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Old 11-24-2010, 10:35 AM
 
6,046 posts, read 5,915,892 times
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Default Why do people think it's a bad thing when parents support their kids during college?

You hear some people say how college students are selfish for living off their parents. But what's wrong with having your parents support you during college? It doesn't mean they're going to support you forever. Sure, you could get a low paying job right after high school. But you would have to live with your parents because you won't make enough money to move out. In the long run, the person that goes to college will make more money (on average, but there are exceptions). If anything, people should look down upon the person that starts working right after high school because they will probably still be working a low paying job living with their parents at 30. But when the person that went to college is 30, they will probably be making more money and living on their own. Something is wrong when someone compares a college aged person living off their parents to a 30 year old living in their parents basement. I'd say your success at age 30 is more telling than your success at age 18-21.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I think most people have a problem with it ONLY when the parent supportig the college student is putting their own financial future at risk- ie, not maxing out retirement savings, putting off costly long-term care insurance, not paying down consumer debt, etc.

That being said, college is a great time for young adults to learn to manage finances. Even if mom & dad can safely afford tuition, room, board, & books- I strongly believe the student should have a part-time or summer job to pay for "spending money"- entertainment, clothing beyond necessities, spring break trips with friends, sorority/fraternity/ other club expenses, etc.

It's better for the student to go ahead and make bad decisions when it only impacts a monthly budget of a few hundred dollars vs after graduation when they are managing a few thousand.
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Some people resent it because it can provide an enormous, in many cases insurmountable, career advantage. It's not about luxuries, like a fancy car or spring break trips to Mexico.

If you want a shot at an elite career you have to go a really good school and be able to do a few internships during college and after you graduate. This simply isn't possible if you're working a money-job or loaded with debt.

People can understand and accept material/monetary advantages because they are tangible. Advantages like contacts and opportunities are intangible, but no less real.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
Some people resent it because it can provide an enormous, in many cases insurmountable, career advantage. It's not about luxuries, like a fancy car or spring break trips to Mexico.

If you want a shot at an elite career you have to go a really good school and be able to do a few internships during college and after you graduate. This simply isn't possible if you're working a money-job or loaded with debt.

People can understand and accept material/monetary advantages because they are tangible. Advantages like contacts and opportunities are intangible, but no less real.
BS on your claim of "insurmountable career advantages"!!! I graduated from a state school in the middle of the US (hardly a UVA or a Michigan) with the dream of moving to NYC and breaking into a very exclusive elite field. No connections and saddled with my fair share of student loans (~$25k).

I worked over summers to save money for my move to NYC and to support myself with the 5-month "elite" internship with a top 5 company in my field. I made a whopping $10/hr- barely enough to pay my rent every month.

How did I land that internship and full-time employment afterwards? I networked my rear end off!!! I made my own connections by looking up each and every one of my university's alumni living in NYC. I emailed/ called evryone's I know, asking for any contacts in NYC. I called or emailed every single "contact" I made and finally began making in-roads to my field. I landed every single interview and job offer by networking- from a network I made myself, not one my parents handed me on a silver platter.

Everyone can network- using professors, fellow students, recent graduates, advisors, etc to as their 1st degree contacts. Go out a few degrees and you'd be surprised who you can find that can help.

Most Fortune 500 executives DIDN'T go to Top 10 schools. Or even Top 50 schools.

Making excuses (I had to work, I didn't go to a top school, I don't know anyone, etc) hurts no one but yourself. Take what you had to do and make your own story out of it. It's not as simple a path as the EVP's neice who showed up in my training program, but we both got to the same point, right?

Fast-forward 10 years, I have priviledged friends whose parents paid for private undergrad + law school and they're not even practicing attorneys anymore. I have girlfriends whose parents paid for Duke, Princeton, etc who kind of worked for a year or two and are stay-at-home housewives and moms now. On the other hand, I am still happily working, have worker my way up into upper-middle management at another Top 5 company in my field (easily regarded as the #1 company), and make $120-130k per year, over 4x my starting salary after college.

Character and work ethic will take you a lot farther than good genetics....
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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I don't really know any parents IRL who don't support their kids in college. That doesn't mean spending money for extras but includes tuition, room and board and books. Once our kids were out of the dorms we gave a certain low-ball amount for board and paid their rent. We made an agreement with our kids that we will pay so much for college and anything above that amount was on them. All of my kids are very tight with a dollar.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I only have a problem with it in some situations: when the parents use the "I'm footing the bill" card to tell their kids what to do (there was a thread on that very recently), or when parents can't afford it but are doing it anyway.

I DO have a problem with the way the system is set up; a college degree is essential for many, many careers these days, and when it's assumed that all parents will be paying for their children then it divides society that much more into the haves and the have nots. Yes, there are ways to get around that, but with tuition rising quickly and funding falling, it's a tough situation.

I'm proud that I funded almost all of my college myself; my parents paid the deposit on a dorm and covered my health insurance, but I paid for everything else (through a combination of grants, scholarships, part-time jobs, and about $12,000 in loans) but things have changed dramatically in even the ten years since I graduated.

In an ideal world I don't think parents should or should be expected to cover the costs for college. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal world, and the current system in this county is not set up to accomodate that.

