Deadbeat Parents Who Won’t Help Pay for College

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Lynn O’Shaughnessy

Deadbeat Parents Who Won’t Help Pay for College

I got an email over the weekend from a dad named Dan, who is darn proud of himself for making his children pay for their own college education.

I don’t think he should be congratulating himself. In fact, he should be worried that the federal government will discover what his family is doing to get taxpayers to underwrite his children’s college degrees.

Dan was reacting to a post on my college blog that discussed the plight of  students whose parents refuse to pay for college even if they can afford to help. The post mentioned parents who made $130,000, but who had saved just $8,000 for college so their twins were going to have to pick up the rest of the cost. Here is that post:

Qualifying as an Independent Student

I don’t know how much Dan makes, but he believes his kids — he’s  got seven!! – should pick up their own tab. Here is part of his note:

Wah, wah, wah. The youngsters today expect everything and cry if they don’t get it. I expect my children to pay for their own college just like I did. Suck it up babies, you are not getting a free ride to college, you will actually need to work your way through. “Work”, what a concept, you don’t know what it means yet, but you will. And if you are paying for the books and the tuition maybe you will realize that spending hard earned money on beer parties isn’t smart, LOL.

Dan then goes on to say that two of his children are in college right now and they successfully claimed independent status. He had them work for one year after high school, live at a different address and then apply as independent students.

Here is what Dan wrote about his strategy:

It’s not difficult or impossible for an 18 year old to be declared an independent as Lynn O’Shaughnessy, the author of that ridiculous article, has indicated. If you are out of high school, all you have to do is “work” for minimum wage for one year and have a physical address in your name for that year and your parents can’t have claimed you on their taxes. The FASFA and pin is exclusive to the 18 year old who has been independent for the last 12 months. The 18 year old will start college when he or she is 19 after having worked in the real world for one year. The reason I know this, is because I have 2 of my seven children in college right now as independents and that is how it works. Lynn is giving inaccurate information, which is making all the youngsters cry. Shame on you Lynn

It’s Not Easy to Become an Independent Student

When filling out the FAFSA, the federal form asks numerous questions to determine if a child should be classified as an independent or dependent student. If the child isn’t 24, married or a military veteran, the chances of being an independent student is just about nil. Moving out of the house and living independently, as Dan’s children are doing, is irrelevant. It also doesn’t matter if the parents stopped claiming the students on their income tax form. They are still dependents. It is a federal crime, by the way, to lie on the FAFSA.

If becoming an independent student was as easy as packing up the car, moving into an apartment and supporting him or herself for a year,  I’m sure millions of students would try the same thing. Of course, if that happened taxpayers like us would be footing the bill for deadbeat parents, who want others to pay for their children’s college degree.

Qualifying as an independent student means that taxpayers are underwriting the college degree for Dan’s children. Students who are considered independent only have to use their own income to qualify for financial aid and most of the time that’s going to be quite low. Low enough to qualify for federal and state grants and possibly institutional money from the schools themselves.

What It Takes to Qualify as an Independent Person

I’ve actually gotten three emails in the last few days from people who wondered if certain students could qualify as independent. One came from a sister and her husband who took in her 20-year-old brother after the parents, who earn a good living, refused to help with college. They were wondering if the young man would qualify as independent since he is living with them or if the student could use their lower earnings for financial aid purposes. Sorry, but that won’t work.

How to Qualify As an Independent Student

You have to answer “yes” to at least one of these question to be considered an independent student:

  1. Are you at least 24 years old?
  2. As of today, are you married?
  3. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
  4. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  5. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  6. Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010?
  7. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2010?
  8. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  9. Are you, or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  10. Are you, or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  12. At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  13. At any time on or after July 1, 2008, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless

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456 Responses to Deadbeat Parents Who Won’t Help Pay for College

  1. Laura C. September 29, 2016 at 3:09 am #

    And this is why there is so much entitlement today. I can barely make my own mortgage and I have 15 years till I retire. My parent’s social security isn’t enough to support them and sometimes I have to buy their groceries. I contribute to my childrens’ higher education by buying their books and supplies as well as a $250/month allowance for food and gas. I am far from a deadbeat. They are learning that if they want something, they need to figure it out. They do not give up. My son is about to receive his Masters degree and he will hardly be in debt because he’s working his tail off. My daughter is pushing through and in her second year. When all is said and done, they can honestly say they earned it.

  2. Visitor September 5, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    “Are you at least 24 years old?” This gives me a knot in my stomach and fills me with rage. It is a booted foot on the neck of kids who grew up in abusive households. Because I went to college so very long ago, I was able to move out and declare myself an independent student and complete a four year degree against my father’s wishes. He and his church do not believe women should go to college.

    Now, a young person in a situation similar would be blocked from getting the aid necessary to complete a degree. Even a less violent parent could exercise inappropriate control by merely threatening to withhold support before an adult child pursuing a degree is 24 years old. I suppose we have bean counters and parents like Dan to thank for this abysmal situation.

    Meanwhile, thousands of young people are going to college in Europe with very little out-of-pocket cost. The exorbitant cost of college makes America less and less competitive with the rest of the world. As long as we view any investment into our own people and our own nation as “socialism,” we may as well get used to a rocky economy.

  3. Tom Hal August 18, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    I see no moral problem in parents of ANY financial status deciding that once children have become adults the purse strings will be cut. I’m 27, left home when I was 17 for college, and I have supported myself since. Regardless of how much my parents make, I’d never presume to lay claim to their money. They’re in their 40s now and have worked their entire lives very hard to support me and my siblings–paying for every need each of us had until we left home for school. Now it’s time for them to enjoy their lives. They’re not walking banks to accommodate the banking and educational industries’ unrealistic educational costs for four children.

    No one should feel entitled to parents’ cash. And while an education MAY be important, it’s increasingly debatable, given the cost of an education and the job prospects in the US, just as with other things that are perceived to be important to modern life–cars, houses, even computers–young people ought to earn them. Poor people in this country struggle to make ends meet and many don’t feel entitled to expensive college programs (even state and 2-year program costs have mushroomed). So people my age and younger are likewise not entitled to have others slave away to throw at schools whatever colleges demand in tuition.

    I’m with the father above. If I ever have kids, I’ll do everything in my power to provide them safe childhoods secure in as many of the privileges the West can provide. But once they’re adults ready to leave the nest, they’re on their own financially, outside of dire emergencies. Thankfully, the rest of us don’t have to care what others think about our decisions because the law does not mandate that parents continue supporting adult children.

  4. James June 16, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    I’m 40 and married and my wife makes about 300k a year. We maintain separate finances as we married later in life. When it came to applying for financial aid, I have to include her income even though I don’t directly benefit from it. What I’m learning is that due to her income, regardless of whether its available to me, prevents me from getting any financial aid whatsoever. But they’ll let me take out loans, which I cannot afford.

    So I’ve decided, unilaterally, to divorce so that I may return to school. Obviously, I’ll need to talk to an attorney, but does anyone know of any pitfalls on the financial aid side of this? I understand all the other aspects, taxes, health insurance etc.


    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy June 16, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Hi James,

      If you would an undergrad and you would also be very low-income, you could qualify for a Pell Grant which is under $6,000 a year. To get the full Pell Grant, your income would have to be $24,000 or less. If you have a higher income, what you would qualify for would be loans. And you’d get loans whether or not you were married.

      I’d say the cost of the divorce would exceed any benefit (and likely none) for getting divorced before returning to school.

      Lynn O.

      If you aren’t very low be destitute as an undergrad, the

  5. Cat80 March 30, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    I would assist my child through college. Perhaps not in full, but it’ll contribute. Many forget that one day we’ll all be old, grey, and in a position of needing our kids to help us. By then, hopefully, they’ll also be handling a family and full time job. Yet, despite all that, wouldn’t you hope that they will still find time to be in your life? I wouldn’t suddenly turn my back on my child after turning 18, similar to how she wouldn’t ,hopefully, turn her back on me when I’ll need her. Obviously this applies if you can help support your child through this time of their life.

    • Tom Hal August 18, 2016 at 11:41 am #

      Increasingly, adult children do NOT support aging parents. A survey of financial advice websites discloses the consensus that older parents should not “burden” their adult children who are responsible for their own families, and that older parents should have prioritized saving for their own retirement years. Even China had to pass a law recently requiring adult children to visit periodically elderly parents. It’s a global problem as we embrace independence and mobility more and more–that elders are left on their own.

      I will not sacrifice my own ability to survive my future for the CHANCE that children I support indefinitely may take care of me when I’m old. I neither want that nor trust that it would happen.

  6. Kennedy March 21, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    Yeesh! I’m 17 and still trying to figure out what I want to do in the future, but I’m not expecting my parents to pay every cent for college.. I’ve tried applying to countless jobs to at least START saving but haven’t had any luck. So I know the struggle of that spectrum of life. I want to pay as much as I can for college. I won’t be going into any expensive colleges, just community/state colleges so I won’t rack so much debt. I’m really trying to find a way to start saving money but my parents insist I focus on graduating high school and focusing on getting good grades. But I can’t help but feel like sort of a burden at times because I didn’t start saving way earlier. But that’s because I didn’t understand the importance of saving back then.

    I think that it’s ultimately the parents decision if they want to pay for their college education but at the same time, they must teach them good saving and financial practices as they grow up. And know that not all teens-young adults are ‘spoiled’ or ‘entitled’. I’m also planning on saving up for my own first car, which will be used and in good condition. Then after at least 1-2 years of driving experience or more if needed, I’ll get MYSELF a nicer car. I’m not expecting my parents to pay for that and I really don’t want them to because I feel it will take away the feeling of accomplishment I’ll get once I finally do achieve this financial goal, along with many others. I wasn’t handed everything on a silver platter. I earned what I have currently.

    You also must know the state of the economy and how college prices are rising, as one person has mentioned above. The price tag is increasing and, if you’re wanting or planning for your kids to go to college, (and if you plan on helping or paying for a portion for it, even if it’s tiny.) you can also put some away and add into it over time. It really depends. Both you and your child can discuss this and make a plan on how you’re going to help if you are going to help (doesn’t need to be paying for EVERYTHING)and set boundaries. There’s so much more to touch on that subject, but that’s the basic gist of it. 🙂 But all in all, no one is forcing the parents to pay for every cent, at least I’m not. And I’m sure others feel the same way.

    But yeah, that’s just my opinion/how I see it. Good luck to those who decide to decide to go to college! 🙂

  7. Queen Bee March 19, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    What? Parents are responsible for the children until 18. That’s it. They can choose to pay for college or not. The end.

    • Brandi April 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm #

      In Mississippi the parents are responsible for Student loans and the kid until they are 21. It sucks but each state is different. The State Colleges here know that and won’t let you get federal aid without parents info. I have a 19 year sister who lives fostered out of CPS, but lived with another sister who refuses to put her name on any student loan info. She said it’s our Mom’s job. But our Mom is homeless and we don’t know where she is at and she doesn’t work to file taxes. It’s sad for my baby sister but we will keep trying to get her into school.

      • Carl April 21, 2016 at 12:26 am #

        Then I’d relocate out of Mississippi. Until the US redefines adulthood as starting at age 21, my financial responsibilities for my adult children ends at 18. Anything else I would do for them, and I admit that I’d do what I could, is a gift–not an obligation.

  8. Anonymous March 13, 2016 at 10:09 pm #

    Hello. I just wanted to make it a point that going to college nowadays is hard. When I was in high school, I was told that I will have to pay my own way into college if I wanted to attend one, which I did. I’ve been working a minimum wage and paying for all my bills except for rent.

    The sad thing about going to college on “dependent” status while my folks make too much money for me to qualify for financial said is that I will never see any of the tax return money from educational credits back to me. I paid my tuition, books, cell phone, and other costs on my own without family’s help. Since my family will claim me as “dependent”, they will get back the money I spent on education as the educational credits (hope credits) and I won’t see a dime of it. Even though I don’t pay rent, I do still help out around the house with cleaning. It’s just sad that my family won’t help out with chipping perhaps some money they got back from the educational credits when they are well off themselves. One member of my family makes more than $200,000 per year and another $90,000. I’ve been working while going to school but I still help out around the house. Keep in mind that I am barely home. Most of my time are spent on school, work, and buses.

    I understand their value in them having me to pay for my own stuff but a little help will be nice… It’s very emotionally draining thinking that they won’t help as if they don’t care for me at all.

    • SOSJF May 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

      Bless your heart. We are paying for all three of out children’s educations. We feel it is our responsibility to do this until they graduate from college and can stand on their own (we could give a rat’s ass what the legal adult age is). We love our children way too much to do something like that to them. It’s called love and caring for them. We feel for you. You have our support for sure. Wishing you the best of luck in everything.

      • Jennifer June 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

        Good for you! Do you think for one moment that other parents that cannot provide as you don’t love their children? MAYBE they cant afford it as you and you should be compassionate for those instead pretending to be parents of the year!

        • Visitor September 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

          SOSJF was replying to a person who indicates her family’s combined income is $290,000 per year. They can afford it!

  9. Sue March 13, 2016 at 4:39 am #

    Pay for it your damn selves you ingrates! Quit sponging off of mommy and daddy! I’ve got a kid in college and he knew full well if he wanted a post secondary education he would have to work to pay for it. Geesh! What a bunch of entitlement brats some kids become.

    • Carl April 21, 2016 at 12:29 am #

      Amen! I left home for college just before turning 17. My freshman year my mom helped me, but I worked and applied religiously for grants and scholarships. By 18 I was wholly independent. I know things are different today, but for god’s sake. How many decades are parents expected to be open wallets? Sheesh!

  10. leeann February 16, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

    How much is enough help? Should parents get to have a say in the choice of schools that their children attend? Our children chose expensive schools without consulting us and then seemed to think we owed them a full ride. We helped them with tuition and other things. We thought they were doing well but turns out they were harboring resentment towards us for not paying more. They resented us for taking vacations and finally being able to buy new cars. We struggled for many years to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle while denying ourselves but they felt they were owed the same free comfort as adults. They were more than welcome to live in our home rent free, with all meals included and attend a reputable university in our area. That was not good enough for them and now they feel justified in cyber stalking us and taking our their perverted revenge. Relationships have been damaged due to their sense of entitlement. These people are shallow, self centered and profoundly entitled.

  11. Nat February 12, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    Some of these comments are insane. Calling us spoiled or entitled for simply wanting help with our education costs is just unfair. And I don’t want to hear about what you went through raising us or what you spent on us for the past 18 years. That is what you are supposed to do. Children don’t ask to be born and your job as a parent doesn’t end when we turn 18. Life is much more difficult then when you all were in school. Due to the current state of our economy (which your generation ruined) it is damn near impossible to be able to afford basic expenses yet alone college tuition. Even the government expects a certain amount of family contribution and makes it fucking impossible to qualify as independent. Everyone (with the exception of those who are poor) has a responsibility to invest in their child’s higher education. Refusing to do so isn’t “tough love” it’s just selfish and incredibly crippling to your child’s future.

    • Fathalius March 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm #

      Investing in their their child’s future can be love and support. If they don’t help us, we will have to work for it. Then we’ll actually appreciate it more because we see the return on our own efforts. I’m a college student myself. I’m working for it. My parents can’t afford to help me. I’m okay with that. Even if they could and didn’t I’d be okay with that because I’m not greedy or selfish. We’re not spoiled or anything. We’re stupid and lazy because we can’t figure it out on our own. Though love will help us figure out how to do it on our own and raise a family like they did. Yes times have changed. It’s so much easier to find ways to do it on our own with the internet.

    • Andy Wesetbrook March 18, 2016 at 7:13 am #

      It is a responsibility of every parent to assist somehow in helping their child transition to ADULTHOOD. Why do I say this? Simply because college is an option. There seems to be some comments from young people here that keeping referring to “how it used to be.” 30 plus years ago, if you wanted to attend college, you had one 2 options. A traditional college, public or private, which cost anywhere from 6000 a year to 15000 a year. The other option would have been a tech school which at the time might have had simply a few options for accredited programs mostly in the trade industry. Tuition cost today are un-acceptable; however, between multiple options from merit based scholarships, grants, loans, work study programs, bridge programs at tech schools to tech school multiple accredited degrees, as well as specialized trade schools and multiple job resource programs, you as a student have an advantage that did not exist prior. We personally have 4 young adult kids who are all completely different in their approach. My oldest chose to get her pre-cert in a medical program at a tech school and work part time her first two years of school in that field, securing her a place to apply independently for financial aid and grants. Now she is a nurse. Two of my kids went to trade school and managed to do the same thing. One of my kids went to tech for a year on a presidential scholar program then transferred to a traditional college working toward med school. What did we as parents do. We supported them by taking them to the programs, introducing them to the schools, talking to advisors and helping them see the many options. Financially, we pitched in for books, some room and board and that was it. You kids are young adults who have to realize that the smallest of notions that parents doing what you expect IS a sense of entitlement. If your parents were financially irresponsible and were deliberate in making your life difficult as a child by truly neglecting you, my apologies BUT if not, face the other reality. Parents who during your childhood years truly worked hard, lived within their means, took care of themselves well while feeding, sheltering and guiding you, they know something you have to learn now. You are entitled to nothing and should take what you know, listen to them and start guiding yourself. Propel yourself forward without reservation.

