If not and the kid is doing his/her own thing with education on the back burner because mom and dad are flitting the bill, then funding should be "denied." Education is important, but it must be important to the student more than it is the student's parent.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2013:

I do think, paying for your own education is a great motivator to succeed... because that is how I did it. I invested in myself big-time... my parents could not afford my education.

That said, if the parents have the ability to help and the child is motivated then that is wonderful. Education is so important!

danielleantosz from Florida on April 01, 2013:

If you can afford to pay for your kid's college and it keeps them from taking out loans I think you should, but they should contribute something. But if you can't, there is no reason to feel guilty. My folks could not help me at all and it took me 10 years and loans to finish. Lots of my friends had everything paid for -classes, rent, food, etc. And they did not appreciate it and had no idea how to manage money. If you can help, awesome. If not, they'll figure it out.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2013:

Hi Wayne! I truly believe we got through college with ownership and appreciation for our own accomplishments more so than those who had it paid for them. Also, I believe we were more focused because it was our money/loans on the line. You are right, our parents didn't benefit from our education. I know my mother was very proud of me, but I am glad I didn't saddle her with the bill. I am thinking the age for big boy/girl britches is higher than it was when we were kids/young adults, but that doesn't mean there isn't a way. Some parents just can't pay for college. It is all about choices for our kids to make about their lives. Just as our parents don't benefit from our education, they can't live for us either.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2013:

Hi NMLady! Sounds like the girl didn't appreciate what she had while she had it. Maybe she did in her own way. I am glad she is on her way now. She probably feels ownership in her own life for having to pay in the end.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Wayne Brown from Texas on April 01, 2013:

I agree with you totally here. I went the community college route followed by two additional years at the university level. I completed my BS is four years which is better than some of my peers who took longer or did not complete it at all. My parents helped where they could but mostly it was student loans which I had to pay back later. Those loans can be staggering in size now but I also think there is a different approach today. When students borrow money today they include the cost of just about everything from clothing to cars to housing and tuition. My loans involved only room and cars, clothes or social spending. Later on, when I had to repay the loans, I was very glad that I had kept it to those levels. Education is an investment in ourselves. No one else will benefit financially in that regard thus the investment or debt associated with that investment should belong to the person who reaps the reward. My parents lives did not improve one iota financially from my education thus I never expected that they pay for it. We all have to put on our big boy and big girl britches and find a way on our own. Good stuff! ~WB

NMLady from New Mexico & Arizona on April 01, 2013:

Interesting how things have changed. I had to get scholarships to go to college. I also worked. Later on during my second marriage I married into a situation where the Mom and Dad were paying totally for their daughter's education. They were even paying extra so she could have her own apt because she did not like dorm living. (?)

I went along since it was the last 1.5 years of her SIX years to get year she just quit after the date of getting the fees back, she changed majors AND she came out with NO marketable skills but straight As.

She then went off to Japan to teach on the money she got from the car WE bought her. Came home and asked us to pay for Grad. school.

By that time my Hubby and his ex. had figured out she needed to pay her own way. (Whew!)

Well, she has another degree, straight As and has FINALLY landed a REAL job.

She should have SO paid her own way from the beginning. I think she would have gotten a better first degree. She is in her mid-thirties now and JUST starting her working life.

Paying her way did her NO FAVORS at all!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 01, 2013:

Wow! I am just sharing my experiences. Please don't blame me for your ex's shortcomings. He would have found an excuse whether he read my article or not.

I wish you and your children the best.

Harry J. on April 01, 2013:

Greetings -- just wanted you to know that your article is the impetus for my

daughter's birth father to not meet his obligations. He quotes you. He paid virtually no child support -- the divorce decree said that "Mr. X will pay for the room, board, and tuition for any college Diane choses to go to".