I still do think that the way things are is contributing to widening disparities, though. That's not the fault of parents who choose and can pay for their children's educations, but I can see how the frustration bubbles over when looking at how inequities in opportunities are still around, and seemingly getting wider.

I suspect that people are also irritated with those parents out there who want to protect their kids from everything, or who instill the idea in their kids that they (the students) are "too good" to work a boring summer job. I've run into a few of those in my life, and while they were great students, they also had an unrealistic expectation about the "real world" and what they would need to do to succeed in life once out of school. I wouldn't attribute that TO the fact that their parents were paying for school (I know plenty of people who were fully supported and have NONE of those problems), but I'm sure that some of the people who have negative views of parents picking up the college tab have some of those students in mind.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Ontario
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I think sometimes it depends on the invidual student. I don't see a problem with parents supporting a student who has very demanding coursework and doesn't have the extra time for a job. On the other hand you have some students whose parents financially support them 100% and they are just looking to have a good time and flunk all their classes. I think the ideal situation is for parents to support their kids but in turn expect the kids to get good grades and/or take a part time job or work in the summer.
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:39 PM
Her
 
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Given this is the second thread you've made on the subject, I question why you care so much what other people think.

I had a full scholarship so my parents didn't have to foot that bill in any way. I also worked as many hours as I could and basically started class at 8am and went to work straight after. Sometimes, I even took naps in my car during my lunch break. I was out of the house from 7:30am - 9pm. Through all that, I didn't make enough to pay rent so I lived at home. I did, however, make sure I could cover my books, insurance, gas, and groceries. If I didn't buy it, I didn't eat it.

I even paid my own college application fee. I never thought it was out of the ordinary because that's the way it was in my family. If you wanted to go to college, you got good grades in high school. I had the grades, and would have loved to go to a big name school. At the time, and with my financial constraints though, I didn't see the point of going into debt for it.

Most of my friends were living on their own, driving nice cars, and with spending money as well. I soon came to find out that their parents were paying their rent and sending them grocery money, etc. I never thought anything of it. Everyone is raised under different circumstances. Do some people pay their own way through school? Absolutely. Do others have parental help? You bet. No reason to feel guilty. Just be grateful.

Have to say I don't agree with this though:
"If anything, people should look down upon the person that starts working right after high school because they will probably still be working a low paying job living with their parents at 30."

If anything, you shouldn't look down on anyone, especially if you don't know their circumstances. Heck, people can start at a low paying job and end up in management through hard work. Don't get in the habit of judging other people, or making comparisons, to make yourself feel better. It doesn't work.

Last edited by Her; 11-24-2010 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:52 PM
 
Location: South Carolina - The Palmetto State
854 posts, read 804,555 times
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Just another version of the "you're worthless if you don't have a college degree" theme!

Drive home safely!
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Her View Post
Given this is the second thread you've made on the subject, I question why you care so much what other people think.
The first thread was asking why people get stereotyped when their parents pay for college. This thread is asking why people think it's a bad thing for parents to support their kids during college.

Quote:
Most of my friends were living on their own, driving nice cars, and with spending money as well. I soon came to find out that their parents were paying their rent and sending them grocery money, etc. I never thought anything of it. Everyone is raised under different circumstances. Do some people pay their own way through school? Absolutely. Do others have parental help? You bet. No reason to feel guilty. Just be grateful.
That's not me. My parents give me a lot, but a car is where they draw the line for some reason. I don't even have a car. But I had a car in high school for my senior year and the end of my junior year.

Quote:
Have to say I don't agree with this though:
"If anything, people should look down upon the person that starts working right after high school because they will probably still be working a low paying job living with their parents at 30."

If anything, you shouldn't look down on anyone, especially if you don't know their circumstances. Heck, people can start at a low paying job and end up in management through hard work. Don't get in the habit of judging other people, or making comparisons, to make yourself feel better. It doesn't work.
Yes, there might be some people that work their way up to a good job through hard work. But with this economy, even hard work might not be enough. A college degree gives you an advantage because so many people go to college. It's hard enough for college graduates to get a job, let alone people without a degree. But I realize some people might just be incapable of affording college, and that's unfortunate.

For every high school graduate that manages to become successful, there are even more that are unsuccessful. The average income is higher for people that went to college. Think about that.

I know someone that's in his early 40s and has never supported himself. He lived with his dad, then got married and moved in with his in-laws, then got divorced and got kicked out. He's living with a friend now and from what I've heard, even the friend is fed up with him. He used to work a low paying job but he doesn't even do that anymore. He would rather get drunk than work. There are successful people that didn't go to college, but there are also people like this guy. 20 years ago, you probably would have thought highly of him and told other people not to judge him. But look at him now.

And here's another example. There are a lot of janitors in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. That just goes to show that not everyone works their way up to a good job. Those people probably started those jobs right out of high school and now they're still doing the same thing. Someone's gotta do that job, but I don't want it to be me.

The bottom line is this: Look around at the people my age that aren't in college. They might be successful eventually. But who are you to say they're going to be successful? They may very well be living in their parents basement at 30 (and even older). Two paragraphs up I gave an example of a guy I know. For all you know, these people might end up like him.
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