      • Jennifer June 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

        Beautifully said….i so agree with you! I have 2 daughters currently in college locally of thier choice and i help where i can with room and board and other necessities and they are so happy with that beautiful respectful girls that realize how hard it is these days…

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

      No sweetie, you and your self-entitled generation aren’t “simply asking for help with your education costs”. Rather you and your contemporaries want someone to step up and simply pay for you to go the college of your choice, major in the often useless major of your choice (which means when after often more than four years you’ll be able to use that useless degree to get a wonderful job at McDonalds and still live at home with your parents), and graduate only to enter a job market where you’ll have literally nothing to offer anyone except McDonalds.

      No sweetie it’s time for and your self-entitled generation to grow up, take responsibility (both moral and financial) for your lives, and do what the rest of us adults (you know adults like your parents) and pay your way in life.

    • Carl April 21, 2016 at 12:38 am #

      Let’s see if you still feel that way after twenty years of exhausting your life caring for–and loving–your own children until they’re legal adults. From what I can see, adult children don’t wish to be saddled with the responsibility of caring for aging parents–regardless of how much those now-needy parents helped. So parents must plan very financially shrewdly for their own retirement. And they’re certainly entitled to enjoy SOME of life after sacrificing for 18 years (or more, if they have children of staggered ages). Adult children are not entitled to parents’ wealth. You’re entitled to what you earn.

      Thankfully, now there is no law requiring parents to pay for children’s college educations. You’re entitled to your opinion, but I feel confident you’re speaking from a single perspective. At least as far as the law is concerned, parents are entitled to decide whether to help, and how much. The rest I’m reading here is merely opinion. Thankfully.

    • SOSJF May 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      I’m a parent and i agree with everything you said. We are paying for our kids’ educations. I could NOT have put it any better. Really.

  12. Anne January 27, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    My parents never saved for me to go to college or anything. Even abused me verbally, emotionally, and physically so I would have low self-esteem and want to kill myself.

    I’m almost 31 with a somewhat okay job and few friends, but still wonder about what life could have been like with medical care, a stable family life, some connections, and a little bit of tuition money.

    Now, my father is in debt of his own making and uses me and my sister to pay it off, but we’re escaping soon… the two of us living together should be able to afford a house.

    All in all, I’m contented with the idea that I can’t help him any more–solely because I want to watch him sink in the hole he dug for himself.

    His mistakes will not haunt me, and should I be free to my own person. If I have children, I want to save for them early and encourage them to do well in school, but not be so strict they’ll seek alcohol and drugs as asylum. I want to be a better parent than he ever was.

    • Visitor September 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

      I’ve been in your shoes. He may try to tell collectors that you have agreed to pay his bills and provide your phone number. You must be very firm in telling such callers that you did not incur these debts, you have no responsibility for these debts and that you will not pay them. Just repeat “No, no, not my debt. I am not paying a dime. No, nothing.” Hang up quickly. Never, never agree with entity with which he has debt to help pay any of his debts! Once you agree to help pay for a debt, your legal rights are compromised.

      Be prepared for him to pitch a temper tantrum raging about his “sacrifices” and how he NEVER owed you anything. (Actually, the last part is untrue. Parents do owe minor children a duty of care.)

  13. 22YearOldPoverty December 30, 2015 at 7:16 am #

    richard April 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Poor babies.

    By chance did you factor in the costs your parents incurred during the first eighteen years of your lives?

    At what point did you two actually plan on becoming adults and taking responsibility for your own lives?

    I’m curious as to what you think are the correct proportions of “work hard” and “play hard”?

    (Yes, since all children are allowed to work from age 1, and should be forced to do so in a country which has many laws preventing young people from working. This shit is delusional)

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  15. dick November 23, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Having read so many comments from so very many self-entitled and spoiled children pretending to be adults, one can’t help but be concerned for the future of this generation and our country.

  16. kitkat33 October 11, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    This post is a tad presumptuous. You seriously believe parents are deadbeats if they don’t pay for their kids education? You are so spoiled. Ruined for life with the way your brain is wired.

    I grew up in a poor house. My father made great money, but had 9 children in total to support so they made sure we had a roof over our heads, and some food in our bellies and some toys to play with.

    Our educations were not paid for. I put myself through college by myself, got grants easily enough. Paid for all my books, rent, food etc and now have a well paying job. With more respect for hard work and money than I had before.

    I am now a mother of a 15 month old son. I have started an education fund for him, but I most certainly will not be paying for everything for him. Having to work hard for your position in life builds a good character and an appreciation for the education and money it took to get through it all.

    I’ve seen so many people having their way paid, and they failed their courses miserably because as they put it “mom and dad will just pay for me next year”.

    I find it really pathetic you think everything should just be given to you.

  17. Natalie October 7, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    If you can’t afford to pay for college, than don’t. If you can’t afford to pay for the $60,000 a year college your kid was accepted to, than don’t. Maybe your kid shouldn’t have applied there in the first place! What happened to saying no? Are parents really that dense? No wonder kids are spoiled and manipulative today, the parents let it happen! Kids aren’t born being spoiled and entitled, they learn it! Usually, they seem to learn it from their parents who don’t know how to say no. If parents want their kids to take responsibility and not be spoiled, then they need to teach the kids how to do it! If you don’t want your kids to be handed things on a silver platter, then DON’T hand them things on a silver platter. Don’t know why people don’t get that concept!

    Not being able to afford to pay for your child’s college doesn’t make you a deadbeat parent. I think deadbeat is a bit too strong a word to use here. A neglectful, abusive parents who doesn’t provide their child with food, clothing, and basic needs is a deadbeat parent. Not paying for college is doesn’t make you a deadbeat parent since college isn’t a basic need. I would say that most deadbeat parents wouldn’t pay for college, but then they probably didn’t provide much else for the child growing up. But, neglectful and abusive parents are a whole other issue entirely and it’s not really surprising that those types of parents wouldn’t pay for college. There are tons of loving parents who can’t pay for college for a variety of reasons, they are not deadbeats.

    Also, technically our kids are adults at 18. But, are college kids really adults? When you look at frat parties and spring break, they don’t really look like adults. Most adults don’t do wet t-shirt contests and keg stands. Maybe if kids want to be treated like adults, they should act like it. Most adults I know, don’t drink and party every night!

    Also, if you are paying for your kids college, it is perfectly resasonable to expect your kids to take responsibility! It’s amazing how many parents just throw $60,000 at their kids. If your kid was a deadbeat student in high school, do you really expect them to do well in college? If you’re worried about your kid failing and not going to class, why are you paying for them to go away to college? If your kid is not cut out for college…. Why are they going? If your college kid is truly an adult, then they should appreciate the sacrifice you’re making for them to get an wonderful education. They should be grateful for this gift that you are giving them. If you can’t provide this gift or would have to put your retirement on hold, then don’t pay for it. A mature kid who really has gratitude wouldn’t want their parent to take on debt or forgo retirement. But paying for a kid to party all for years, is irresponsible. If parents pay, there needs to be accountability on the part of the kid…step up and be a parent! Kids, be a grownup and appreciate the gift your parents are giving you by paying for your education. If you can’t accept that, then your’re not an adult! If mom and dad can’t afford to pay for college, then there are ways to do it yourself!

    Parents, teach your kids gratitude and don’t hand your kids everything! If this had been taught from the get go, maybe we wouldn’t have this entitlement problem among young people! And kids, be grateful for what you have, show appreciation, and maybe be willing to pay for some things yourself, and do what you can to lessen the burden on mom and dad. And don’t expect mom and dad to forgo retirement or take on a ton of debt for your education! You can get a good education at a low price! And go to class! Don’t party away your degree! You’re at college for a degree, not a keg party!

  18. Julia October 1, 2015 at 3:58 am #

    Ha! I was removed from my deadbeat parent’s house at age 13, placed in state schools and a self-supporting independent minor at 17. Guess what? No school I ever applied to would consider me an independent student because my father claimed me on his taxes until I was 21. I was awarded independent student status at age 25 and still couldn’t go because the school thought my parents (and grandparents!) should chip in thousands. The upshot was that I wasn’t able to finish my BA until I was 32. Deadbeat parents, you’re nothing but crooks and your children are suffering for it. Worse, they’re learning to be just like you.

    • Alyssa November 10, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

      Since when did having a specific place in mind to further your education after high school become spoiled? Students like me should not feel bad or “spoiled” for wanting to go to a particular school even if we can’t afford it ! I for one will not feel bad for having a specific place in mind for pursuing my education. I don’t think it’s fair for kids to have to settle on a college just because it’s cheaper or easier, and as far as college kids go you’re being very stereotypical. No I don’t think parents should have to pay for everything their child owns, but I do feel that it should be there obligation to at least help

      • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 3:33 am #

        So if one were to apply Alyssa’s “logic of total entitlement” any 16 year old who wants a $70K BMW for a first car has a “right” to expect mom and dad to fork out the money to “help, huh…..

        Young lady…………I hope you grow up and real soon because if you don’t and you keep sticking to this idea of total entitlement you seem to have life is going to teach you some very, very cruel lessons.

        I think you’d be far better served to adopt an attitude of gratitude for everything you have and everything you have the opportunity to earn and achieve. That attitude is a good first step toward not only achieving what you’d like to do, have and be in life but also finding happiness in your life.

      • Fathalius March 10, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

        And they are by saying, “I believe in you!”

  19. Max September 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    Somewhere down the line in the last 30 years or so, the majority of parents have been brain washed into thinking that they are responsible for financing their ADULT offspring’s education. If an individual matures into adulthood and desires an education, he or she is responsible for their wants in life…not the parents who have their desires and dreams into later life.
    Here is what changed it all. The banking industry. They banks know that if they can get families to save for their children’s education, they just doubled the amount of depositors to their institution of banking, therefore making a huge profit with simply touching on an emotional string of parents and warping their sense of responsibility of parenting.
    Next, the mortgage companies will be saying that parents are responsible for their child’s first house and to start saving for the down payment…because, wouldn’t any loving parent want the best for their children?

    It’s a poor investment for a parent to finance their child’s education. From an objective investment standpoint, the investor(parent) is not getting any return from the venture/borrower (child) and therefore just giving away there future finances without any return. Would a bank give away money to someone with expecting a return?

    • Susana October 3, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

      You people need to wake up! You all sound so entitled and selfish!!!!
      Hey not to mention, wake up and realize now days its mostly better NOT to go to college and start your own business!
      You want to take away your parents retirement for nothing!
      My dad grew up so so poor.. As a father he was anything but a deadbeat! I was never hungry or without a birthday cake or fitting jeans unlike him growing up! He worked so hard to shelter me.
      When it was time for college I remember being a bit surprised that all of my friends parents were paying for their college degrees and it was expected. When my dad told me he couldn’t I was a little sad but NEVER thought it was his responsibility!!!
      I worked and paid for my own AA in Psychology before realizing I was wasting my time. … At least I didn’t waste their money too!!!!!
      You have been lied to about the necessity to have a degree to be successful.. Do your homework and research all the unemployed graduates (YES INCLUDING NURSES AND LAYWERS!) then read about successful people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Walt Disney etc who didn’t graduate… Or how you can be very successful in blue collar jobs lil (gasp!) a plumber!
      Guess what
      Every single one of my fellow millenial friends and family that got BAs are in jobs that do not require or have nothing to do with their degree!!!!!
      Be grateful you didn’t have real “deadbeat” parents and always had enough food, warmth, and joy!
      I’m so scared for my generation…

      • Fathalius March 10, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

        Damn straight. So am I

  20. Matt July 10, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    What a bunch of crap. Parents don’t owe you anything past age 18. I’m not working to death to pay for college. I deserve a decent retirement with my wife. I work a dirty union job on shift work I have 12 years left to retirement. I have retirement accounts and am going to get a pension. I will retire at 52. I will enjoy my life. I didn’t get spring break I got extra hours at work during those times I didn’t live in the dorms my parents let me live at home which I will allow my kids to do as well. Sorry if you people
    Think that social security is retirement age it’s not.

    • Julia October 1, 2015 at 4:01 am #

      Don’t have kids. It’s much cheaper and you can keep all of your money.

      • Brianna December 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

        Thank you for saying the truth

      • Fathalius March 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

        Or use your brain. That’s much smarter. Matt is right

    • 22YearOldPoverty December 30, 2015 at 5:50 am #

      Clearly most of the people on this page are a bunch of ignorant retards. You can not have it both ways. Financial Aid believes it is the parents responsibility to pay for their off springs college. Now that is understandable to a point, when you have kids, you have to take on the debt, to want to punish the child for being born and saying “Well your 18, I dont care no more get the hell out is really irresponsible at least on a moral level”. However at the same time I do believe students should be allowed to be independent at age 18 and not be held back by if “Mom and dad want them to go to college and are willing to pay for it”. Its also very unfair since it punishes students of a higher income class. Your mom and dads income is not your income. What they should do is either make a law which requires parents to pay for at least 2 years of college, or else automatically makes students independent after the age of 18. Discriminating against students based on class is really fucked up. What kind of America do we live in where your family’s income determines if you get an education? Also the idea that you can pay for college on minimum wage part time job is such a joke. I dont even make enough and I work a job that pays 11 an hour and its barely enough to support myself. 8 an hour is not enough to make a living and there are still places which can pay less than 8 like waiter because of the “Tips” Rule.

  21. lmb July 7, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    This topic is a struggle for me as I do feel that kids need to have some skin in the game. I paid for all of my college education and I really think it allowed me to be more financially responsible and I know that when we are hiring young talent, we try to find out if they paid for any of their education (we feel it says something about them).

    Now with that being said, my husband and I have five children and we plan to contribute equally amongst their education. The money we are paying would offset a 4 year in state school (living on campus) by 60% and could also cover all their education depending on how they manage it. For example, our oldest child did a community college for the first year and is now transferring to a university where she will live on campus. She will be entering as a Sophomore so our support will go even further for her, but because she is choosing to live on campus she will need to fund some of her costs. Our 2nd child wants to attend a community college for the first 2 years and then transfer to a university near our house for his last 2 years (top notch school and he would live at home). He will have money coming back to him with this route, but that shows his maturity in how he is approaching this.

    As much as I want to pay for anything they decide to do (and I’ll be honest, I could to a limit), I do feel that this is going to offer a huge life lesson for my children and it’s their decision if they want to incur educational expenses or not. Also, the reality is that I am only opting to not pay for the on campus experience…if my children choose to live at home and commute, they would be covered. I think that is fair, but I am sure many of you will not agree 🙂

  22. Dependently Independent July 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

    I encourage those who feel the need to label this generation of students as “self-entitled” or “lazy” to reevaluate their positions on the matter. I am a 19 year-old student living entirely on my own (read: I pay for my own food, rent, and bills), an have been doing so for about 18 months, now. I work full-time on the first shift (6 am – 2 pm) at a factory assembling and lifting heavy-duty coolers. It’s not easy work; I certainly get my hands dirty, but I can honestly say that I love it. I make a few dollars an hour more than minimum wage, and am able to support myself fairly effectively. However, I also need to pay for school. This is where I take issue with the way things work, presently. Contrary to what Dan had written in his post, I am NOT able to file as an independent student, despite having lived and worked for a year on my own. Instead, I have to get my parents’ information from them. I can’t even begin to state how much easier said than done this is, and I’m on good terms with my parents; I can’t imagine how much more difficult this would become being in conflict with them. My mother’s taxes are a mess. I quite literally cannot use her tax information on the FAFSA because she hasn’t filed them with the IRS in an acceptable manor. You’d think I’d be able to just file with my father’s information, but you’d be incorrect for making such a rational and fair assumption. Instead, the system calls for the use of the information belonging to the parent the student last lived with and subsequently, was supported by. It’s pretty darn inconvenient that I moved to my apartment from my mother’s house, then. Fortunately for me, living on my own support for a year DID allow me to do one thing to change the situation, at least temporarily. A rule lets me switch back and forth between my parents every year, which lets me get financial aid, or at least half of the time. This was only after paying for an entire year of college out of pocket and just barely scraping by. So, am I lazy? You’ll have trouble arguing that one. Do I think my parents should pay for my college? Nope. I want to be able to take all of the credit for my success. And yet I still have to go through them and use their ‘help’ because I’m still a dependent in the eyes of the FSA, and will be for 4 more years. Call me entitled if you’d like, but all I want is to be independent from my parents so that I can take out (and pay back) loans and pay for school. It’s rather frustrating to be stuck in this situation that I can do virtually nothing about, because it’s not like I haven’t been to the financial aid office a billion times asking questions and clearing up inaccuracies. So please reconsider the assumption that you know what sort of people these students are before making an ignorant, demeaning comment in regards to it. As one of those students, I really don’t appreciate it.