Now we have we kids in college simultaneously and it is killing me. The man is a true bum -- he needed some excuse for his lack of responsibility and you gave it to him.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 04, 2013:

I have lived the big picture and had to make all those choices. The debt did not consume my life. I had to figure out how to pay for it, and I did. I had a family, a home, and was able to go to the doctor. I love my job. It is the one I went to college for and I have worked additional jobs along the way. It took a long time to pay off my loans, but I did it. We lived frugally, and we didn't go without. My kids are doing the same thing. My son is married with a house and a new car. He works and is about to graduate. My daughter is in her junior year of college. They know how to budget their money for the things they want. It is all possible and it is all based on choices.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Howdy on March 03, 2013:

I was searching the internet for "Deciding not to have any children because my school loans are too much." It's good to remember the bigger picture of having a huge amount of debt. I mean, do you want your children to make decisions about the rest of their life (where they live, having children, getting married, going to the doctor, taking a job they like or hate, buying a house...) based on their outstanding loans?

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 28, 2012:

Hi Kathleen! Our state has the same program, and both my kids took advantage of it. It is a wonderful program kids can take advantage of if they have kept their GPA high enough.

Our purpose is we want our kids to own their education and their independence. It is a difficult time for many college graduates and jobs but if there is a sense of responsibility, survival follows.

Congratulations on your hard work and accomplishments. Thanks for sharing your story. :-)

kathleenkat from Bellingham, WA on August 27, 2012:

Great hub; in my state we have a program where you can attend the community college in high school, and earn both college and high school credits while doing so. I graduated with 60 credits, for free, then continued on at the community college before transferring to a 4 year university.

It's definitely awesome that you made your kids pay. I chose to take the hard way, refusing money from my parents, and working. My sibling, however, took all he could get, and had his tuition, dorm, food, car, etc. ALL paid for. And now my sibling has graduated, and moved back home with the parents. I think parents paying their kid's education is just prolonging childhood. In high school, everything wasy paid for. In college, you should learn to pay for yourself! And what easier way to do it than in school, with a bunch of your peers, facing the same hardships???

People who end up getting paid-for through college, end up 23 years old, with NO established credit, NO work history, and they wonder why they can't find a job and need to move back home?

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 10, 2012:

Hi Entourage, I'm glad your parents were able to help you. It is hard for young people to live out and go to college. I have helped my kids with books because they are so outrageous, but they have figured out ways to pay for the rest.

I also wish college were more affordable. I remember when I went, I got upset when tuition went up because new landscaping would start taking place around campus the following semester. Today, the costs are ridiculously high. It is almost like there is a weeding out process taking place.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on August 10, 2012:

This article made a lot of sense to me and I agree with many of the points you made, when I have kids I will share a similar approach. But I am not a parent yet, and I was very fortunate to have my parents pay for some college expenses. One thing is for sure, its hard to find a job now and pay rent and be a full time college student. Many people manage to do it, I was very fortunate to have some assistance. But I must also admit that sometimes I did take tuition fees and other expenses for granted. I only wish college was more affordable, textbooks by themselves are a huge burden. Great article.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 17, 2012:

Monica, thanks so much for sharing your story. College truly is a training ground for resourcefulness, persistence, and dedication. Some classes may be theory compared to the real world, but paying for classes brings on a whole new reality as far as how seriously you take them in order to make the grade.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 17, 2012:

Monica, thanks so much for sharing your story. College truly is a training ground for resourcefulness, persistence, and dedication. Some classes may be theory compared to the real world, but paying for classes brings on a whole new reality as far as how seriously you take them in order to make the grade.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 16, 2012:

I paid for my entire education myself also and honestly, that was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don't believe that I would have been as successful with my businesses if I hadn't had to scrap my way through. You have to learn resourcefulness at some point and that was one of the main ways I learned it.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 15, 2012:

Thanks, StegToDiffer, I don't want to be misunderstood either. There are some great kids whose parents are paying for their college or helping to pay for their college and have the common sense to take advantage of it. It is about ownership and whether you are paying for yourself or getting help, it is up to the individual to take ownership in their education. Good luck with college!

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 15, 2012:

CollegeDad, I agree that our kids should not be "rated" on their financial aid applications by what their parents make. That is something that should be factored out of the process. It keeps so many kids from going to college. What looks good on paper isn't necessarily the real monetary value that can be placed in hand. It makes me angry that our higher education system is making it harder on our kids in these ways.

