A California couple featured in a recent Reuters report has told their three teens that they’re not paying.
“I’ve told my children that if they’re interested in college, it would be their responsibility to pay for it,” Tracy Repchuk told Chris Taylor of Reuters. “This wasn’t a surprise announcement, since I’ve felt this way forever. It’s their life, not mine.”
Repchuk and her husband have good jobs and aren’t “strapped for cash,” Taylor writes. They just don’t want to pay for their kids’ higher education.
Nearly 40 percent of young adults aren’t getting financial help from their parents for college, according to a new study out of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
“It’s not surprising that some parents are turning off the spigot. According to the Department of Agriculture, which tracks expenditures, the inflation-adjusted bill for raising a child up to age 17 these days (not even including college costs) is almost $300,000 for every single Sophia and Samuel,” Taylor writes. “But even among those with the financial wherewithal to pay for their kids’ college, there are some who just don’t believe in the message it passes along. Without any skin in the game, the thinking goes, young adults won’t truly understand the value of their education -- or the value of a dollar.”
I’m sorry, but I don’t get the logic of that last point – that by paying for college with no financial help from parents, a student won’t value his or her education. If that theory holds true, these same parents would forbid their children from accepting any scholarships or grants. Would they appreciate that free money?
The answer is no, based on these parents’ thinking, because if you don’t pay, you aren’t grateful. Therefore, scholarships and/or grants are not good for the child, either.
If you’re a parent and you don’t have the money to pay for college, I understand that your child may need to work and save to cover his or her education costs. I also understand you may feel that student loans may be necessary if you haven’t saved or couldn’t’ afford to save for your kid’s college. What I don’t get are parents who have the money or capacity to save to pay for college but who won’t do it on some misguided principle. It’s extreme parenting, in my opinion.
Let’s think about this logically: Where would a teenager get the kind of money it takes to pay for a four-year college education?
He or she hasn’t had years of work experience and the resulting earnings to save or invest for higher education. We know that even the brightest students can’t count on getting scholarships or grants. So, either the child gets a scholarship, or he or she has to work like a dog while trying to take classes and/or take out costly education loans.