    • dick November 23, 2015 at 9:36 am #

      Dependently Independent,

      Have you considered going down and enlisting in one of the branches of the U.S. Military? You could not only earn a lot of money for college, but also serve your country at the same time, thus, allowing you to reap the benefits of being a veteran in later life.

      • Visitor September 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

        You’ve posted something to this effect more than once. Have you considered doing your recruiting elsewhere? Are you worried you won’t make your quota? Is the military still shipping recruiters with low numbers into hot zones?

  23. Kandy June 21, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    I am a single mother and I was attending college in 2014. I only had 8 courses to go when I found that I had no more financial aid. I need to know is there any programs out there for me that will help me? I was deceived by my school, and I am fighting them, but I need to know is there anyway I can get my degree?

  24. ultrajones June 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    I see a LOT of folks who rant and rave about “entitlement” and cry baby kids who need to pay their own way through school. Are you people completely delusional, because if you are reading this article then you have access to the internet so you should easily be able to find out THIS:

    College tuition has risen over 13 fold in the past 30 years. Most of that in the last 10 years.

    Meanwhile, minimum wage ( and other low wage jobs ), you know the kind that a kid without a degree can get to help them pay for college? Yeah those. The earning power of those wages has declined like a ski jumper at the Olympics.

    You folks are so busy being self-righteous and “wise” that you can’t do simple math.


    Now STFU and STFD while the rest of us logical adults figure out some solutions for this VERY REAL PROBLEM.

    Have a nice day.

    • Julia October 1, 2015 at 4:08 am #

      You’re exactly right. And I might add that most of these people didn’t have to have a college degree to do a temp job or work as a secretary. There are very few jobs one can work without at least a two year college degree. Personally, I has to work as a temp secretary for about ten years because where I lived no degree = you make minimum wage at a job with no growth path and no benefits. My father refused to pay a cent toward a state college degree yet my brother felt privileged and happy to do so for his son – and he made a whole lot less money. Go figure.

    • Richard November 17, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

      …and you’re actually somehow under the delusional belief that your parent(s)’ wages HAVE risen “13 fold in the past 30 years. Most of it in the last 10 years”?

      The fact is that legally you’re an adult. The tragedy is that in reality you’re still a child. A child throwing a temper tantrum because “ultrajones” can’t have his/her way.

      There are plenty of colleges out there that still have reasonable tuition costs that you could work your way through. If those choices don’t appeal to you, then I suggest you either temper your expectations and desires with a healthy dose of reality OR…………..that you actually grow up and take responsibility for your own life.

      • Fathalius March 10, 2016 at 10:26 pm #

        If you could read… They said tuition has risen 13 fold. Not parents wages.

  25. ced May 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

    I’m a junior at the u of o. I’m 32, have a wife, and a 10 yr old daughter. I moved us from FL to Oregon to pursue my dream of becoming a product designer. We sold everything we had to move here and had to completely start over with jobs and everything. About a years worth of credits did not transfer over from my community college in FL to community college in Portland. So I had to redo everything. After 2 more yrs I graduated, got my AA, and once again moved us. This time from Portland to Eugene. I have been at U of O for about a year now, I’m a junior with 135 credits, all my financial aid is maxed out, I don’t have good enough credit to get a loan, and I haven’t heard back from any scholarships I applied for. I just recently lost my job too. It was a BS $10 an hour job but I really needed it. Now I think my dream of becoming a product designer is over. It’s hard to have come so far and work on something for so many years, and the only thing standing in my way of getting my degree, working a job I love, and being able to get a job that pays enough to take care of my family is $20,000 more dollars for the rest of my classes. I don’t know if I can give up and be ok. But, I think all the hard work has been for nothing. I don’t think I handle this.

  26. Mark April 29, 2015 at 2:50 am #

    While reading these posts, I’ve never seen so many “spoiled free-entitlement liberal brats” in my life. We can all thank our dictator in the white house who stood up and said, “You didn’t earn that” or “You weren’t responsible for being successful.” Morons like him encourage free hand-outs to those who aren’t willing to get off their lazy asses and make something happen for themselves. To them, the world “OWES” them something.

    What has happened to the work ethic in this country and what are we teaching our children? I will agree that when my wife and I went to college in the 1980’s, it was much cheaper than it is now. We are doing our best to help our two children any way we can, but they will need to have jobs on the side – especially during Christmas break and summer. They will have to maintain a decent grade point average or the financial help from Mom and Dad stops.

    I am proud of both of my children because they’ve maintained academic standards of a 3.5 GPA and above and they’ve busted their back-sides – taking AP classes and being part of school activities. It bothers me that our government allows illegals to come into this country, get everything they want and the rest of us flip the bill.

    If you want to be successful, you need to hit the floor running and make it happen. The world owes you nothing.

    • Lauren July 4, 2015 at 2:44 am #

      To Mark: I went to Ivies for undergrad (dual majored) and grad school. My parents paid for everything. I did well, had amazing experiences and went on to found an engineering company. I retired several years ago at 45. I fully expect to pay for my kids too. I feel sorry for the scratching and clawing students – mostly at state schools; so many missed opportunities and wasted talent. If you had wanted your children to achieve great things, then your plan was a great disservice. But thank you for providing me with fabulous worker bees!

      • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 3:47 am #


        Your comments almost beg the questions:

        1. Which “Ivy” do you attend?
        2. What were your undergrad majors?
        3. How long did it take you to graduate (bachelors and masters)?
        4. When and where did you become licensed?
        5. What was the name of the engineering company you founded that allowed you to retire in no more than 20 years all the while starting a family and having a couple kids?

        Furthermore, your statements about kids scratching and clawing at state schools missing opportunities and wasting talent betrays a naivety…and perhaps….a lack of how shall we say forthrightness regarding your own tale as there are many outstanding state universities that cost a whole lot less than the “Ivies”. I would think that someone who could found an engineering company, give birth to at least two kids, and be successful enough to retire by 45 would surely know that.

      • BearTiger March 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        Your comments are spot on. If the parents don’t have the financial means to help their kids pay for college, then there’s not much that can be done. However, if the parents do have the means, but refuse to help their kids with higher education and instead waste money on fancy houses, fancy cars, and buying a bunch of useless crap (like my parents did), it is a major disservice. In my case, my parents have a net worth of well over $10 million, but they contributed less than $20,000 to my education. I had to wait 10 years after college to start grad school, and then paid for grad school by working 10 hours a day in a job that cost me my lungs. I did have a job that paid $100k for a few years after grad school, but that job got restructured. Today, I am unemployed, and the pay for similar work I was doing just a year ago has reduced to $70,000 (and the number of openings available is limited). Fortunately, I live much more conservatively than my parents do – drive a 15 year old car, don’t eat out at fancy restaurants, don’t spend money on random stuff I don’t need, live in a modest home – so I managed to save several years of liquidity for a rainy day. Had my parents helped me out a bit more, I very likely could have been much farther ahead than I am today.

        All in all, I have observed that most “Baby Boomers” lost sight of the fact that they earned their wealth in an economic growth cycle that really ended in the mid 1990s and has been in decline ever since. While some could make the argument that young people today are too “entitled”, I think the real issue is that college degree or no college degree, if you didn’t inherit a large fortune at an early age (basically how my parents got their wealth), it’s pretty tough to establish wealth.

  27. Ames April 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    i know the solution to all of this. Have groups of recent graduates, entepreuers, and professionals in 10 to 20 industries get together and create really affordable, quality, useful college 3 year degrees. U could use online interface via tech tools , but increase the quality. also include real world practicum into the coursework, even role plays or internships so people will be able to quickly apply learned skills. u could crank.out a bunch of qualified engineers, nurses in no time as long as the students have above average iqs ! make it like 10,000 for whole degree, including everything

  28. Jerry John April 13, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    To all the parents claiming that students should pay their own way, cut the crap. You either didn’t have supportive parents growing up, you didn’t get a chance to go to any school other than some shit local college for which you grew up next to, or you work some shitty job with 0 fulfillment. Sound familiar?

    First of all, school isn’t “job training.” Thats the absolute dumbest thing I have ever heard and it proves that whoever says such a thing went to a shitty school — if they went at all. Research universities are about conducting research relevent for benifiting humanity in its entirety. Perhaps you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about and if thats the case, perhaps you should keep your mouths shut.

    Perhaps your money would be better spent educating your children so that they can become better than you — because that’s what will happen at great schools.

    Some crap xxx state university or community college won’t even begin to foster the life altering ways of thought offered at schools like Berkely, Stanford, Michigan, HYPM, UCLA, Various liberal arts college’s… for god’s sake most of the adults whinning about creating opportunity for their children have never even begun to experiance what great education is. It’s a god damn fucking shame –> No one has to go through a shitty life in order to be considered an “adult.” Spare us millenials the utterly complete bullshit. It’s a damn shame you will end up subjecting your kids to the same shitty life you probably lead because your parents didn’t pay for your education.

    If you didn’t like what I said you can fuck off, because whether you like it or not we are the next generation. I’m tired of listening to uneducated parents go on and on about ridiculous and cometely dumb bullshit.

    Watch as those lucky enough to have supportive parents rise to the top while your children will becone the next in poverty. Coincidence? I’ll let you all decide when your old and your kids can’t afford a nice nursing home for your pathetic asses.

    Disregard any spelling mistakes, my parents don’t want to give me a good education, so I guess I can’t blame them. Oh well.

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

      To Jerry John from all the parents who expect you and your contemporaries to grow up and take responsibility for your lives like we did at your age……..


      Your little vulgarity filled tirade not only demonstrates that you lack the vocabulary to attend any of the schools you quote, but also that you young boy have got a long, long way to go before you can even begin to call yourself anything other than a spoiled brat who has delusions of adequacy let alone manhood.

      FYI son…….

      A man steps up and takes responsibility for his decisions, attaining his goals, and how he lives his life.

      A man never expects others to pay for what he wants. Rather a man pays his way in life.

      A man is appreciative and respectful of his elders and particularly his parents.

      A man knows that it’s not the name of the school you go to that determines whether or not the man will “rise to the top” but rather it’s what is inside the man that determines how far or whether that man rises.

      A man knows that vulgarity laced tirades such as yours are a sign that it wouldn’t matter where you went to college, you’d still be a little, whining, excuse making brat who will likely end up aspiring to be a night manager at McDonald’s or Burger King.

  29. Joe April 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    The replies seem to be coming from loads of loser parents who were too wrapped up
    in their own crap to care about their children’s future and then just passed the buck.

  30. richard April 1, 2015 at 3:13 pm #


    I have a real problem with selfish, immature and self-entitled kids who even though are eighteen and want no one “telling them what to do”, continue to hold on to this strange “Peter Pan” world view where they never have to grow up, never have to take responsibility for their own lives, never have to held be accountable for their own decisions, and never have to take care of themselves because somehow mommy and daddy are still supposed to take care of them.

    • Joe April 9, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

      So, Richard, the responsible thing to do is load your kids down with crippling student loan debt when they are just starting out in life when it was much easier to just sack away a little bit of money each week over 18 years to help with college? No excuses for parents not to help with college expenses unless they are dead.

      • Dick September 22, 2015 at 6:41 am #

        No Joseph……..the “responsible thing” for parents to do is not to simply hand them everything for the asking. All that’s done is to create a generation of self-centered, ungrateful and disrespectful brats who want all the privileges of adulthood, but none of the responsibilities that go with being adults. Rather, parents should make every effort to teach their children that priceless lesson that in life the only person responsible for making your dreams come true and for your own happiness is you and only you. There’s an old saying that goes something like this:

        “We always have or will the necessary time, money and effort for what is truly important to us”

  31. Angela March 3, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    I’m disgusted with the obscene and gratuitous costs associated with colleges. Without launching into diatribes about why costs are grossly artificial, I’ll tell you what I’ve told my son repeatedly: gay marriage is legal in the state where he attends a state college as an “out-of-stater” at about 35K per year..

    I’ve encouraged him to find someone who’s also willing to game the system and marry him, whether male or female, in order to become classified as an independent student. If our misguided president can make $35K “gifts” of free money to people in the country illegally, who are taking un-skilled jobs kids might have while in college, and then running a game around recent American college grads by importing hundreds of thousands of H-1B visa workers to fill the jobs our young graduates might want, I say the rules are off, it’s everyone for him/ herself, and adapt and exploit these new twisted rules he’s devised or fail..

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 9:46 pm #


      So your advice to your son isn’t to perhaps temper the expenses by attending a college in your state that would be a fraction of the costs of an out of state college, isn’t to consider enlisting in one of the branches of the Armed Forces and serve his country while earning money for college via the G.I. Bill, or even to get a job and work to save up and pay for college.

      Rather……..your “advice” to your son is to toss anything resembling growing up and assuming personal responsibility for his choices or resembling being a moral person right out the ole window and rather…….”game the system” and defile the sanctity of marriage and marry someone just to “take advantage of the system”.

      After reading your post, why didn’t you recommend selling drugs or grand theft auto to earn money for college.

      I sure hope that your post is representative of your frustration rather than representative of the “values” or lack thereof that you raised your boy to have.

      Remember, no matter how unjust or unfair we may think a system is… can never justify doing something or telling someone else to do something that we KNOW to be dishonest, immoral, or that defiles something as sacred as marriage.

      In summation, the ends can never justify the means.

  32. Karen E December 27, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    I agree that this “Dan” in Ms. O’Shaughnessy’s story sounds like a real jerk BUT using this story doesn’t alter the fact that Ms. O’Shaughnessy herself is undoubtedly a vial, evil woman who believes in shooting first and asking questions later. I found this disgusting site while searching for information on financing college for 2 of my GRANDCHILDREN. Their parents are deceased, the children DO receive a Social Security benefit FROM MY work record because I earned more than either of their parents did. I had in fact just retired a few months before the children came to live with me and eventually I adopted them legally. My goal was to protect them from arbitrary decisions on the part of state agencies in the event that I should become temporarily unable to care for them. I’m healthy, but at my age, one never knows if you might have a health issue which would require another relative to care for the children for a few weeks. I also wanted to get the children off Medicaid. Once they were legally my dependent, they were eligible to be covered on my health care plan at work (for a premium). To have this evil woman (O’Shaughnessy) refer to me as a “deadbeat parent” simply because I choose NOT to allow my grandchildren to be placed in foster homes where they may or may not have been loved and cherished is one of the most ridiculous insults any person could ever receive. I do hope that this Lynn will some day enjoy the hateful judgmental attitude she employs against others herself.
    There are currently approximately 11 million CHILDREN in the United States being raised by loving Grandparents who are the “parents” which will be responsible for filing out those FAFSA FORMS. I have for the past 8 yrs given my grandchildren (legally my children) the best life that I can. I, in fact, homeschool my grandson who is an advanced student and was bored to tears in brick and mortal schools. My granddaughter is an average student…who struggles with Algebra, and we manage to scrape together the funds for a tutor, because we absolutely believe that education is IMPORTANT. However, this O’Shaughnessy woman’s insistence that a 70 yr old grandmother should go without medication, heat, food, or even a small emergency savings account or be branded a “Deadbeat Parent” is the height of the stupidity and arrogance prevalent in young people these days. I pray that I am rearing my grandchildren to have a little appreciation and respect for me. That Ms. O’Shaughnessy believes in fairy tales where children go to foster care and are immediately snapped up by loving wealthy adoptive parents who can afford to buy them Porsche’s for graduation from high school and pay their way to any college they choose is simply NOT realistic. I hope that the grandparents of the OTHER 11 + million children being raised by grandparents aren’t deterred by the hateful stance of this person. Apparently, the EFC (expected family contribution) is also effected by the parents age. Even your Social Security income is considered at 100% if you have any other income. Some grandparents may work part time so they can file a tax return and claim an EITC status, but as I’ve interpreted what I’ve found, this would make all of your SS income considered in the EFC even though the Internal Revenue Service only includes 50% of Social Security income as taxable. You may certainly want to delay taking any funds out of your IRA because they’ll be considered income by FAFSA. And, heaven forbid that you’re also helping to take care of a 85-90 yr old parent in a nursing home…then you’re ALSO as “Deadbeat Child” at the same time. Maybe we’d just be better off in prison???