I remember when I was going, my university costs tripled before I graduated, but boy the added trees that took away much needed space in the parking lots and the new stadium sure did look nice. :/

My daughter is going to college and living at home right now. She is busting at the seams to get out. She will have to make that decision on her own though. She knows she always has a home, food, and essentials.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Spunk Nellie from New York, NY on July 15, 2012:

Although I personally am not paying for all of my college expenses (I will, however, pay a grand majority) I still believe strongly in what I think is the thesis of this Hub: Ownership is the most powerful motivational tool, especially when the ownership is based in something like education. Excellent Hub.

collegedad from The Upper Peninsula on July 15, 2012:

Wow! Well said! My daughter has been told that she has a place to stay should she decide to go to college locally or online. Other than that she's on her own financially. I agree that a child should own their education. I also feel that a parents finances should not reflected in the financial aid application process. This cripples so many college kids. Especially those that are estranged from their parents.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 26, 2012:

Hi RunningDeer! I hear ya. We had been married 20 years when I finally paid off my student loans - and we were only able to do that because my husband was serving in Iraq and received hazardous duty pay. College costs are outrageous today. It was hard when I went, but it is even harder now.

Our parents couldn't afford to help us, and we don't have the money for our kids. They are working hard to find ways to pay for their tuition, just like we did.

Congratulations on your successful graduation. I know you have a bright future ahead of you and understand your feelings for setting up a college fund for your kids.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 26, 2012:

Thanks, Christy! I appreciate you dropping by! :-)

RunningDeer from Iowa on June 26, 2012:

Contrary to popular belief, there are responsible students out there who are now buried in debt, absolutely buried.

Why do I know this?

Because I am one of them.

I just graduated in four years, and have thousands and thousands of dollars of debt.

You are just a kid, and your parents tell you to go to college. So you do. You trust your parents. And you don't realize the debt, the loans, that it will be a crippling thing on your life.


When I have kids, I'm starting a college fund. They can help pay for school too, but I don't want my children being 23 and 70,000 in debt if I can help it.

I understand what you are saying and I do agree that there are kids who are not responsible. But I worked my butt off to graduate on time and with good grades. I love my parents, but they never had any money to help me. I wish they could have, but the least I can do is help my kids someday.

College debt now exceeds credit card debt in the United States. But in this world, a person often needs further schooling to obtain a decent job. So you have to go to school to get a job so that you can pay off your schooling. This isn't right. Something obviously needs to change here.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 26, 2012:

This is such an inspiring hub, I can see why you have so many positive comments left here!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 17, 2012:

DrStabile, you really do have a front row seat. I had no idea parents bought books without their kids knowing which books were bought. I didn't know parents could register their kids, either, since they are over 18 years old. I would agree that these kids will have problems adjusting to figuring out things in the real world.

I appreciate your comment and thanks for dropping by!

Drstabile on June 16, 2012:

I agree. I work in a college bookstore, and I help students every day who do not know what books they paid for because their parents ordered them. Some of them don't know what classes they are in because their parents registered them! These kids have a lot of adjusting to do. Thank you for posting this. Thumbs up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 30, 2012:

Congratulations on YOUR accomplishments, Carozy! My kids can stay home as long as they want, and I can help them with living expenses that way - as parents do from birth until they become independent and decide to leave. I think your parents must be very proud of you!

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

carozy from San Francisco on May 29, 2012:

I think this is a great article. My parents are middle class and instead of paying for my or my sister's college education, they allowed us to live at their home rent free as long as we were in college. I worked and paid my way through college and got an AA and a BA. It never even occurred to me to ask my parents for money - they saved me all that rent money and deserve to have their own retirement money untouched by my paws. I felt proud of my work ethic and understood the value of a dollar much more than my friends who got a free ride. It wasn't even hard. I got to work a variety of jobs through college and got much more experience in the real world that translated to an easy transition to full-time work once I graduated.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 03, 2012:

Hi SuperMom! I bet you have super kids! :-) It is just so tough to pay for college today. I do think they appreciate it more when they figure out how to get through than when we figure it out or do it for them. Not all, but some.

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)

supermom_in_ny from NY on May 02, 2012:

I couldn't pay for my children's either. They got grants and scholarships. It is true. They appreciate it more.

