Should Parents Pay for Their Kids’ College?

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When it’s time to send your kid off to college, the inevitable question will come up: Who should pay?

For those who are seen as pretty well off, most people will assume it’s the parents’ responsibility. But does it have to be? 

Parents Can Give Their Children A Better Start Into Adulthood

As parents we all want to give our children the best chance for success. Putting their children out into the world with student debt isn’t fun. That burden could scar one for life. If you think about it, it’s a lot of responsibility for a young person, even if their parents have prepared them for it.

If you have the means to pay for it and it won’t hurt your finances, paying for college won’t disrupt your standard of living. But what if you have to take out loans yourself in order to help pay for college?

A survey conducted by Coupon Dash revealed that many families are sacrificing their own well-being in order to help pay for their children’s education. In fact, more than half the families surveyed are giving up regular luxuries such as dining out.

Some parents may even consider putting off placing their money in retirement savings in order to pay for college. That will only hurt you in the long run, especially when faced with crippling debt and you can’t work anymore.

Kids Should Shoulder the Responsibility Themselves

At the same time, your child may not learn the important lesson of paying for their future. They may not take your financial contribution seriously and squander it away. If your child wants to be treated like an adult, maybe it’s time to have them step up and give them that responsibility. If you can’t afford to pay for college without taking out expensive loans, then putting that burden onto yourself is unfair. Your child should have to take on some of that too if they are to understand the choices they have to face as an adult.

Yes, it might seem like it’s unfair to have your child graduate with a bunch of debt, but there are ways to prepare them for this responsibility. If you teach your children to be financial literate early on and showing them where certain financial decisions lead them, then your children are not just let blindly into the world.

Perhaps you can talk to them about the types of schools or degrees they can choose from. You can even talk about how to fill out loan forms and walk them through different options. Better still, maybe talk to them about how to help pay for college even before they enroll, such as getting a part-time job and saving some of that money.

Besides, who says they have to take out a loan? If your child does their due diligence, perhaps he or she can get a bunch of scholarships, grants or even take on jobs while in college to pay for it all. If you believe that it’s important to teach your child to be self-reliant, then having them pay for college may be a good thing after all. Better still if your child can take advantage of grants or scholarships to pay for college outright. It can be done. And if so, then your problem is solved.

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