  33. Missy October 27, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    A college education is job training and not an experience that you’re entitled to, and as such is an investment. So if you can not pay off student loan is two years or less with reasonable future earning expectation (research this), then it’s a no go. Here’s a few tips: do well in HS and on the SATs and get a scholarship, community college for two years, go to a local college and live with parents, work, do not major in art, women’s studies or some other nonsense that makes you even less employable than when you started (remember this is job training), and there is nothing wrong with the trades or secretarial school.

    • betty November 14, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      Please back in his day college was probably free if not, cheaper. And when are people going to realize that loans are TRAPS?

    • Lauren July 4, 2015 at 2:50 am #

      No, actually, college isn’t about job training. One of my undergrad degrees is in literature. It was every ounce as important as my technical grad degree in running a company. I retired at 45. I will always defend the value of the liberal arts.

      • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 3:53 am #


        Your claims about founding and running an engineering firm and retiring at 45 are when coupled with the “revalation” that you have an undergraduate degree in literature are just a bit suspicious until you flesh those claims out with some real specifics.

  34. Rob October 21, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    From a post above “I never got to live in a dorm or take part in real college life”. College is for learning not “college life” which I assume means partying it up. That statement alone shows why parents should not have to pay for college for spoiled brats like the one who wrote that. You went to a community college got a degree, move on and quit whining.

  35. Michelle September 29, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I am a 27 year old female. I graduated last December with a BA in Psychology and had a heck of a time finding full-time employment. I settled for an entry-level position with no benefits, and it doesn’t require a degree.

    My parents are poor, so I understand why they could not help more, but I am looking at over $56,000 in loans and this is just with a BA. I had a hard time in school and at the time was always more-so concerned about passing the classes. I had work-study jobs, but that was not enough obviously. Working while being in school was always too much.

    Looking back, I wish I would have worked more than I did but I was dealing with other issues as well: depression, probably depressed due to the stress of the loans and figuring out how to pay for things semester-to-semester. I will admit that I have never been good at saving but boy I have had a huge REALITY CHECK this year since I’ve began working steadily. I am thinking about a Graduate Degree but am wondering if this is the best idea for someone in my position.

    I never had the option to live in the dorms because my financial aid package wouldn’t cover it… At the time I was upset but now when I think about it, it probably saved me some money. How is it that I can be in $56 in debt and I am STILL living at home with my parents. Probably because I come from a working class/poor background…

    I used the financial aid checks toward food, clothes, really for more basic things. Looking back, I know the reason why I went ahead and did that, is because I didn’t think it would be so hard to find work… I see lots of people my age who are living “on their own.” Sure, because their parents are sending them rent checks in the mail. I think most definitely take it for granted. I know that if I ever have kids, I will make them work for it. I would probably help more then my parents helped me, but I would definitely not make it a free ride for them. I don’t think you are teaching your children anything about reality if you make things so easy!

    A few people I knew in college would give me a hard time about how I still live at home and I always thought to myself… Yeah that is easy for you to say because your parents are paying for everything! I have learned how not to compare myself to others because my circumstances are mine, they are unique. I should be concerned about what I am going to do to improve my situation, rather than focusing on everyone else because truthfully you never know what people are going through. I think that many, many parents cover a lot of things up for their kids. A lot of them are not in the best situation themselves to be helping. At the gym a lady told me that she can barely afford rent herself, and she is worried about becoming homeless (maybe she was just joking) but to even joke about something like that is insane, and she is helping her 22 year old daughter with rent ($700 a month.)

    SO, anyway I think parents should help if they can, but at the same time they should be careful and not become enablers.

    The reason why I am in it so deep with the loans has more to do with the fact that I come from a poor background. I am finally getting it together and mentally am able to start checking into different resources/program to help myself. Through work, there is going to be a seminar this Thursday on finding ways to reduce debt. There are going to be speakers talking about this crisis.

    SO, I will put one foot in front of the other, and start to develop a plan to make things better. Graduate School isn’t looking likely, unless I could get a Fellowship.


  36. Lynda August 21, 2014 at 3:10 am #

    I’m sorry that many think this guy is a deadbeat but I disagree. There are always way to obtain loans, get grants and these are actually tax dollars parents pay in. Colleges should lower their fee’s if it’s such a big deal to go to college.
    Why not try a tech school or do something else that doesn’t require a high prices school that will not guarantee you a job anyway.
    I see way to much of the hand outs to these kids that do not even think anything of it. Are not grateful or even considerate of their parents. I went to pick up my husbands son from college because he had no money for gas. Then he tells the story about how he and his buds were racing around somewhere the other night. Uhm really? Not one of his friends had a job, their cars are bought for them, their clothing, and the apartment they live in all my mom and pop. It sickens me to see this as we are raising a group of adults who take things for granted instead of being grateful.

    I’m sorry if you think Parents should foot the bill but I save every penny for 4 years to buy a car and go to school. I had a job all the time not just summers. When I graduated from college I had to pay back less than 2000. there are jobs out there you have to look and you might get dirty but it makes you feel good knowing you did it on your own. A feeling most young adults have no idea about.

    • Jamie December 5, 2014 at 3:16 am #

      Glad to hear that you’re an authority on how young adults feel. The only redeeming thing about reading commentaries like yours is knowing that someday soon, when you’re waiting for your Social Security check to be paid out of the money that young adults are paying in, there won’t be any money to pay it, and we’ll all vote to cut you off so you can get a job and have that good feeling of knowing you did it all yourself.

      Of course, you doubtless have an enormous sum saved for your retirement, right? I mean, surely you know that the money you paid into Social Security was used to pay your parents’ benefits, so you’d be a straight up idiot to have not saved at least $500,000 by now.

      • The13thDoctor December 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

        Reading thisnarticle and most of the commentary has made me ill. Where do you get this sense of entitlement? Most likely your parents are to blame by making sure you got a participant trophy and an “everyone’s a winner” for every little thing you did that you failed at during your soft, sheltered childhood.

        It reminded me of a quote from a classic move from the 80’s.

        Danny Noonan: I planned to go to law school after I graduated, but it looks like my folks won’t have enough money to put me through college.

        Judge Smails: Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

        I paid my way through 3 associate of science degrees, 1 bachelor’s of science, 2 master’s of science and two Ph.D’s at my state university between December 2001 to December of 2011. I did it with no student loans, credit cards, GI Bill (which I was entitled to, but refused for personal reasons) help from parents, relatives or friends. I did it and incurred no debt and had no help of any kind.

        I achieved all that because I possess something most all of you are sorely lacking. Perseverance, determination and the strongest of work ethics.

        My fiancé did the same thing. As an 8 year old, she came to this country with her mother, who herself was a hard worker and instilled that in her the way my father who worked at Ford Motor Company for 34 year (and could have retired at age 48) instilled in me.

        She just turned 25 and will be graduating law school in 2015. (She already has her MBA) Sure she has some student loan debt, but newsflash…she will be able to pay for it fairly easily…she has actually been making payments on her student loans since starting graduate school rather than blowing her earnings on clothes, drinking, vacations, etc…

        For those of you who aren’t financially responsible enough to do that…there are other ways to get your loans forgiven. Become a teacher, join the Peace Corps, don something for someone else for a change. Give back instead of always taking. Try selflessness over selfishness.

        Recently, this past Father’s Day of 2014, my parents actually apologized for not helping me with my college. You know what my response to that was? I thanked them for not helping me and I meant it. Then I handed my dad the keys to his Father’s Day gift. The 1967 Pontiac GTO that he sold when I was born because he thought that as a father he shouldn’t have any toys as it was time to grow up. That car was the most favorite thing he ever owned so I spent two years tracking that car down and another few weeks tryo g to cinvince the owner to selm it to me. I was able to get the owner to sell it to me with my story. That and $25,000 cash. My dad had only paid $600 for the car back in the day. I sold the most valuable comic book from my collection to buy him that car. Something I had been chasing after for many years trying to acquire. Money I could have used to pay off all my credit card debt, put a down payment on a new house and new car with as well.

        My point is that as adults you should be doing things to ease the burden of your parents. Not compounding them.

        If you do not succeed in life. Don’t blame your teachers. Don’t blame your parents. (As this hack of an author wouldnhave you do). Blame yourselves. The responsibility is yours.

        If you do not take that responsibility, then it is not your parents who are deadbeats and losers.

        It is you.

        • RJF December 24, 2014 at 9:45 am #

          I honestly don’t understand this string of logic. If you make decent enough money to send your children to college, from the standpoint of government and society, you’re obligated to chip in for at least some of the costs. I’m sure you’re proud of yourself for raising strong and independent children, but the fact of the matter is, forcing them to work their ways through university or take out enormous loans is unrealistic on one hand and unfair on the other. Do you know how much tuition at a decent state university costs nowadays? Mine is upwards of $10,000 per year, despite the fact that I live at home rather than on campus. If I opted for a dorm room, that’d increase costs by at least $3,000 per SEMESTER.

          I have worked very hard to do a lot of things that I want to do. In fact, I’ve worked so hard that my grades have often suffered, because I’ve been able to meet my savings goals or pay rent and had to pick up a second job. There have been some semesters where I’ve had to juggle working sixty hours per week while taking a full course load. Did you do that? If you did, should you have? Because any parent who makes a decent amount of money and has an ounce of future planning ability shouldn’t have a difficult time putting away a minuscule fraction of their yearly income to take care of their child’s future undergraduate education.

          For all the emphasis that American people like to put on “family values,” our society seems to be sadly lacking in their practice. “Family values” are about having a network of support; not just teaching your children that gays are scary and they should love Jesus. My girlfriend is a member of the statistically wealthiest ethnic minority group in the United States. Her parents had no money when they came to America but worked hard and put away money for their children’s education as soon as they were able to afford doing so. They paid for my girlfriend’s undergraduate tuition and living expenses but said she’s on her own if she chooses to go to graduate school. Guess what? Having parents whose philosophy wasn’t, “screw you, kid, you can spend your down time in college working at McDonald’s,” meant that she could pursue paying internships over summer breaks. She saved enough money from those on her own to be able to pay for an MBA.

          I’m sorry, but I’m just not impressed by your story of “working your way up.” Not only did your parents neglect to properly provide for you, but the cost of tuition has skyrocketed since whenever your presumably graduated.

          I’m going to medical school in another year. I wouldn’t dream of asking my parents to foot the bill for that. But it would have been nice to be able to focus on my studies while in college, rather than having to constantly stress out over nickles and dimes. Your view is that a young person who expects their parents to help with undergrad is “entitled,” which is fairly typical of your generation; my view is that financially able parents have an obligation to help ensure their child’s future success. Call me a member of the “expectation generation” all you’d like. But it’s strange. I know so many people – most of whom are not white and whose parents weren’t born American “Boomers” – whose parents gave them opportunities in college. I guess you’d call them spoiled, but most of them do very well academically, land job placements prior to graduation, and are EXPECTED by their parents to not only do the same for their future children but also to take care of them in old age. It’s a deal rather than a simple parceling out of dollars.

          But yeah, let’s wonder why so many corporate and professional jobs are being taken by immigrants from East and South Asia – cultures where “family values” still exist and parents believe in giving a better life to their children than was given to them. Meanwhile, in America, our motto is, “it sucked for me so it’s going to suck for you too, bucko.”

          • richard April 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm #


            As others have told you………………college isn’t a right let alone a necessity. College is a privilege. The fact that you didn’t or couldn’t get any kind of scholarships to offset the costs isn’t your parents problem…’s yours. You say you want to be a doctor. Did you ever consider the fact that the U.S. Military is always looking for doctors? Did you even bother to look into a ROTC scholarship with either the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, or U.S. Air Force? Did you know that if you could get into medical school and you were in a ROTC program that the military would pay for EVERYTHING at med school, AND pay you an O-1 salary (with all the benefits) while you were there? I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t.

            Have you ever once thanked your parents for allowing you to live at home while you went to college? I doubt it. I also doubt that you’ve ever paid any board, bought any food, or paid a penny to drive the car that your parents bought for you.

            BTW…..if you worried about “nickels and dimes” to get a bachelor’s degree, you’ve got no business going to medical school as your efforts won’t even come close to paying for those costs.

            Time to grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your life.

          • Anon May 18, 2015 at 2:05 am #

            To all the naysayers about whether parents should pay for their kids education:
            As a kid my parents never respected my interest in school. They didn’t go to school and worked hard physical labor and retail jobs. They never said they wouldn’t pay for me to go to college but they tried to sway me from wanting to go to college which was even worse. They eventually kicked me out of their house when I was sixteen. I went to one of the best high schools in the state and was involved in every extra-curricular activity, had very good grades and had plans to go to a prestigious college. After jumping from place to place I finally graduated from a disadvantaged high school (barely) and was on anti-depressants during that time. After that, I worked fifteen different minimum wage jobs some for which I received promotions, lived in expensive places, changed my major a few times at a few different community colleges, went on and off anti-depressants and finally at age 25 started to take school seriously. I am in serious debt because of my serious decision to go to school and my major choice music is not a skill readying me for the job world. But after taking care of sick and dying people as a nurse’s aid I realized life is short and if your passion is in higher education than you have to make the sacrifice and go into debt if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket. I incurred too many ilnesses from my jobs and never got workman’s compensation so when it came time for me to go to school I needed all the help I could get. My parents gave me a little bit of money here and there but nothing touched the cost of taking and retaking classes, rent, food (because you need energy to use your brain). And no amount of money will replace the lack of emotional/intellectual support from them. My step-mom had the nerve to ask me how much my debt was? I told her none of her business. She should say thank you for following your dreams and not depending on us so we (they) can pay for their house and shower my idiot siblings with the love and money that they disallowed me when they kicked me out of their house for no reason 15 years ago. Not to mention an apology. The lack of emotional support and encouragement is what has been the biggest loss. I was always a good daughter and student who just wanted to be involved in too many extracurricular activities with school and they were overwhelmed so they elected not to deal with me. As a student at a less prestigious university I never lived on campus, applied to live on campus, not into the party scene-was strictly there for the education. I don’t regret it. I feel prepared to tackle anything because I fed my passion in life and am feeling enriched and enlightened and a sense of personal fulfillment that matters more to me than any job and consequently am actually looking forward to going back to work full time and paying off those debts.

          • Betsy April 19, 2016 at 5:22 am #

            I know this is an old response to this thread. but I was reading through all these responses and got so discouraged by the attitudes. I think RJF really hit on the heart of the matter: it’s about culture and valuing education and caring for one another. My parents sacrificed to send me to the best college I could get into; I’m doing the same for my kids, with pride. My education allowed me (and still allows me) to be successful; I want the same, or better, for my kids. They’re about to go to college and I’ve told them exactly what my parents told me: apply to your dream schools, and if it’s within my power, I’ll get you there. Not because I owe you, because I love you. And we are not wealthy, and it is expensive.
            And now that my parents are old, they need my help, and I answer like this: whatever you need, if I can provide it, I will. Not because I owe you, because I love you.

      • Richard November 23, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        My dear Jamie,

        Just based on your comment alone about voting to cut off the social security benefits of the elderly, I somehow strongly suspect that without a major maturation it is quite unlikely that you’ll ever be in a position to find yourself pay much if anything in the way of FICA tax.

  37. Seth August 20, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    University (college) isn’t a right, isn’t a necessity or anything else. I would consider paying for my child’s education in part if A. They went close to home and lived at home, B. got good marks and C. worked at least 30 hours a week at all times with 40-70/week required during the vacation periods. No trips period, no special occasions paid for, and they’d be responsible for their own bills (credit cards, some food, their personal outings/social life, clothing and toiletries and would be responsible for helping at the home too). So in other words, finish quickly and get on with life. You don’t get a four year break to “discover yourself”, travel, make new friends or anything else useless and illogical. Anything less and you’re on your own. It’s not a parents’ job to pay for college though it’s nice if they choose to.

    To be honest I’d be more supportive and caring if they chose to work a real job that makes real money straightaway, even if it’s just minimum wage, or pursued something more useful and quick like technical school. HVAC work will always be needed. Studying isn’t work. Sorry. Time to grow up.

    • Smarerthanyou June 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

      You sir, are insane.

  38. Marianne robertson August 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    We had the unfortunate experience of taking out a student loans in the amount of 35,000 dollars. Our son who is now 22 failed or dropped 14 classes and barely passed the others. After 3 years in college he lost his football scholarship due to low grades and probably all the drinking and partying.