Voted up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Thanks, AM! I appreciate you reading! :-)

am301986 from New Delhi on April 20, 2012:

Great post... This is really great idea for parents who will think necessary steps for child growth. Thanks for sharing. cheers :)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 19, 2012:

OlderSister, you are right about trying to balance it so you don't over-extend yourself or your child. It is a tough call. Hopefully, our economy will start looking up. I know my experience made me more responsible and gave me a better work ethic. It seems to be doing the same for my two kids, too. Both took advantage of community college, which is a great option! :-)

Thanks for reading! :-)

oldersister on April 19, 2012:

Sholland10, We are going through the college searches right now. I have some money saved for my children to go to a state college and commute and work a pt job. I am trying to convince my child to not burden herself with loans just so she can go away. I definitely agree not to take out parent loans especially with the economy the way it is today. You do not not if you will have a job tomorrow or next year. Not to mention that these kids are taking out such elaborate loans, are graduating and there are no jobs and they can not pay it back. You have to look at the big picture. Its not about paying for your kids college its about over extending yourself and your child and putting yourselves in debt.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 19, 2012:

Hi Emily, I understand what you are saying. College is so expensive. I wish you and your child the best of luck. We did not have the money to stash for our kids. Our parents didn't have it for us, either, and that was back when college was much more affordable. I think it is great that you are going to be involved with your child's education.

Thanks for reading! :-)

emily 123 on April 19, 2012:

I will be funding my child's education. My parents didn't fund my education and it's been hell. Just because your 18 does not make you an adult. Especially with today's economy no job is guaranteed especially if your competing with someone who is available to work all the time. And the cost of college is so expensive why not have money stashed, the price of college is only going to increase and when that time comes my child will not have to worry about their future.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 09, 2012:

Hi Sooner! You have a great record. :-) I used Pell Grants too, and I knew I had to keep my grades up in order to keep them. Being older and having a family made a world of difference for me. Keeping my grades up led to scholarships, so I did feel ownership in my education because it was my hard work that made it work. Looks like you made it work really well, too. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 09, 2012:

Thanks, Michael. I think many of us who were either older when we went or who have taught for several years can see the difference. I am glad you came back to share your observations. :-)

Sooner28 on April 09, 2012:

I graduated with a 3.77, the top 15% of my class, and my tuition was covered by Pell Grants. I'm not sure there is any relationship between paying for your own schooling and taking ownership of it.

Micheal from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:

Just backing up PHDast7 comments, not that she needs it.

I attended Middlesex University which had a 75% mature student intake.

We consistently outperformed Both Oxford & Cambridge Univeristies in terms of pass rates.

More 1st and 2.1's.

These mature students had outperformed Oxbridge for 7 years when I left in 1989.

I assume that not much has changed, Middlesex is one of the mose successful Univerisities in Britain in terms of results.

It may not have the history of Oxbridge but I know where I would go if I was starting again

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 09, 2012:

Paul, I love my kids, but I would still be afraid to co-sign with them. I would be afraid of exactly what you explained above, that they would not pay the loan. I am not saying that my kids are not trustworthy, but there are chances they wouldn't get a job or some other life altering change, which would prevent them from paying. I admire you and your sisters for holding up to your end of the deal. As a mom, it would be so tempting to help them out. That is why we have taken the stand that we have taken. They have complete ownership of their education. Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 08, 2012:

Clinton, scholarships are wonderful if you can get them. When you are able to get a scholarship, you have already taken on a responsibility. Then you take on another one when you maintain it. You become more and more independent doing that great work for yourself. Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 08, 2012:

This is a very interesting and useful hub. I agree that parents should not be expected to pay for their kids' education. When I was younger, my parents co-signed on loans for me and my two sisters. Although we all paid the loans off, many kids will not pay off the loans and the parents are left with the responsibility. It is definitely true that if kids pays for their own education, they will be more responsible and get better grades. I am sharing this with my followers.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 08, 2012:

Natasha, you go girl! I know your parents are very proud of you. Congratulations for taking the bull by the horns and doing it yourself. :-)

clintonb from Adelaide, Australia on April 08, 2012:

Scholarships are a really good option I feel! It does make one independent and its something to be really proud of.

