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Do parents have an obligation to pay part or all of their children’s college costs?

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Ginger Williams
Ginger Williams
3 months ago

Parents have an obligation to help their children become self-supporting adults. That may include helping seek a part-time job as a teenager to develop responsibility, encouraging them to assess their aptitudes and preferences honestly so they can decide what career preparation is appropriate, filling out financial aid forms, or helping pay for college. Some well-paid trades are not best learned in college. Parents should try to set aside funds to help their children get started in self-supporting adult life, but college may not be the best path for a child. Parents should not jeopardize their own financial security to fully fund college, because that results in financial stress for their children later.

Richard Gore
Richard Gore
3 months ago

I would say so. I can’t imagine anyone reading these pages not having the financial wherewithal to do so and in today’s world college is essential for almost everyone.

R Quinn
R Quinn
3 months ago

No doubt there is a wide range of opinion on this. I’ve heard people say once the kids graduate from high school they are done, kids are on their own.

Based on my experience growing up with never a mention of college and later getting a degree at night after nine years while we raised four children, I do see it as part of the parents responsibility to the extent financially possible which also means not at the expense of their own retirement security.

However, that doesn’t mean a blank check to any school for however long it takes. And I also think parents should be actively involved in the application for aid process which is complicated and probably beyond the skills of most 18 year olds.

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