    Right now he wants us to pay for college but we do not qualify due to our credit and current financial situation. He only cares about himself and he just wants to go back to school to play football. He does not help around the house, no chores, no yard work. Nothing!!
    He has a parade of girls coming in and staying overnight plus drinking non-stop. I put a stop to it and told him that he needs to get a job and pay for his own school. He has taken out other student loans and he’s getting calls to repay loan.

    He worked all year last year and this summer. He did not save a dime and right now has no money at all. We had to drive him to and from work.
    My husband and i have younger kids 14 -18 years who we have to support and help out with college expense. He had his opportunity to be successful and he blew it??

  39. Brian August 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    I read a statistic a few years back, that to raise a child to graduate High School, with just the basics of life, would cost around $180,000. That’s not including computers, cell phones, Xbox’s, etc. As a Parent, who had to pay his own college and sign up for loans at 18 to do so, I question why things have changed for the “expectation generation”.

    When I talk to kids or even some your 20 something kids, most of them seem to “expect” us to give them things, expect to make $50,000 a year to start in an entry level job. Expect to be able to leave work when they want, to play on facebook, etc. Work, pfft, they can do it later. Very few truly understand what it takes to live.

    I have busted my butt for two decades, sacrificing things I want to do, things I want to get, to ensure the kids are fed, clothed, had their money for field trips, etc. I have put my $180k (each) into raising them, and seen how they barely get by high school because they are too busy with boys, socializing and such. Why should we as parents pay another $180k we cannot afford, so they can go to college and have the “college experience” of parting all the time?

    The Government would be better off stopping the Lawyers and Doctors who make $120k or more a year from filing Bankruptcy and making us pay for their defaulted loans. (I know many who did this, first hand). After that, offer ALL kids low interest loans, at a guaranteed amount, and take the payments from their paychecks, tax returns, etc. to pay it back. They should also go after colleges for price gouging and forcing people to live on campus. Why should kids be forced to pay $3000 for a math class, then get taught by a TA rather than the professor they are paying for? Why should a teacher make $120k a year to work 30 hours a week at College, when we pay a teacher $35k a year to teacher first graders for 40 hours a week.

    We have other issues than making parents for their kids college, when most who start either fail, skate by or drop out……

  40. Webwench August 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    College is just a trap so you go so far in debt that you will never pay it off. Seriously, $3750 for an MS Excel class. Then they put a debt collector on you, calling from 6 am to Midnight every day, every 30 minutes while trying to complete a paper. Kaplan University did the deny, deny, when it was clear their only agenda was to get as many Fed Student loans as possible, harass students, and do their best to prevent graduation!

  41. Webwench August 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Wow! How entitled do you think you are? Your parents have NO responsibility for you once you turn 18. Seriously, uncalled for as it shows how lazy you are in creating a future for yourself. You are an adult, need to start acting like one. Get off your ass! The world and your parents do NOT owe you anything (They raised you, your alive). Reality is tough, especially when it is not edited for TV. Get some balls, or at least a backbone! Don’t care if you are male or female.

  42. Amber August 6, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    I know all of these replys are coming from parents, frustrated upset parents. But I assure you all that not all of us are spoiled brats. My dad makes over 100K a year. Far too much for me to apply for financial aid. For various reason I’m not going to get into and not for lack of trying my GPA wasn’t the best. But I still dream of going to college. After graduating high school I went to my local community college to try and earn my associates. My parents refused to help me pay for my classes for various reasons. So I took out a loan for half of them and paid for the rest on my own from my job. 2500$ later and I’d only taken four classes. I couldn’t keep doing this. 40 hours a week and every paycheck every last penny went to my savings which then paid for my classes. On top of that I had to pay for gas, loan payments and food. Not to mention work clothes. I cant keep going this. I dont make enough, I dont apply for financial aid and I dont get any help from home. And I will not dig myself so deep into dept that I cant crawl out of it. So what do I do? Quit. I haven’t found that answer yet. I wont reduce myself to excuses while I have plenty but this situation is unfortunate and its sad there isn’t help for earnest kids who just want to get a degree. So before you go judging and saying how spoiled and bratty kids are try and remember were not all that way. Some of us just want a chance to work hard.

    • Jamie December 5, 2014 at 3:17 am #

      Income doesn’t prevent you from applying for or receiving financial aid. It’ll just come in the form of unsubsidized loans.

  43. Amy August 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    There should be a government pass law where parent’s have to pay a % of income towards their child’s education, depending on how many children they have. That way, selfish and ignorant parents would have no excuse NOT to pay their child’s tuition and the child that is born under their care wouldn’t have to worry or be stressed out down the road when they realize their parent’s didn’t do squat.

    Even if it’s a little bit, at least it’ll be there, on the day that their born. Even if it’s only $10 a month per child. Maybe it’ll wake up some of these hobo parents out there, to start looking at their kids as INVESTMENTS instead of LEECHES. Nincompoops!

    • Webwench August 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      WOW! Another entitled, the world and your parents owe you an education. Grow up!

      • Jamie December 5, 2014 at 3:17 am #

        Remember that when you wonder why your retirement benefits aren’t showing up.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      There should be a law that all eighteen year olds should be required to render three years military or federal service from the ages of 18 to 22. The benefits to both the nation and mainly to our young people would be enormous. A big part of the problem a lot of our kids have today is that they actually expect to be handed everything in life and don’t want to earn anything or sacrifice for anything let alone anyone. Twelve weeks of boot camp would be a real wake-up call for a great many of our kids. Service to the nation and being out from under mommy and daddy’s care would prompt many to actually grow up and become adults.

      • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm #


        I’ve held that very same belief for many years now.

        • Lynn O'Shaughnessy March 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

          I always advise that the school know about any disability.

          Lynn O’Shaughnessy

    • dick May 6, 2015 at 4:27 am #

      Amy, how would you feel about a law that required children to refund parents 50% of the total costs (of course there’d be interest) to care for them, feed them, shelter them, protect them, and provide them with the various amenities of life from birth to 18? Somehow I seriously doubt that you’d be at all in favor of such a law.

      At what point does this overly-entitled and self-centered generation of brats plan on growing-up, taking responsibility and getting on with their lives?

      At what point are you kids going to figure out that the only person in the whole world responsible for your happiness is………YOU?

      At what point are you going to learn that there is no greater pride that you’ll ever feel as when you step up, work your butt off, sacrifice for, and accomplish something difficult on your own?

      • Visitor September 5, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

        Parents owe a LEGAL duty to their minor children. Sorry, “I NEVER owed you anything, you brat” parents. You are wrong – not just morally, but legally wrong. So, stop with the “reimburse me for birth to age 18” nonsense!

  44. Amy August 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    You know it’s pretty stupid that parents expect, young people, who are FRESH out of high school to suddenly take on a huge load of debt and or on top of kicking us out with this soloing attitude. It’s not showing responsibility, or so called maturity that the boomer generation likes to throw the term around. It is PUTTING new people into unnecessary tight situations, and possible poverty. It is not fun, nor is it cute when a parent who should have been PLANNING to add funds to his or her child’s college tuition account, never had the insinuative to do so in the start or slacked and screwed up.

    College Tuition has been the biggest scam on this planet, with institutions raising the prices as they please whenever they please. Half of the time we can’t even get the decent paying jobs we need in order to pay back these loans in the first place. Why? Because the boomer suck off generation in 2006 went and snatched all the jobs us Generation X needed when we came out of school. You have theft our jobs and have caused a lot of unnecessary stress to generation X you boneheads, instead of protesting and fighting the governments that caused these messes, like AnonOps tried, at least, which was done by YOUNG people who aren’t a bunch of whiplashed yips of the system. It’s like the thief that steals candy from the craddle. There’s a purpose why the high schools don’t teach us about loans and money, and now I see why. Willing fully left ignorant so loans are being taken advantage of upon us. This is why boomer generation should be doing, protesting the high-end loans to ensure a BETTER future for the next generation, instead of butt-kissing politics.

    In ORDER to even qualify for tuition a potential student has to answer YES to one of the questions listed above in this blog. Look at how bizarre most of the questions are. The government puts young people’s lives on hold with a discriminatory age restriction that serves no purpose other than keeping people from getting the aid they need when they graduate high school. It’s ironic as soon as we turn 18 we can take out credit-cards and apply for personal loans, but we’re unable to apply for FAFSA. Obliviously, the FAFSA was written with the mentality that the parents would help out to cover for those 4 missing year.

    Seriously, look at the questions. One has to be a “Ward” of the state to even qualify for financial aid or must be married. What.The.Hell. Should I get pregnant and have 3 kids just in the hopes of qualifying for financial aid so I can SURVIVE in this world? In the meanwhile I’m working minimum wage job that doesn’t even PAY enough in the first place in order for me to SURVIVE. LITERALLY. I ONLY GET !112.76 DOLLARS PER TWO WEEKS. That is GOD, awful. I can’t half buy groceries, I can’t afford a cellphone (not until Republic Wireless came along, THANK GOD, $10 is still tight but it beats paying $50) I can’t do much of anything. The money I make goes towards the few bills I can afford to pay, then college bills. It’s unlivable. The questions on the FASFA are just pitiful. A person should be able to qualify for some sort of help, regardless of their age, infact, even more so BECAUSE of their age. I would have not mind if there were some start-up investments available, instead of the traditional banks.

    This is the result:
    Security is yanked out from up under our feet
    Trust is rendered to Null
    Paranoia and fear is more likely to happen. The fear of not being able to go to college is not only socially looked-down upon, but job-wise it’s the life and death difference upon being able to afford a living and between having to be stuck in the worst if not dangerous places in America thanks to our system ever-so heavily leaning upon one’s income as a judgement that even affects employers. Thanks, wannabe Indian Caste System in America. You have done nothing more than to steal from the generations here who need this money, while our governments are so happy to throw billions and trillions down the tube to support 3rd world countries who couldn’t give a crap.

    Plus you are likely more to make mistakes due to experience, NOT the so called golden “maturity” that the baby boomer generation makes up. It’s simply knowing the best possible way of handling things really. Obliviously baby boomer generation didn’t teach that well or their pretty ignorant, as young people are raking up loans as high as 80k just on tuition alone. How do you deal with that, in an economy were all the baby-boomers are stealing the job market from right under our feet while we’re paying like morbid slaves.

    Plus, the additional years waiting on a FASFA while a young person is left little to no options in this extremely tight job market. What options are left if we can’t go to college, the old traditional way of “being promoted by doing a good job” doesn’t work well anymore. Employers want to see the paper. If they don’t see the paper, they don’t want to hire or they minimum-wage us.

    It is not a fun situation, it is not pleasant. Any parent who boasts about *Not* paying for their kid’s college is I say, a jack-wipe. Is it really something proud to look forward to your children struggling or not having an education? If a parent can’t pay, as in, their broke, it’s a different financial story. I’ve known and personally had went through parents who had the money to pay for my college tuition and refused, refused to sign anything having to do with the FASFA, some as ignorant thinking that the FASFA would be nothing but a loan or their precious hidden “income” would be revealed, which is stupid, as the GOVERNMENT ALREADY KNOWS HOW MUCH A PERSON MAKES ANYWAY. Because of their selfish decision I had to wait 4 years just to even attend school, because the FASFA is utterly useless to a 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 year old.

    Not everyone is an upper-middle class person who’s mommy or daddy is a CEO or a lawyer. Parents need to stop looking at their kids as spoiled leeches, too, cus I know some of you do. There are some parents out there who can afford and have no issue of helping their kids out. I seriously would not mind if I had parents who were more interested in my long-term benefit than their immediate wallets. Regardless, I got a 4.0 average in school, so the whole idea of “Oh, your young and you’ll just throw your tuition down the tubes” is utter b.s. and really, depends on the student. Any, regardless of age, who doesn’t handle money well is going to waste it but it speaks highly of our economical situation, where money is wasted in the billions yearly.

    Our system has been set up to consistently lean on loans and credit-cards, it’s a vicious never-ending cycle of constantly owing, owing, owing. And when that owing turns into a monster and incomes shrink to null, it IS an economical disaster. It’s not good for the country’s health and i’m sorry to say this, well, actually i’m not. Other countries are starting to excel in education in terms of what the USA was suppose to excel at years ago. Their learning 3 languages at a time, introduced early to banking, and given a wider and broader education curriculum than the sorry-excuse curriculum circling around in the high-school systems here and even, some of the colleges.

    Dead-beaters are the worst.

    • Anon August 21, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Amen Amy! I seriously do not understand people who have 20 kids without planning or thinking about their children’s financial and educational futures. To those parents – please stop being selfish! Because you wanted a large family without having the financial means to support one, you just dug your children’s futures into a giant hole of debt. Great job there! Then you have the nerve to throw your kids into this shit world where we work as slaves to pay off not only our own college education, but auto loans, credit card debt for things we need etc. God forbid we get the opportunity to buy a house of our own one day! Those days are long gone. Today you and your partner would need to be making 100k each to survive a mortgage, taxes, inflation, & typical household bills. I am tired of parents not realzing that making a measly 70-80k today is not nearly the same as what it was 40-50 years ago. Wake up already!

      I am one of those people who graduated with school loan debt. My parents helped what they could and I went to an in-state school that was considered much more affordable than most in my state. I worked through highschool and college, bought my own laptop and supplies for college from my hard earned savings which drained most of it, and then – thanks to the credit cards Amy mentions in this post, got the privelige of paying off interest laden debt for my own student apartment furniture – which was crap anyway. Thanks Mom & Dad.

      It’s no wonder we had a housing crisis, because so many students just like me jump into a condo or a house 3-4 years down the line, while still having student loan debt & car debt among everything else! I would challenge parents to go to school nowadays, graduate, and try to “make it” without being in any debt. For those of us who think before we jump into mortage situations we can’t afford, where are we living? In apartment buildings. And this is why the rent market has skyrocketed. The dream of going to college and getting well to do enough fast enough to make it on your own is long gone. If you get to pay off your student loans within 10 years, you are lucky. LUCKY.

      • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm #


        Are you done whining now? Would you care for a little cheese with that whine?

        Well……when you’re done could you kindly get on with growing up, taking responsibility for yourself, living within your means, and………shut up. The adults are really getting tired of hearing about your little woes.

        Remember, college is a privilege…………not a right.

    • Melanie December 14, 2014 at 3:08 am #

      Oh dear, so much hurt, anger and bitterness. It’s not fair to discount your feelings based on your experiences.
      I’m a parent who doesn’t have an extra 12,000 lying around for college tuition and though we have enough to survive and enough to provide our children with some small extras that are not necessities of life, we never were able to save enough. We frankly told our children that they were responsible for ensuring that they could pay their own bill. But we always planned to throw as much as we were able at their bill without them believing that mommy and daddy would just pave the way to their future success. This would enable our children to make wise decisions.
      They would need to understand that life is difficult and anything worth pursuing came at a cost and that they would take pride in their accomplishments if they were indeed their own. Do we wish our children to experience hardship? In some ways, yes. It is through tough experiences that we grow up, we innovate solutions to our problems and find the best way toward success.
      So our first son didn’t have enough money to start college directly out of high school. We told him that we had put money on his bill, but HE made the decision to work for a year. Then he started college and halfway through his first semester we added more money to his bill. Do you know he was MAD at us for putting money on his bill??? We took away some of his pride in paying for it from hard work and struggling to fill out his FAFSA himself, in re-taking tests so that a higher score would help him land a scholarship! HE DID THAT and he was proud of having been allowed to make his own decisions and to be able to fly on his own. I felt insulted that he was angry with me for wanting to help out, but I’m so incredibly proud that we raised a son who doesn’t feel like he is entitled to whatever he wants!
      When my husband and I went through college we didn’t have scholarships. We both worked hard!!!! And it was YEARS into our marriage before we had money even to go out to eat! We didn’t blame our parents, we just worked hard, budgeted our money, refused to go into debt to buy the things we wanted, lived simply until we just worked our way into better jobs, better cars (always paying cash), and into a far better lifestyle. we earned it, it wasn’t handed to us. But even so, I sympathize with your feelings while hoping that someday you will see that those that have gone before you have some wisdom to impart to you and that by succeeding because you struggled to do so will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride!

    • Beth April 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

      Amy, my parents never kicked me out, but at 18 I had saved enough money with after school and summer jobs to get my own apartment. I had a full time job at 18. I worked a good full time job by working hard.. having humility, and doing whatever my boss needed me to do. I wasn’t handed some fancy job. I was willing to do the hard stuff.I actually made the choice to earn money first and then go to school later, and now my work helps pay for my education. My niece is 18.. hasn’t even graduated from high school yet she already has a job working as an NAC for Rockwood clinic. She’s worked very hard in school even put off dating(her choice) and some other things, to focus on her studies. She earned scholarships to go to nursing school, and will start in the fall. She has earned and saved her own money. Her parents did not hand her the education.Not only is my niece a hard worker she is also a very loving and compassionate person .At 18 she is well respected at work and community. Mommy and daddy fed and clothed you for years, as an adult it’s your responsibility to start taking care of yourself.