Natasha from Hawaii on April 08, 2012:

My parents didn't pay for my college because I had scholarships. I worked hard in high school. He a great GPA and went to school "for free."

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 07, 2012:

PHDast7! WOW, WHAT A GREAT COMMENT coming from someone who sees it firsthand every day. Thank you so much for validating my points with your examples. Some people think I am mean not to pay for my kids' college, but it is not mine to pay for. They have to own it, and everything you said rings true about ownership, money, and maturity. I am so glad you dropped by, read, and commented. Thank You! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 07, 2012:

Michael, didn't we have all our classes together? LOL Thanks so much for dropping by, voting, and sharing! :-)

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on April 07, 2012:

Your observations are appropriate and correct. It is an absolute fact of human nature for all of us that we appreciate more and work harder for things we pay for ourselves. It is also true that not everyone is mature enough, focused enough or committed enough to go to college at 18. A year or two or three spent working and saving money is incredibly good preparation for college.

I say this as a college professor, 18 years in public universities and private college. With only the fewest exceptions, students who are paying their own way, or a substantial part of their own way OUTPERFORM students whose parents are covering all their expenses.

It's a fact. Students who are paying for all or a substantial part of their schooling work harder, they exercise a level of discipline and commitment that cannot be matched. They don't fail and then retake the same course 2 or 3 times (they cannot afford to). Their classes and their future are their priorities, not extracurricular activities and sports and social activities. They select a major carefully and then drive toward it. They often pursue a minor that will help them in their career path instead taking a random selection of "easy and fun" classes.

I see these students all the time, with very few exceptions, they are not mature enough to remain focused and disciplined when somebody else's money is on the line - there is absolutely no sense of personal responsibility because there is no personal cost.

I highly recommend the following: Community College - they can transfer after earning their associates degree if they want and need to; students living at home and attending a local college (saving anywhere from four to eight thousand dollars a year); paying for no more than half of college expenses even if you can afford to pay it all - you are not doing your son or daughter any favors by making it too easy and cost-free.

MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! There is a form that you and your child should sign. entitling you to talk to professors l directly about your son or daughter's grades and progress. You will have to ASK for the Form. Most colleges don't mention it because students don't like it (of course they don't!!). Without that form, I cannot talk to you by email or phone, even when you ask me specific questions, even though I know that your child is doing terribly, having all kinds of problems, and is about to throw away two thousand dollars (public tuition, books, fees) up to fourteen thousand dollars (private tuition, books, fees, dormitory, food plan) on a year's worth of education. The money will be gone, their GPA trashed, rage and/or serious depression often accompany failing out of college.

Don't let this happen. Stay involved, sign the release form, ask questions - get answers, make your child a stakeholder in their own education by insisting that they pay for at least half of it, encourage them to work a couple of years if they are not ready yet, encourage part-time work and part-time classes, be there to help if you can, but do not do it for them. Be the responsible, disciplined adult if they are not able to be.

Micheal from United Kingdom on April 07, 2012:

Hi Susan,

If you change the name you have my story too.

I had 3 children when it dawned on me.

I needed to get an education.

There were many young students at my college and many were aimless.

They saw college as either a chore or time to party.

There were many mature students like me.

We worked our butts off in and out of college.

I totally agree with you.

'We should not pay for our children's college'

They really need to earn it and own it.

They can only do that by having to struggle and pay for it themselves.

Voted up 4/5 buttons. sharing

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 16, 2012:

Thanks, ClassicMovieFan! I have heard several stories about kids falling between the cracks because of their parents' income. I want my daughter to stay at home to save on expenses, too, but she is bound and determined to move out this summer. She is very independent, but I know when she moves out she will feel the financial crunch. The problem is that she will be stuck in a lease. Hopefully when the time gets here, she will reconsider.

