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Old 01-25-2021, 10:26 AM
4,401 posts, read 1,949,293 times
Reputation: 11316


Look at the big picture. You say he's a good student. If his grades are good and he's in a marketable major, let him have a bit of fun. I never did the FL thing over Spring Break but my brother did- and didn't tell Mom and Dad till after the fact that they'd used his ancient beater car to get there and back. Brother is now 66 and making $100K/year working 2 days a week as a cost accountant.

OK, I see that there was a prior agreement that there would be no vacations so he violated that. I can see where you might not want to back down and let him go. Maybe a serious discussion is in order about why he wanted a vacation so much he violated your agreement and possible reparations (adding to his college fund) going forward.

To be realistic- is it possible to get short-term jobs over school breaks? I suppose there's DoorDash and InstaCart type work.

I agree with serious Conversation that he needs to plan for internships in future years- freshman year is early. Keep in mind that many of those internships pay little or nothing.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:45 AM
Location: State of Transition
87,808 posts, read 81,538,757 times
Reputation: 91616
OP, you can have a talk with him.

"Maybe our requirements weren't clear. Or perhaps it wasn't clear that they were requirements, not a mere wish-list. So for the sake of clarity, we've drawn up a contract. Please review this carefully, and sign it if you want us to continue paying your tuition."

You did mention, that he'll eventually have to take out loans. I don't know how much leverage you can realistically expect to have over him, at that point. And presumably by then, he'll be doing internships (hopefully paid ones, but not all internships pay), and making more money. And by the way, when he starts taking out loans, he might also qualify for on-campus work-study support; this would provide him with part-time work on campus throughout the academic year, if he qualifies.

I'm just hoping he doesn't come down with THE "flu" while on vacation. There's a new highly-contagious strain circulating. It's to a good time to go partying. Young otherwise healthy people are getting it.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:01 PM
11,595 posts, read 4,532,302 times
Reputation: 26540
I guess I'm a softie. I'd let him go and let him have his fun, with the expectation that he make the money up to you down the way.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:51 PM
Location: Raleigh
10,560 posts, read 7,997,132 times
Reputation: 14977
If he's working and has his own money, and you're funding college in part, moving forward I'd make sure that your first dollar isn't contributed til he zeroes out all he's worked for. IE, if he has $4,300 dollars in his bank account at summers end, and tuition for fall semester is $13,000, he writes a check for $4,300 and you write a check for $8700 (assuming you can help that much.) Then you can send him money as needed for daily needs or he can work part time or whatever.

I'd still let him go on the trip. I understand why you're upset but he's 19 and a whole lot of this isn't relevant to him because he has no basis in reality to anchor it to.

You may have said "no vacations" but it doesn't sound like there were extremely clear expectations, just vague directives and declarations about him needing to help defray the cost and not waste your money, and expectations of good grades.
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Old 01-25-2021, 01:03 PM
Location: USA
1,434 posts, read 473,040 times
Reputation: 3874
You don't owe him a college education. You owe yourselves a well funded retirement account. Once you have done that, loan your son the money with your "extra" funds.

Let him better understand economics and the costs associated with his activities. Having said that, it is very difficult for college students to get temp gigs during school holidays. But that doesn't mean he can just take off and spend the money he earned on non-essential trips. It's time for him to focus on the goal.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:38 PM
Location: West coast
1,236 posts, read 462,362 times
Reputation: 3152
I do planning for anything I want.
I am a real nerd when it comes to this but it works.
I also do this for work and making money.

You might consider showing the kid a plan.

Are you familiar with the critical path or bar chart planning?
If not you might want to Google it.

Maybe you could show your student the plan that works best for all of you.
You could also color code it for what your student needs to contribute to reach the goal and to show what you are willing to do to help in a different color.
Think the KISS system .

It sounds like the student doesn’t quite grasp it yet and some proper direction might help.

I honestly feel it is a communication issue and the kid doesn’t quite get it yet.

Good luck to you and props to you for helping your kid.

All the best.
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Old 01-25-2021, 03:42 PM
1,672 posts, read 1,461,204 times
Reputation: 2493
Originally Posted by RAFRAF View Post
He is planning on using his own money for the trip. I was clear to him that there were not to be vacations while he is in college.
As long as he uses his money that he has earned for his vacation then I wouldnt have a problem with it.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:04 PM
1,385 posts, read 1,717,498 times
Reputation: 4588
I would decide on what you feel like is a reasonable amount of tuition that your son needs to be responsible for. Then leave it up to him how he comes up with that money. I think right now the issue is the expectations are too murky. You are paying 100% (very generous) but want him to get a job (which technically he did!) and are super-annoyed when instead of turning around and applying that money to his tuition paying to ease the burden on you and your spouse, he decided to go on vacay! I'll bet you and your spouse would like to go on vacay, too!

So, I would decide how much of his tuition/living expenses he needs to be responsible for going forward starting with the fall semester. You might decide to pay for 50% or 75%. It's entirely up to you. But I suspect that if he is faced with taking out loans, he might make different decisions--about housing, about work study, about summer jobs. He might still decide that vacation is important to him--and that's okay, too! But I think it's okay that he share a bit in the burden of his own education.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:21 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
11,330 posts, read 10,094,882 times
Reputation: 25254
I would make him forfeit the trip.

Firstly, Miami Beach is not putting up with any Spring Breaks this year and have banned all alcohol on the beach. Previously they turned a blind eye but no longer. All Florida schools have cancelled Spring Break.

There will be no college groups on the beach. The powers that be have been very explicit in this and may ban all AirBnB bookings.

No where in Florida is welcoming college groups. They are in for a very rude awakening.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:28 PM
2,422 posts, read 827,182 times
Reputation: 2223
Originally Posted by RAFRAF View Post
Our college student is a freshman. He is a good student. As the parents we are aiding him financially. We are white collar-middle class working parents. Our student worked some over the summer but not excessively and taking many weeks off. He did not work at school. He did not work on break from Nov-early Jan. We pressed him to find employment. He sprung on us he is going to Miami on vacation with friends. The trip is booked without permission all non refundable. How would you react? What is a reasonable responds? We are both disappointed but disagree on how to handle this. TYIA!
A card laid is a card played. Stupidity has consequences! Let HIM pay for it! DON'T be the dumb. enabling, parents! It sounds like you've done ENOUGH!
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