    • Richard November 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm #


      Growing up is never easy, but it’s brutally hard for the truly self-entitled. However, growing up is essential if you’re going to even have a chance to successfully function in life and be happy.

      From your post it sure seems like you’re going to take the long and painful road to adulthood.

  45. jake July 29, 2014 at 12:10 am #

    Parents who do not contribute to their kids college are losers simple as that.
    I love when parents say “I worked my way through college and payed for everything myself, so can my kids”

    In the early 80’s college was very cheap ( and a college degree basically guaranteed a job.

    Lets look at it now. College costs a fortune, a college degree in no way ensures employment, interest on loans is through the roof, and economic growth is basically stagnant.

    The simple fact is it is much harder for kids to pay for college by themselves than it was.

    • richard smith April 1, 2015 at 6:14 am #


      FYI……….wages (and darn near everything else) in the early 80’s were a fraction of what they are today.

      College tuitions have skyrocketed in part because of the self-entitled horse poop being shoveled by self-entitled brats that somehow your parents are actually required to pay the freight so that you can in all likelihood go to an out of state private school that costs six to ten times as much as an instate public institution that offers the same cirriculum of study and party it up.

      If a college degree doesn’t ensure employment, then why don’t you simply get a job?

  46. molly July 26, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    I’m sorry but I never heard such selfish thoughts or comments in my life. I’m sorry but I thought having children meant you were supposed to support them and love them. However I’m reading that parents should be thinking of themselves and that they worked themselves to get where they are and that their children aren’t going to help them? What the hell made anyone think that its okay to say something like that? As kids you use your experience in life to say, I want to be a better parent then my own, or that I want to make sure my kids are better than me when they are older… Its sad really… I know what its like for my parents to actually tell me I would rather not help co sign for a school loan even though I said to them I’d pay it off myself. It was a $6,000 loan and that’s it fafsa would have provided the rest I just needed a name. However they gave me an ultimatum and basically gave me no choice but to work and at that point it was impossible to go to school. They instead forced me into a car I was not very happy with and was almost $10,000. I lost my job because my state is an will state and lost it for no reason at all. After that life was much harder for me. I only had a high school diploma and worked so hard for 3 years at age 20 I was making $17.00 an hour. And in an actual instant my life stopped because of a new boss who just “didn’t like me” treated me unfairly and everyone else agreed. I had a recording of him yelling at me and treating me unfairly and no one did anything about it. So there I was all alone and just being told to get another job and soon or they would take Mt car and everything I worked hard to achieve. And that a younger sibling would receive a free vehicle. I worked hard for everything I had and another sibling received everything I didn’t get for free I know what hard work is and I still believe parents should help their children to be better and to do better and to wish the best for them and any parents who think otherwise just need to sit down and reevaluate themselves.

    • Richard November 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm #


      By chance…….did you forget the part in your tale of woe where the crops failed, the well went dry and your dog died?

      .If you want to succeed and have a good live and give your kids the best chance to do the same then:

      1. Grow up and take responsibility for your life. (i.e. stop with the sob stories and excuses)
      2. Realize that world owes you nothing. If you want something…..then go out and earn it.
      3. Stop worrying about what you didn’t get or don’t have and appreciate what you do have.
      4. Figure out that life is unfair to EVERYBODY
      5. Quit worrying about what someone else got.

  47. Omar July 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Today I had a great weight lifted off my shoulders when I found out that my parents don’t have to get loans for me to go to college. It’s my decision, and although they’re willing and helping me by paying what they can (my family makes 30K a year) they’ll be loan free and will hopefully be able to retire. Parents don’t deserve the weight and stress of your college loans be grateful to them for getting you to this point in life.

  48. nymph33 July 20, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    For the record, you have missed one other way to qualify as an independent. It often requires contacting your school of choice, and they will act as a liaison between yourself and the department of education. If it has been determined that you suffered physical or sexual abuse or undue hardship (extreme neglect and emotional/psychological abuse) and as such are living on your own, you can register as independent. This often requires paperwork signed by counselors, social workers, psychologists, and or psychiatrists, as well as a written and signed document by a family member or close family friend. I have a friend who had to do this after he was beaten, and was then living in his car for a year (walmart and kmart parking lots are surprisingly accommodating). He had to produce a hospital bill (for his broken arm), and have forms filled out by his social worker, counselor, and his aunt. It was a lengthy process (4 months), but it did go through and he was able to get the grants and loans he needed for his education. I just wanted to add this because there are some parents who do refuse to pay for ones education, and who are a very real physical threat to their own children. While the process is lengthy, it is still possible for those individuals to rise out of these situations and receive a quality education.

  49. HawgWyld July 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    So, colleges can jack up their tuition as much as they want and we poor parents need to shut up, pay up or be labelled as deadbeats. Great…

    My wife and I have a 17-year-old son who wants to go to college. We will help him out with that and we’re not asking for much — a decent ACT score. You’d think we had asked him to lop off an arm. He’s taken the ACT twice, his score is good enough to get in to the college he wants (albeit with little in the way of scholarships) so why should he bother with all that study and prep that interferes with video games, hanging out with his girlfriend or goofing off with his friends?

    No, we’re just supposed to write some checks and stay out of his business. Why should he put out any effort to earn scholarships that would make things easier on us? After all, we owe him a college education because he wants to go and we’d hate to be labelled “deadbeats,” right?

    And, God forbid we judge him on the basis of that ACT score. Perhaps he really can’t do any better.

    But we still owe the little darling…

    • Jamie December 5, 2014 at 3:19 am #

      Sounds like your real issue is that you didn’t do a very good job of raising your child. That’s not society’s problem.

      • Jamie June 5, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

        I’m kinda sad we share the same name. Your idiotic comment from 2014 shows your real ignorance. You are pro “parents must pay” but you are saying that parents should pay regardless of whether their child succeeded or even attempt to succeed. That sounds like progressive utopia to me. Grow up. The real world requires tangible hard work and results. You’re parents do not owe you a college education. If they do provide help then you should be eternally grateful.

    • zyzz February 16, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      I’m graduating from high school this year and I’m excited, but these comments are discourging me so much. There’s disagreements between two generations over college? Honestly, I wonder why it is difficult to attend a university now. Why do we need to do this complicated bullshit just to attend college? Shouldn’t college admissions just be based off of grades and test scores rather than the amount of money your parents make? If your parents pay for your tuition, then you’re set, right? If your parents do not have enough money, then you work and apply for financial assistance? Why does it cost thousands upon thousands just to be a “productive member of society”? I just want to go to school, learn, have fun, and have a successful future. Although my parents make good money, I do not expect them to pay for my college. I’m just going to struggle my way through achieving thousands, get loans, have the government after me, and at the end I will probably owe thousands. When I finally have my career, I’ll still be paying for the debts. I have a cousin and his parents make like 200,000 yearly! Not kidding! His dad paid his entire tuition up front For a four year university. The kid doesn’t even work! He goes to school, comes home to study, and screws around! He always laughs about how my parents make enough, but they’re not willing to pay, and I have to work hard while a rich kid just enjoys life. Here I am still figuring out how I’m going to pay for my four year state university tuition while making 7.25 at a local restaurant, and participating in sports Like cross country and track. Money, money, money! Greedy universities and their ridiculous tuition! I think being a transcendentalist or a homeless man in the woods is better. Maybe the older generation needs to understand that this is 2015, and tuition costs are not the same.

      • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:27 pm #


        One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that life is not fair. In fact the only things that we all share in life are:

        1. We’re born
        2. We die
        3. God loves us
        4. We’re each exclusively and solely responsible for our own happiness
        5. We pay taxes
        6. Along the way life is going to be unfair to each of us.

  50. Newman July 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    From what I have observed over my many years in education, foster care, and as a parent of 4 children; I have found that when a child earns something for themselves, they will appreciate it and care for it. Children that are given too much, expect to be taken care of forever and tend to blame others for their problems or mistakes. Granted, there are always exceptions. This is a major problem with our society, particularly our young men. They are all about playing games, pleasing themselves, and leaving responsibility to others. They are always willing to play, but never want to pay. Parents should not be responsible for their adult children’s education (beyond high school), their health insurance, etc. It should be an option, but not expected. They shouldn’t expect the government to pay for it, either.

    Being declared an independent student should be automatic at 18, dependency is what should need to be proven. As usual, the government has it all backwards. Stop and think about the times you have said or thought this statement with your kids… “This is my house, my rules.” or a similar statement. Well, that is what the government does and the more dependent we are, more power is transferred to the government. My son who lives on his own, works for himself, and pays his own bills has no accountability to me. My son who lives in my house and asks for my money (car, etc.) has to accept my rules and live up to my expectations in order to continue to remain in my care. “If you want the government to control your lives, they will.”

  51. Sw0206 July 7, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    Here are my thoughts on the matter:
    While it is not required that a parent cover their adult child’s expenses, you need to be aware that if your income is relatively high and you are offering $0, you are hurting your child because they will not receive much financial aid Additionally, if you can, save some money early on, to help contribute to your child’s education. Finally, consider making an investment in your child. If you believe your child will make good use of their college education, will give back to the community, and/or will look after you in your old age (financially or otherwise), then it may be worthwhile to invest in his or her future.

  52. Independent CS July 4, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    Some of the comment by parents are ridiculous. My sister and I are both independent college students, she works full time while I work part time in the midst of looking for a second job. Life as of now is a bit complicated. We pay rent, braces, Verizon bill, food, phone bills, heat/gas. She also pays her car insurance and etc. And since I can only get up to 28 per week I use every paycheck on these expenses aforesaid. I’m left with NOTHING at the end of the month even though we split everything in 2. And now I’m stressing on how I will be able to pay for a university when I’m done with community college. What I don’t understand is why people have kids and don’t save money for their college, there is Gerber life plans, trust funds, many ways to save from the day your child is born. If your child worked hard in school that’s all that should matter. I’m not saying spoil them but its the method of work hard play hard that isn’t being taught. -excuse my sentence structures- -_-

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

      Poor babies.

      By chance did you factor in the costs your parents incurred during the first eighteen years of your lives?

      At what point did you two actually plan on becoming adults and taking responsibility for your own lives?

      I’m curious as to what you think are the correct proportions of “work hard” and “play hard”?

  53. z June 23, 2014 at 6:54 am #

    OMG Don’t have children PLEASE if you’re just going to make their life shitty as it can be, what’s the point? Why did you have 7 children you selfish ass.

    I’m 20 graduated HS (With a lot of emotional mental issues) and i’ve been looking for work and have had 0 interviews due to how the system works these days (Applying online) and recently figured i want to be a nurse anyway but that these job places are not giving me a chance and nobody helps me with info or getting into courses, i need a plan i can’t just jump into a damn course if they’re asking for 14,000! IDK WTF i’m doing or have to do i can’t afford this damn course, nobody wants to hire a 20yo w/o work experience i mean i don’t mind being in dept i’d pay it off once i work as a nurse.

    But damn having 0 help is really depressing and makes me question whats the point in life anyway.. this whole shit is pointless you live to work or study you suffer from dept stress and BS and you then get the job and work till you retire and have health issues and then die anyway. Great world we live in.

    • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 9:50 am #


      …and you are actually curious as to why you’re “getting zero interviews” after telling the world that you have a “lot of emotional mental issues”? At what point did you plan on figuring out that you’re a legal adult and as such fully responsible for taking care of yourself? If you’re looking for help, might I suggest that the first place you look is in the mirror.

  54. Jacob June 19, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    For starters, I agree with Vanessa 100%. When you decide to have a child of your own, you should be prepared to pay at least some portion of their college, period. If you do not want to help your child with college financial expenses, don’t have a baby! It’s as simple as that. Your children did not ask for you to have them, you decided that; therefore, you are responsible to make their life as easy as possible whether you like it or not. Again, I am not saying that you should pay their entire way through college, but the least you could do as a parent is HELP. Oh, and for those of you who believe that your children should pay their own way through college because you did when you were younger, read this: you are incredibly ignorant. Just so you know, college is much, much more expensive than it was forty years ago. The average twenty-year-old cannot pay his own way through college without help from his parents. For example, the tuition for NYU (New York University) is about $40,878 per year. The current federal minimum wage is about $7.25 per hour; therefore, a full-time minimum wage employee earns about $15,080 annually. If you do the math, you will find that it would take over two and a half years for this full-time minimum wage employee to pay for a single year of college on his own; and, again, that is just for one year’s tuition! What about the other expenses? If your child had to pay all of that on his own, it would send him straight into a lifetime of debt depending on the college/university; which would eventually affect his own family! To me, it makes you deadbeats look rather selfish, knowing that your child and his family will struggle when you are gone because you were too naïve to help. Jeez, like Vanessa said, no wonder why this world is so messed up… So, with that said, I am proud to say that my parents are not deadbeats like some of you are. The both of them, along with my aunt, helped me get through my first two years of a university financially. While they did that, I got a chance to save up over the years and now I have more than enough to pay off the remaining two years that I will be taking at an out-of-state university; along with other expenses, of course. Additionally, I’ll have extra cash so I’ll be able to have my very own, special dorm all to myself. Overall, I will spend A LOT of my own savings (I’ve been saving since high school) toward these final two years of mine. Every time I see my parents I thank them for all that they have done and in turn they always tell me: “Just knowing that you will be successful and you and your family will have an easier, more stable life than we did tells us that we, as parents, have done our job. It’s the best thing a parent could ever ask for, so it’s enough for us.” Or something along those lines. That, people, is what I consider to be truly good, caring parents! Also, after reading some of these comments, I have come to the conclusion that some of you are not deadbeats, just pathetic deadbeats. Good luck. 🙂

    • Melanie December 14, 2014 at 3:18 am #

      Ever consider living within your means? If you have 3000 to put into a car do you buy a Lexus? If you can’t afford a fancy school there are less expensive options that will still give you the degree. I’m curious to see what you will do when you can’t blame your parents anymore?

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm #


      For starters, college is not a right. It is a privilege. At what point do you think children should be required to actually become adults and take responsibility for their own lives? At present our society generally accepts that at the age of 18 one is expected to be and function as an adult.

      BTW……..functioning as an adult means taking care of yourself and paying your own way in life for what you want.

  55. vanessa April 27, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    After reading all these comments, all I have to say is WOW. Seriously, no wonder we are so behind as a nation. With all of these self serving parents who expect a child to “get a job” after high school and pay for an expensive degree themselves they cannot afford or receive aid because their parents make to much. How bout stop claiming them on your taxes and getting a kick back? Oh thats right its only one sided right? Seriously, this is why our country has young adults who are so messed up and have no ambition, because they have no support from their parents. You should be ashamed if you can pay to put your child in college, and you refuse to.

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      After reading Vanessa’s comments, all I have to say is WOW. Seriously, no wonder we are so behind as a nation. It seems that we have produced a generation of lazy, selfish, and self-entitled brats who are both unwilling and incapable of assuming any responsibility for their own lives.

  56. becka April 11, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    I wanted to read all of this because many folks raise interesting points but then I decided not to read it all and just post. Not everyone belongs in college – in fact, about 90% of those taking up space should not be there. High cost is a direct result of colleges wanting to fill seats and admitting anyone who applies. For parents, the burden of paying for college is not yours – if you can help – great but providing a full ride without any accountability is a terrible decision. If it costs nothing – it means nothing – and thousands of dollars are partied away. Students who belong in college, who have a clear goal, find a way to make that goal a reality. My child decided 5 months into senior year that he would ‘like to go to school’. Prior to that, there was no interest in college – we asked every year starting in 2nd grade. With the late notice, we provided nothing but emotional support. He found a way – made it work – done a year and almost out of loan debt already. As I thought about it, his situation was my situation years ago, no dreams, aspirations, just a thought that I should attend school. 20 years later, PhD in hand, I owe nobody a single dime for my education (took no loans), I did not work extensively, I did not borrow heaps of money, I received no assistance from family, yet I found a way to earn money. I left grad school with 12 times the money I started with working 30 hours a week on top of my coursework/research/teaching – financing a college education is really not that hard if one is truly motivated and prepared to make it happen. The horror stories all stem from students who have no goal, flounder in the system, and get sucked into the predatory lending/tuition/for profit cycle.

  57. blueangel March 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    My son dropped out of high school against my will. He never put any effort into school at all. He lived for free in my house for years. He has worked for 3 years now and not saved a thing. He got his GED and now he decides to go to junior college. He thinks I should pay for it. He is only 21 and so he can’t get independent status, and he is only going to start out taking two classes anyways (about $600.00). He wants me to pay for it. I have no confidence that he is even going to complete the classes. The answer is NO!