Thanks so much for dropping by and the vote! :-)

ClassicMovieFan on March 16, 2012:

Great hub! I would love for my daughters to go to Community college first and i don't think they will have a problem with it. They can even stay at home and I would recommend them to stay and help out with groceries since they will have a part time job. I paid my own way. My parents were broke but made too much money (haha, middle class woes. Anyway, Great Information. Voted up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 15, 2012:

Oldersister, that sounds like a fair deal. They know there is only so much for college, and they need to take advantage of it. :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

oldersister on March 14, 2012:

We have tried to save some money over the years for our kids for college, but as time is drawing near going away seems almost out of the question. We may have to go the community college route, I would hate for them to come out of school with such a big debtso I am discouraging them to take out loans and try to make what I have saved for them stretch, after what I saved is gone its all up to them

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 14, 2012:

Thank you, Kathleen. I hope to be back to individual responses soon. Take care!

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on March 14, 2012:

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 13, 2012:

Hello All,

Again, I apologize for not responding to each of you. As I stated above several days ago, but you might have missed it, there has been a death in my family.

I am overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of your responses. I think all of you agree about the responsibility part of children in college. Not all college students would waste their parents money. Some of you have shared stories similar to the ones I have told about my family, and I completely relate. Some of you have children you know are going to work hard and are more than happy to pay for their college - they are showing you they are mature and responsible enough, so you are paying their way. In that situation, I think it is great.

@My Mind's Eye - I was told I was not college material too. During high school, they were absolutely right about me. LOL But when I went, I got every scholarship with my high GPA. We showed them, didn't we!! :-)

My main point is about those kids who do not understand money and the importance of an education (all do not fall into that category). It made me and my family more responsible for our own actions. My husband and I were loved and supported by all. My husband and I love and support our kids, just not financially. They each know they have a place to stay (my son and his wife live out on their own) and food to eat. Right now it is working out well. It is all a life-learning lesson.

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to comment. I appreciate you so much.

cookies4breakfast from coastal North Carolina on March 13, 2012:

Kids should be responsible for at least a portion of their education. It will make them better citizens in the long run, and they'll value their education more. My parents couldn't afford to send me, so I worked and got loans. I never missed class because I was paying for it. The downside is that I was always exhausted and missed out on the social aspect of university life.

Mark Shulkosky from Pennsylvania on March 13, 2012:

@Keith Tax, I like your comment. To paraphrase, 'My parents hate me, they paid for my college education.' It is profound and having put 4 kids through college, I absolutely agree (and I think they would too).

@sholland10, this is a great hub and the comments/discussion are making it even better. Thanks for writing it.

Ann Leung from San Jose, California on March 13, 2012:

I always believe the benefits of giving the kids their chances to succeed and fail on their own. Great hub! Thank you for sharing it. :)

chamilj from Sri Lanka on March 13, 2012:

This is really an interesting idea. Voted up!

Maude Keating from Tennessee on March 13, 2012:

My parents offered help to my older sister and my younger sister to go to college. My older sister worked several jobs to make her way through to graduation. My younger partied her way out of college the first semester and wasted the money spent to get her there. Why wasn't I offered help? My parents and I were told I was not college "material", not smart enough. I was never even approached about wanting to go.

Since then I went to college twice held a 3.6 gpa. How did I go? The first time I worked two jobs to go, the second time I won a full scholarship and made the Deans list. I don't know why I wasn't college material, but I proved them wrong. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way and not expect it handed to you.

My older sister and I were first generation college students and grads. Our parents didn't even finish high school (through no fault of their own).

Brett C from Asia on March 13, 2012:

Having paid for all my own studies, I agree that it can be beneficial. It was hard work, but made me study harder as I understood the costs involved. The end result was good grades, and although it sounds hard, I probably would not have worked as hard if the funding was handed to me on a plate.

Thanks for SHARING.

suebee62 from South Carolina on March 12, 2012:

I am neither for college or against it. Neither my husband and I went to college and we are doing fine financially. We have a daughter who we do not require to go to college, but if she wants we can contribute. She is currently home schooled and is two grades ahead, smart as a whip, but doesn't have any desire to go. That is okay with us. What ever she does in life is fine. The also have Running Start programs for high school students and is tuition free if one so chooses to go this route.

My girlfriend, who has two B of A degrees, earned in her four years of College, Dean's list all four years is currently an admin rep for a vo tech school. She said, unless you are going to go into sometime of medicine, lawyer, or something that needs a degree, kids are today wasting their time and money as these vo tech schools give the same thing in half the time. Another friend, who went to 8 years of school, studying medicine, came out with 6 degrees, is currently an intern at a hospital in Washington and makes less than my husband and has over 300,000. in school bills.

