THE RESPONSE: Do Parents Owe Their Children A Paid-For College Education?

I was BLOWN AWAY by the response to THIS BLOG POST where I asked the question, “Do parents owe their children a paid-for college education?”!!!!!!

Here is a summary of the responses:

  • 76% said NO! Parents do not owe their children a paid-for college education.
  • 24% said YES! Parents owe their children a paid-for college education.

In fact, many people were more than a little “bothered” (read: absolutely frustrated) by the use of the word “owe”.

Here are a few of the TONS of comments that I wanted to share with you:

Those who said YES! Parents owe their children a paid-for college education.

  • “I think parents should pay for their children’s education, I guess I don’t like the word owe.”
  • “College is right up their with providing other needs such as medical, dental. Parents should PLAN for college/technical education for their children.”
  • “My mom and daddy paid for my college degree. I graduated with no school debt which made looking for a job in a rough economy a lot less stressful because I did not have worry about loans.”
  • “Start NOW! What a great thing for your kids to not be burdened with college debt!”

Those who said NO! Parents do NOT owe their children a paid-for college education.

  • “I want to be able to help my child with their education, but it is by now means something I owe them.”
  • “I feel that parents should give their childern guidance and a help entering college. This may mean financial assistance the first year which is often overwhelming academically and socially.   It will mean more to the child to earn their own way.   Often, the child will work harder and be more responsible. My in-laws took a different approach with my wife.   She had to pay her first year and they funded the rest of her education.”
  • “It’s been my experience that kids who pay for their own college education are less likely to “goof off” or be lazy in college.   They take their education more seriously and tend to appreciate it much.   Also, if they work their way through school rather do 100% of it through student loans, they develop a good, strong work ethic.”
  • “Parents don’t owe it, but it should be a priority for them to save for their children’s education.   We have saved to pay 100% of tuition and room and board for our children’s education and hope it is a great blessing to them.   They have also worked hard to obtain scholarships knowing that we have worked hard to provide this for them.   Next year, with two kids in college, we will have $0 debt/student loans, but $30,900 in academic scholarships.”
  • “I was responsible for books and living expenses, but at no point and time did I think that my parents owed me an education.   My dad said that he would pay for 4 years.   After that I was on my own.”   Note from Sangl: This was my personal favorite response.

I was OVERWHELMED by your participation in this survey!   We literally had HUNDREDS of people respond and write us paragraphs of great thoughts!

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