    • Confused March 28, 2014 at 2:54 am #

      I am a bit confused re: parents that are paying for their child’s college yet say they don’t have access to their kid’s student records. If the kid has access you have access. Ask them for whatever you want. No docs, no $$, no surprises.

    • vanessa April 27, 2014 at 8:51 am #

      Wow, its only 600 dollars and you won’t help him out? Good going parent of the year!! Show him that tough love! its been working so far!

      • Duke January 8, 2015 at 4:48 am #

        The point is that he worked for 3 years and did not save anything towards the $600 so why should his parents try harder than he does for his future?

        Tough love would have been the boot when he decided to drop out of HS. They were definitely not tough on him.

    • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 4:03 am #

      Time to kick that spoiled 21 year old boy out on his ear and tell him to grow up , become a man, get a job, and take responsibility for his own life.

  58. Joseph March 5, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    Big Education is the issue here and author is avoiding it. 30 years ago, college was relatively affordable. Today, each year of tuition can be more than a typical family earns. Why? It’s been documented how universities now increase tuition/fees in lockstep with aid increases. It’s a business, folks. Just like Big Oil.

    Deadbeat parents? No. Sensible and asking questions like why are college loan officers in jail in NYS in jail for kickbacks? (True) Why do over 10 pct of “career” taxi drivers in NYC and Chicago have college degrees? (True) Why is the value of the college degree dropping like a rock while the employment rate of technical grads like welders and machine tool operators is in the low single digits. As a dad, I’d be grateful for child who’s a skilled mason making monuments for the ages versus some RISD grad doing “sculpture.”

    Good parents have a responsibility not to let their kids be financially exploited. You wouldn’t accept exploitation from Bank of America. Why do you think an Ivy League BUSINESS (trademark, logo, etc…) is any different?

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm #


      If you’re your a young person and you want a job/career where you make BIG money and have darn near absolute job security I’d strongly suggest that you look at becoming a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, or a mechanic. Everybody needs one at some point and we always want to know the name of a good one.

      The poster that stated that too many folks are in college today is IMHO absolutely correct. Just look at some of the ridiculous degree programs that kids today choose to major in only find themselves $50K – $100K in debt and working at McDonalds. If anything we as a nation to re-emphasize skilled labor trades which are in such short supply today.

  59. yourmothersir February 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I am in my 20s and I do not expect my parents to pay anything. I chose to go to college. I am over the age of 18. My parents should not have to pay for my decisions. I think my generation needs to stop being so self absorbed. My friend told me the other day her mother (who has health issues and is getting older) is paying her college bills. I just about died and it may end our friendship. She chose to move across the country and get a degree that isn’t getting her anywhere. Why should her parents, who should be close to retiring, have to get an extra job because she can’t pay her bills? It’s ridiculous.
    NOW, the ONLY time I agree with parents paying for their kids tuition is if they are getting something back. For example, a medical career means job stability and the ability to care for your parents in their old age. That’s a good trade off.

  60. My story January 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    I personally cannot afford the out of pocket expense upfront to a university but my son insisted on going. I knew he couldn’t afford it so I did what I thought at the time was the right thing to do & I got a parent loan to pay his expenses. He got the standard Stafford Loan. The first semester he dropped one class and failed a class…finished with 9 hrs and was on acedemic probation. The next semester he dropped a class and finished with 9 hrs but GPA was above 2.0 and he came off probation. I gave him money ($350 a month), his rent was paid with my loan and his dad gave him $250 a month. He had no expenses as his dad provided him with a car & insurance. He always asked for more money. He would often put gilt trip on me to get me to send him more by saying he was hungry. He is several hours away from home & I can’t just go by him groceries so I would comply & wire money to him. He always had an excuse as to what he spent his money on. The second year, I was not approved for the parent loan due to a medical bill that suddenly showed up on my credit. It was a bill for a surgery for him 2 years before that was supposed to go to his father & I had never seen the bill nor had I heard from anyone regarding it. Upon further investigation (I had NEVER been turned down for any credit & I pay my debts) I discovered that the hospital had made an error and did send the bill to my ex but they sent to his address with my name on it. Instead of paying the measly $400 or contacting me about it, he trashed it because it wasn’t his. When my son found out I couldn’t get the loan and his dad refused to help anymore he went up to the school & was approved another loan. This loan was not quite enough for all expenses so I agreed that I would pay his rent along with the $350 but that was my absolute limit that I could afford. His rent was $750 a month meaning I was spending $1100 a month. I advised my son that if he needed more than I was sending, he should consider getting a job to help fund his way through school. That semester he claimed he was going to do so much better and focus. He took 15 hrs but dropped 2 classes and finished with 9. The next semester, he took 12 hrs…dropped 2 classes right off the bat leaving only 6 hrs/2 classes and he failed both of those. His GPA dropped below 2.0 again and since he did not pass one class that he received financial aid for, he was now on Financial Aid Suspension. His only way to go back to school was to take a summer class, pass it & he could get financial aid again. I told him that he had not shown me any reason to believe that he wanted an education. I felt he was there for the party but not for the class and I refused to pay for his summer class or his rent for the summer. He works in sales and often makes $1000 week paycheck. The class was $1000. My therory…if you want it bad enough, make it happen. He applied for an emergency loan from the school for the tuition and signed up for class. The course was only 5 weeks long but my son managed to miss more than 1/2 the classes and seemed to have NO IDEA when the final would be…YEP, he failed the class. He layed out last semester and just worked. I felt for sure he was finally growing up. A couple of weeks ago he decided he really wanted to go back to school & claimed he was ready this time. I am still not convinced but he made an appeal (he is an awesome salesman) to the school and won so he is back in. I’m sorry but after all I have spent that I honestly felt was just thrown into never never land and the previous lack of ambition to not only miss class but fail to apply himself and finish has me on edge. He told me after the summer class when he knew he had failed that he thought perhaps college just wasn’t for him and he would just work and try to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. I have not paid his rent since June of last year but have given him money on occasion. He has been working and paying his own way. Now he wants me to pay his rent again and go back to the way things were before. I work hard for my money and have never up to this point spent it on me. I have recently (since he was no longer in school) created a little debt on some things that I have always wanted and don’t have the extra anymore for his rent. He is upset and tells me that I am a not being a good parent for not supporting him. It’s not that I don’t support him…I am just not getting any younger and would like to enjoy some of what I earned myself. He says that is being selfish. I feel like he had the opportunity with all the help and blew it. If he wants this bad enough (I will offer tons of moral support) he will figure out a way to make it happen and perhaps he may appreciate it and work harder towards it. Just my opinion. I certainly would not consider myself a deadbeat parent.

    • Concerned grandparent March 26, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      My Story – As I have read through the many posts on this subject, yours is the one that I most appreciate. I think you have gone way beyond the call of duty. It’s obvious that you love your son and have made sacrifices to do what you thought was right. I’m concerned with some of the posts I’ve read on both sides of the discussion. I don’t think there’s one right answer. I personally feel that a parent should try to help their children to a reasonable degree, but I don’t think that any of us can know with certainty what is right for someone else and their children. It’s hard enough to know what’s right in our own situation when we have all of the facts, so just to make a broad sweeping statement that THIS is right or THAT is wrong I think is just silly and a little irresponsible. My wife and I don’t even agree all the time, so we have to talk things through and sometimes compromise. Honestly, I’m concerned about the current generation of students. Some children, (and I think in general, it’s a much larger % of them now than at any time in history) are so entitled that they are willing to literally bankrupt and/or financially ruin their parents permanently so that they can have the college “experience”, and I’m more and more concerned that too many of them have little or no interest in actually learning, or even just getting the degree…it’s the experience of college life that they want. Again, I know these are generalizations and there are certainly exceptions out there. I say BRAVO to you. You have already done a lot to help your son, and based on what you’ve said here, I think you’re the opposite of a deadbeat parent. I think (and again, I can’t really know what is right for you), but I think the best thing you can do for your son is provide that moral support you mentioned and the unconditional love that a parent gives their children. Let him struggle a bit and hopefully he will figure it out.

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      I’m just wondering who the heck is in charge here? You the responsible and accountable parent? Or……the irresponsible, spoiled brat of a kid? From what you’ve stated, I think it’s time to tell Mr. Underachiever that he’s on his own.

  61. Kei January 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    After reading some comments and this article, I feel grateful to have help from my parents. But one thing I know for sure is to help my parents pay the loans they took out for me, because it was a team effort to send my sister and I to school. Honestly, the college experience should always be a united pursuit, instead of the bitter I did all by myself, so you should as well. I think the relationship between the parent and the student is a very important factor when it come to investing into his or her college education. Another point is the American system for college is different compared to other institution overseas. My parents went to Uni for free and were clueless about the system here.

    So, during the first three years I was working, so it was fine ( working still did not make ends meet, so they stepped in), but as my grades dropped working full time hours with a 21 credit course load, there was trouble. Depending on what you are studying, a bachelors is not enough and even the composition of the course load and content. Luckily I was able to pull off finishing my major in three years, but decided to stay for a minor to help a research career. I’m on a track where I will be in school for about another 8 years. The long term investment will have a greater ROI, then just a 4 year degree. Making an effort to pay for some of the expenses like books, were my sole responsibility and the only thing I could contribute. Now let consider research, now there is an investment of time and small school like mine don not have money to give to student, so that is free taking from work and studying.

    Every situation is different and sometimes you need to help. I wanted to drop out for a few years to just work, but their mindset was she has to graduate to keep face in the community (I’m of asian descent and the little community here uses children as trophies, it’s silly). Parents who don’t help their kids or by society standards “adults” by 21/22, may have their values out of place. Because to say well I’m not going to help you out, because I did all by myself, is not a valid justification. Then factor in the upbringing “tactics” and even their own personal perspective.

    Also, many career paths need a college a degree, but some don’t, so pursuing something that you have a passion for is worth it. To get a degree because it what you have to do, is not the best route and even thinking that I’m going to make “mad money” is only a misconception.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 6:42 pm #


      I’m glad you want to help your parents pay back loans they took out so you could go to college. So many of your peers seem to think that parents are obligated to pay all the bills so that they can “live the college life”. However, might I suggest that you re-examine why you need another eight years of college, get a job, take that additional step into adulthood and take on the responsibility of simply assuming responsibility for and then paying off the loans your parents took out for you.

      BTW……… shouldn’t think that someone should be bitter because they had to pay their own way through college. Rather you should realize that taking responsibility for one’s own life and paying one’s own way through school is something to be rather proud of.

  62. popeye December 12, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I’m 22 I’ve been independent since 18 n i was able to afford college for the 2yrs i attended without having to rely on any support from my parents while i was supporting my girlfriend n son also paying for her tuition by working hard. I think if a person is truly focused on going to college actually if a person is determined to pursue high learning its in no way the parents responsibility to pay for it funds available or not. At that point those kids/children are suppose to be adults. If a parent is to be considered a deadbeat for not financing their kids education then they should also be labeled bad parents for not making sure they did the homework or for not having their kids read the assigned litt to them out loud. Mite as well also make the parents responsible for the grade . Get a job wonder how momy n dady made it work n do what u can u can do mostly all u units required by a degree in community college then tranfer to a major university to recieve the degree. Everyone just wants everything handed to them

  63. RobK December 11, 2013 at 5:53 am #

    Hi, what a thought-provoking article, and I really enjoyed scrolling through a few comments. Definitely a controversial topic. In my humble opinion only, education is overpriced and simply not worth the exuberant fees that are being applied to it. It’s ridiculous to think that someone (regardless of who pays) could be in debt for most of their adult lives simply because of an education that – I hate to say – is often not worth the paper it is written on. I think the education systems needs a complete re-vamp.

    • Melanie December 14, 2014 at 3:31 am #

      well darn, I wish there was a simple little “like” button! Met a cashier at Office Depot who told me she had three advanced degrees in Chemical Engineering and paid 1500 a month on her student loans out of a paycheck from working as a cashier! Wake up America, we need an educational revolution!

      • Richard November 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

        No Melanie, we need people to grow up, take responsibility and refuse to attend the universities who have chosen to participate in raising tuitions to often ludicrous levels.

        When you want to get someone’s attention…….aim for the wallet. Stop patronizing colleges that have jacked costs up, and it won’t be long before those costs not only level off but also start dropping to realistic levels.

  64. Adding to the Facts December 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Here is my take on FASFA:

    If you can’t afford to pay back the financial aide – DON’T APPLY FOR IT.
    It’s really not a hard concept to grasp. It’s NOT REALLY AIDE.
    I have yet to hear of a college that won’t accept cash for education.

    Some people hear AIDE and they think instant help: just add SS#. If you can’t afford to go, don’t.
    I can’t afford to drive a Mercedes – so I don’t. I like them and it would be nice to have, but the payment would kill me.
    There is no law that says right out of high school you MUST go to college or you are going to die.
    If your excuse is”Well, if they don’t go right out of school, they may lose the will to learn”
    Listen, if they lose the will to learn after a year or so the will to learn was never there to begin with.
    “They might end up in trouble and get side tracked”
    Gee, I wonder what their upbringing says about that.

    WAKE UP! I think so called “DEADBEAT” was/is a “SMART BEAT”

  65. dave December 6, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    I’m sorry but if your parents don’t want to spend “their money” for your college, tough luck so bad. There are many other options to pay for your college. Join the military like I did. I served the U.S. Navy for 10 years and used the GI Bill to pay for my degree while working full time.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      Amen Brother.

      Thank you for your service.

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

      Amen to that!

      Like you……….. I too joined the United States Navy after high school. I joined with the idea of serving four years and using the money to go to college. Along the way, I decided I really loved what I did in the Navy and I ended up staying in the Navy for 30 years. Looking back….joining the U.S. Navy was surely one of the very best things I ever did. I got awesome training, got to go to college, had the privilege to serve with some of the finest people you’d ever meet, and had the honor to serve the greatest nation on earth.

  66. Alysha September 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Heres A question. Do you keep giving them money to pay for college if they get married? My Step daughter just started college and didnt even make it 2 weeks when she announced she is engaged and wants to get married in 3 months. Now we are not thrilled with the situation at all but she old enough to do what she pleases now. Is it right for us to close Daddies wallet and let her and the new hubby pay the tuition?

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

      In a word………………..


      If she’s old enough to get married and start a family, she’s old enough to pay her way through school or make whatever decision is necessary to help take care of her family.

      At some point this generation of kids has got to learn that you are responsible for the consequences of the choices you make.

  67. Suzanna September 18, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    My daughter’s father is also a complete deadbeat when it comes to helping with her college. He’s worth millions but refuses to help her with her college. It’s not like I extorted huge amounts of child support from him when she was growing up. All I asked from him was that he just paid for her private school, as I lived in an area where the public schools were just overcrowded. She and I lived week to week while he was always out traveling the world, living in Beverly Hillls, CA, and driving a Rolls.
    My daughter and I have school loans, and she also works while she’s away at school. We are doing the best we can without her dads financial help but what really bothers me is the government’s rules on what it considers dependant vs independant student and how it contradicts the child support laws in my state. In Ohio, child support ends at 18/ or when the child graduates high school. So, my daughter thru the CSEA, is an independant adult at 18. However, the fafsa considers her a dependant student basically until she’s 24- regardless of how much she pays towards her school and living expenses. How is this right? If she’s considered to be a dependant student then why doesn’t her dad have a legal, financial, responsibility to contribute to her school expenses? Am I way off here?

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

      Yes, you’re way off here. Your daughter is a legal adult and needs to take responsibility for her own life. BTW……’re a legal adult and you need to do the same.

      Your story sounds an awful lot like what you really after here is for your ex-hubby to pay off your loans and keep paying your bills. If as you state you lived in an area where public schools were that over crowded, then why didn’t you consider relocating to a better place that was also a lot more affordable (like say out of Ohio to Kentucky, for example)? I’ll bet you didn’t.

      Once again we’ve got that old familiar case of the bitter ex-wife who couldn’t wait to divorce her hubby, but somehow still has the delusion that her hubby has to take care of her bills, and is madder than a wet hen that her ex has actually moved on with his life and is happy.

  68. Roxy September 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    I was raised in a family that told their kids, “When you are 18, you have to get a job and move out.” There was no mention of college. In fact, my own father told me when I expressed an interest in college when I was a freshman in high school, “What?!!! Who do you think you are? You are not a rich kid, nor are you smart enough to go to college. NO!!! You are going to get a job you probably will not like, move out of the house, and/or get married, have kids and take care of your husband.” When I was fresh out of high school, working and living on my own, I enrolled in a trade school. Only I found out my parents were claiming me as their dependent on their taxes. This was a LIE as I was not living with them and they certainly were not paying any of my bills. Because of their LIE, I was refused any grant money due to their combined income levels.