So, from what I have seen and experienced, college today is not something that one needs to make the big bucks or to be successful. It is the determination of the one who wants to be successful and make money.

So, with that all being said, I do think that college is something kids should pay for if they want to go that route, teaching them responsibility and holding them accountable for something that they set out to do. Today, to many parents just hand the kids money, buy them what ever and the kids turn out irresponsible and spoiled.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on March 12, 2012:

Hello there! This is a very interesting read as I am actually getting a bit worried about my youngest' forthcoming post secondary education. She's finishing high school next year and is well determined to enter university after that. Hopefully we'll find a way to help her through. Thanks for a well written article.

ecoggins from Corona, California on March 12, 2012:

Magnificent hub. I am impressed that you even have 56 comments (28 not counting your own I guess) in only four days. This speaks to the quality of your hubs. I have three children currently in college. Two are attending private Christian universities. For the most part, they are paying their own way (either through scholarships or loans). Fortunately, they are both doing well enough to maintain their dean and president's awards. Our son also spent the first year socializing and joining clubs that adversely affected his grades and his grades also suffered for it. He's seems to be back on track now. Still, I wish I would have had access to your insights before we started. Great points.

najordan89 from Oklahoma on March 12, 2012:

It's nice to hear this from a parent's point-of-view.

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship that paid for about 3/4 of my tuition. My dad and step-mom were blessed enough to make enough money to pay for what my scholarship did not cover. I did, however, have to pay for room and board, along with books, and any sort of fees. I worked part-time as a waitress so the money was pretty good, and I was able to get through 4 1/2 years of college without getting a loan.

Fortunate enough, too, is that I live in a town that as an accredited university. It isn't a junior college or a community college, so I knew was I was getting a decent education. In truth, I felt challenged in my major department and really felt I received a good college education.

Nare Gevorgyan on March 12, 2012:

Very interesting...

Michelle Trimbur from Ohio on March 12, 2012:

My parents paid for my siste's college and I paid for my own. We both graduated (took her 5 years and me 8). We both are average middle-aged, middle-income americans raising our own kids now. I have to say I think there is a lot of chance or hand-of-fate involved in a young adult's success at school. I don't know what I'll do financially with my own kids' education, but I do know that if I had a lot of money right now I'd pay my mortgage off before I would set it aside for my kid's college tuition.

freemarketingnow from California on March 12, 2012:

I think the children can pay some, but I want the primary focus of my children to be on school. If they spend too much time working and that gets in the way of them learning and succeeding in their classes, I don't think that's good.

Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on March 12, 2012:

I am with you on this one, sholland10. My children will fund their own education (take ownership, as you say it.) My finances are not the issue. The real issue is responsibility. If I "give" them an education, they will place less value on it compared to the value if they work for it.

My parents paid nothing toward my college education. As a result, I prized my time in college. I spent more time working toward my goals and no time partying. My grades bumped against 4.0 while my high school grades were much lower.

Without any doubt in my mind, I know I would not be where I am today if my parents hated me enough to foot my college bill. Some lessons are not taught in the classroom. I think I learned all the lessons, in the classroom and out, well.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on March 12, 2012:

Sharicey makes a good point: "I think the experience taught them a lot of good things but I don't think it was worth the stress and emotional toll it took on their lives. I think they would be just as appreciative, independent and responsible adults that they are today even if their parents paid for them to go to college."

It's one thing if the parents aren't financially able to help. But the cost of the first semester of my son's freshman year would have paid for my education from Day One through the fall semester of my junior year. What teenager can find a job that will cover that? Tuition has tripled in the 12 years our kids were in college.

I paid my own way through college by being a secretary and going to night school for 3 years. By then I was old enough to get a loan myself to cover my last two years: $3,000.

College costs a great deal more than that today. I'm proud to be able to ensure my children have it better than I did. Their part of the deal was to go to class and do their best. They did and their appreciation I hope will come in their commitment to do the same for their children. Every family has to decide what works best for them.