    My paternal grandparents lost a small savings in 1929 when the stock market crashed and the banks failed. From that time on, everything they made, they saved in their hall closet due to the fear of losing their money again. When I was a child in the early 1970s, my aunt discovered that they had about $1 million in cash locked up in a hall closet. At that time she insisted she take over their bookkeeping, banking and investing. They told her to put “$30K in Santa Barbara savings accounts for each grandchild for college.” After they died, those accounts according to my aunt “never existed.” Only problem is, my grandfather showed them to me. There were six passbook accounts. Two to her sons and four to my brother, sisters and myself. To this day she has never allowed my father or her sister to see their records. She threw a tantrum and has cut herself off from the family completely. I have a BA which cost me $32,000. That could have really helped. Not to mention a trade school I had gone to earlier that cost me as well. A student loan I had paid off little by little by myself. Oddly, with my uncle’s low paying blue collar job, they always had money to remodel their home, landscape often, take really nice vacations, dress impeccably, and drive a new car every year. She made fun of the fact we were not like them. I can only assume she liquidated all the accounts. Including her kids as they have financially struggled. When I think of my aunt, a scripture comes to my mind, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

    My cousin and her husband on my maternal side are multimillionaires. After both of their sons moved out of their house at 18 as instructed, they bought land in a gated community, on a golf course and built a two bedroom 5,000 square foot home. All the while their sons worked jobs, took out student loans, applied for scholarships (money that could have gone to kids with broke parents) and paid their own bills. Which they did. My cousin and her husband wonder why her sons are so disconnected from them as they have taken jobs in other states and have their own families and rarely see them. DUH! My gripe is when parents can afford to send their kids to college, I think they should pay for it. It is uncaring and unloving to take away opportunity from students of lesser financial mobility. It is greedy and evil in my opinion.

    • P May 5, 2015 at 4:05 am #

      Hi Roxy,

      Sounds like my kind of family situation. Money and their comfortable life is so damned important to them – I have the globe trotting millionaire aunt who bilked me out of my grandfather’s education trust account, the parents who will not even co-sign on my application for study loans but pay $80k cash for a car and much more for a luxury home with marble floors and wood and glass inlays and loans to their godson’s deadbeat parents and a couple of crazy aunts who treated their children as cows to be milked – asked their children for an allowance from their scholarship money when they are comfortably off and not contributing to their children’s future. Fast forward a couple of years, I got cancer out of graduate school ( undergrad and grad degree all paid with my own money and loans co-signed by a secretary who took pity on me). Once again, medical bills were all my responsibility. And even giving me a roof over my head became an irksome task for which I was berated and humiliated no end. Recently, I was asked to help pay for an expensive birthday lunch and 2 weeks holiday trip to Europe. My siblings and I do ok, but with so much stress and hardship. I do have some cousins whose parents helped them unstintingly and they have mostly done better than those of us with irresponsible and selfish parents. When I looked at my brother-in-law’s mother who chose to live in a much smaller house and invest the extra in her children and grandchildren …. I see the headstart that her love had given them.

      • dick May 19, 2015 at 4:15 am #


        I hope you made a full recovery from your bout with cancer. With that said, you need to realize that ultimately, college and certainly anything post graduate is and should be your responsibility. If an aunt “bilked” you out of your grandfather’s education trust fund then you should’ve hired an attorney to protect your interests.

  69. Kerrie September 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    This issue is very complex. I have been a school counselor for over 15 years and have observed the multiple views on this issue. There is no good solution. The only one that makes any sense is what is right for the student/family.

    I paid my own way through college. I taught me that with hard work and dedication, I can made it. It made me accountable for my grades – if I failed, I had to suffer the financial consequences of having to retake and pay again for a class. Guess what? I was on the Dean’s List every semester. I worked during college and two jobs over the summers. It taught me time management skills and budgeting. Yet down the hall was a friend whose parents paid for everything and provided her a $600 clothes allowance to JCrew. She did not go class, whined about classes and projects, got drunk and high continuously, and did not complete her degree in five years.

    As a school counselor I work with families on financial aid and try to guide them the best way I can; however, most families I work with only want to know how to go to college for free. Somewhere, someone gave families the impression that college is free if you know the secrets. Yes, the government provides a federal program called the FAFSA to assist families with college tuition and expenses. It is very complex and takes multiple variables into consideration: family income, number of family in college, assets, etc. It is not a program to completely fund a child’s education but than make attending college more affordable. That is the number one mistake parents make. Do not rely on the government to fund your child’s education. Yes, there are going to be a small percentage of students who will receive a lot of aid from the government because they are first generation college students coming from a household considered low income. Remember, the government wants to support these students to get them out of the poverty cycle so that government (and taxpayers) do not need to spend more money on welfare and other benefits in the future. This is actually a good thing.

    Overall, if you are a parent, you need to have an honest conversation with your child on your financial commitment to their education. No, it is not fair when parents who can afford to pay don’t pay anything. I see this with wealthy families. The government expects these parents to pay for the education, and when they do not, the student can not afford it on their own. The student is s**t out of luck until they can claim independent status. Middle class families are barely making it financially, yet they are still expected to finance part of the education. Is this fair? No, but post-secondary education is not a right in the US. Parents must discuss their financial options with a financial planner while their children are in elementary school. The planner will assist with proper financial planning for college. Many times parents wait until the child’s 11th or 12 grade year to start planning, and it is way too late. Families will need to determine what elements to sacrifice to assist in funding an education: family vacations, unnecessary shopping splurges, upgrading to a larger home, new vehicles, etc. Sacrifice is the key when planning for your child’s education; unless you are a parent that refuses or cannot afford to assist in financing an education.

    For parents who are not going to fund the education, be clear to your child early on (10th grade). Don’t expect any “Parent of the Year” awards for this decision. Yes, your “obligation” to provide to your student stops at 18, but is that really what you want to do? Remember that the FAFSA is going to still use your income and assets to determine your child’s aid. If this is what you still want to do, then you need to help your child to develop a concrete plan on how to finance their education, including appropriate college choices (like community college), creating a structured home study regime (so that they attain excellent grades); helping them obtain a great part-time job to help them pay to register for college entrance tests, college application fees, and college deposits; and teaching them life management skills: open a bank account, understand how to rent an apartment, how to buy a vehicle/insurance, how to buy medical/dental insurance, etc.

    I also want to leave a stern warning for parents regarding the FAFSA – don’t try and cheat the system. This business of making your child claim independent is cheating the system. Just because this one parent was able to get his children through the system by doing this, it doesn’t mean that others should try. You don’t know his entire story or the children’s. Remember that independent students must pay for EVERYTHING themselves including health insurance. Does a 19 year old really need to attempt to pay this game to get themselves through college? I guess we all have differing points of view on what is means to be a parent and when you stop being one.

    • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 10:37 am #


      Here’s a little newsflash for you……..most parents who paid their own way through college are willing to help. The problem is that we seem to have a generation of self-entitled brats who are legally adults will do nothing whatsoever such as going for academic, ROTC or athletic scholarships, or looking for co-op programs to be part of, or even getting a JOB to help defray the costs of their own educations. Rather they want to attend out of state schools that costs upwards of ten and twenty times what local schools that offer the same majors cost, and then literally throw temper tantrums that rival any thrown by the brattiest five year old when they get told “no” by mom and dad. My best friend found himself in a situation where he was called a deadbeat by his ex-wife and spoiled son. So you have a little background…….. My friend and I enlisted out of high school in the U.S. Navy to take part in the Montgomery G.I. Bill. Both us ended up serving many years on active duty. My friend initially got out after four years went to school, joined ROTC, worked a 32 hour job at a local gym, and actually was a cage fighter (the brutal precursor of MMA) earning $250.00 for each victory and $50.00 for each loss. Ultimately he walked-on our university’s football team and was awarded a partial scholarship. As a result of his participation in ROTC he was commissioned as an Ensign after graduation and went on a very distinguished career which in total lasted nearly 30 years. When his son started looking at colleges he told him that he would help provided that:

      a. the boy went to an in-state school
      b. the boy chose a major that was actually marketable (his father is a mechanical engineer)
      c. the boy walked on for a varsity sport (or at least tried to walk-on)
      d. the boy work to help defray the costs
      e. the boy get an academic or ROTC scholarship

      At the urging of his mother (who to this day insists on spreading the lies that her ex-husband was never in the Navy (their children were both born at military hospitals and they were married in a military chapel), her ex-husband never went to college let alone was a varsity athlete, and her husband is a convicted felon) the boy refused his father’s offer and chose to attend a small out-of-state college that costs upwards of $50K per year. My friend told his son that if he attended a “division 2” school that was in-state that had all the programs the boy was interested in that he’d pay for all of the boy’s college costs, and the boy flatly refused in my presence. That same night when I asked the young man about an ROTC scholarship, the boy has told his father and I (two retried naval officers) that “the military is for losers who can’t do anything else”. Since that time he has fully embraced the lies his mother has spread and continues to try to spread. Although the boy claimed to have been a “straight A student in school” and to have made a 34 on his ACT, he couldn’t get any kind of academic scholarship, which makes one wonder about the truthfulness of his claims regarding grades and test scores. As a final “gesture”, the boy has since cut off all contact with his father going so far as to change his name, but yet had the gall to call me and ask if “his dad still covered him on his Tricare Medical Plan”. I wanted to tell that snot nosed brat what I thought of him, but instead I told him that he needed to ask his father that directly. I also asked him why if he didn’t want his father’s name did he want his father’s benefits. He of course had no answer. To this date he hasn’t spoken to his dad. However, to this date his father continues to “hold the door open” for him and keeps him on the medical benefits. I have always greatly admired my friend, but never more than I do now for being willing to endure such heartbreak all the while holding out the light of hope and all the while keeping the door of love open.

  70. Jim VerMeulen September 5, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    I’m sorry you feel the need to call parents that make good money “deadbeat parents” if they don’t help with paying for college for their adult children ( 18 IS a legal adult last I checked). I help and have paid for all tuition and the first 2 years of 2 of my 4 children so far but I don’t agree with your opinion. It concerns me that my children hear people talk as you have and tell me that their responsibilities shouldn’t include college costs. You are an expert I respect but you have not acted professionally, in my opinion, when you use words like “deadbeat parents”. You’ve decided who should and shouldn’t be able to pay, without knowing individual circumstances. I am even more troubled with the government choosing an arbitrary 24 years for most adults to be considered independent. I understand the problem with “abuse” but that doesn’t make it ok to try to force parents to give their financial information to their adult children in order to apply for FASFA. I find the whole thing going in a terrible direction.
    Pretty soon the government is going to promote the idea that parents should pay for their adult children to be on their insurance until their in their mid twenties! Oh, that’s right, they just did! Please reconsider your position. We just might be hurting our children and ourselves by these decisions. Who’s John Galt?

  71. John August 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    When did it become the parents responsibility to fund a college education anyway? Some con person on Madison Avenue or Washington DC invented that “guilt trip”. Don’t parents have enough on their plates anyway?

    Don’t get me wrong, any parent should be willing to help their children out to the best their ability. However, it should not be considered their responsibility. That’s why college has become so expensive in the first place. Convince them to mortgage their house for the cost and it will go up as far as they can push it. Welcome to the “Educational Industrial Complex”.

    In my day, if you could not afford a 4 year university, you went to community college to keep the expenses down. Kids are spoiled today and expect everything handed to them on a silver platter.

    Deadbeat parent? I don’t think so. I’m going to retire at age 62 and not with a $100,000.00 bill to pay.

  72. brittany July 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    It’s not the parents’ fault…it is the system that is flawed. Neither of my parents have college degrees and they made a combined total of about $40,000 last year. They live frugally and have managed to save and invest about $60,000. Spending this savings on college education for my sister and I would make them unable to retire, as they are in their mid-50s. Yet reporting this savings on my FAFSA ruins my chances of getting any financial aid aside from unsubsidized loans. I am a good student and after two years in college have a 3.89 cumulative GPA. While this is good, it simply is not scholarship material. I always think I could do better in college if I did not have to work full time just to pay for the costs. I make $10.50 an hour, but that mostly just pays for the expenses of living on my own. I have $20,000 in debt already and I am only halfway through college. I am working toward a B.A. in social work, so it is not as if I will be making a lot of money when I graduate. I do not know how I will pay off those loans. My boyfriend and I have been living together since I started college. We would like to get married but cannot afford it. He would like to go back to school also but I do not think I will be able to afford to give him the financial help he needs because I will be spending the next thirty years paying off these horrible loans.

    • Hello maymay July 21, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      i wish for the best of you and try to succeed during these hard times and the economy

  73. Jane July 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    There is a good major that you kid can choose, that is computer science. Try to make your kid good at math in elementary, middle and high school to be able to successful in the college.
    After 1st year of computer science, you can find a very good pay intern job in bay area in silicon valley. Most intern get paid between $20 ~ $40 as an intern here. A friend of mine has low income, the parent does not have money to pay for kid’s college education. Their kid is in computer science major. Now the kid graduated from college about two year ago, with only $5000 debt. He worked at school and when the school is off for many software jobs. He now earns 6 digit number of salary yearly. He just brought a house for more than half a million. So if you want your kid have less debt and high income after graduation, just ask him to study computer science. Very high paying job.

    • Snoglydox August 29, 2013 at 4:50 am #

      20-40 an hour? Is this true? I make just over 20 an hour, and am an electrical engineer, with other AS degrees in telecommunications, networking, and computer science.

      On that note…I was financially obligated to all my college expenses, 100%; I love school, and it would have been nice to get some assistance, as I am still paying for it, in my fifties, and my career requires continued education, in order to keep up with the times. My dad made more than I do now…not counting inflation…working on the line at a Ford plant, and has been retired for over twenty-five years, on his Ford pension.

      I know my parents loved me (mom passed away;) parents should not have to live under a bridge to put their kids through college, but there are college saving plans that most can afford.

  74. Jodi July 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    I had the ULTIMATE deadbeat father when I went to college. He was LITERALLY worth at least 10 of millions of dollars. He basically stole an inheritance that my grandparents meant for me (like he needed the money), yet left me with the tax burden that accrued EVERY year. I was a minor and homeless. My father not only refused to help me as a homeless minor, he refused me medical treatment when I was ill, and of course refused to pay for college (despite promises to do so). Yet he still claimed me on his taxes, making it impossible for me to receive any financial aid. It took me well over a decade to work my way through school, all while I was paying a tax burden that should never have been mine on money I never received or controlled. It also took my over 25 years to unravel his web of deceit and try to get someone to listen and help me. No help ever came by the way, the best I could do was disentangle myself from his fraud, I will never recover what I lost.

    Now I have a child, and I know that even without the burdens and obstacles my father created for me, it is virtually impossible for a child to just work their way through school. I will do all I can to help him get his education. At 12 he has already made up his mind that he wants college, and he has started his own savings towards the tuition. So I, as a loving and responsible parent, will step up and do everything within my power to help this hard working and responsible kid build a life for himself.

    Basically, I will do the exact opposite of what my scumbag father did. What a concept, a parent actually caring for their children and not expecting someone else to step up and pay. If you can not (or do not want to) care for your children properly, do not have them. It is that simple. My kid is the greatest single joy in my life, and I will repay him for that by supporting him and helping him achieve his goals.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

      I suspect it would be quite interesting to hear your father’s side of what happened. Somehow I think we’d hear a vastly different story.

  75. College Student July 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I am currently a student in college which is obvious from my name. I am currently debt free except one small loan I took for living expenses for summer classes. This loan will be paid back in full before I graduate. I keep reading where people are arguing both sides of this, and I see where both are right. If you can afford to help your child through school, then I do not see where the problem is. Each parent wants their child to succeed, so why would you not help your child do just that? There are those parents that cannot help foot the bill for college. That is understandable. I think the main issue here is one of communication. Before your child chooses a college, you should make it clear to them if you are able to help at all how much per year or per semester. There is no since in the student going to a school like NYU or Harvard if they cannot afford it with or without the parent’s help. These parent who have put themselves in a bind should not blame their children. They were unreasonable to expect that they could pay back the sum that the child borrowed. It would have been better to let him/her know ahead of time what they could afford. I knew going into high school, that if I didn’t excel in my grades, college was not an option without massive loans, so I worked hard. These parents who say, “I did it by myself. Now you need to learn to,” obviously have the wrong idea. If my mother had attended college where I do when she graduated in 1989, her tuition would have been approximately one sixth of what I pay. It is ridiculous to think that the times and money value haven’t changed in the last 24 years. Parents, think carefully about what you are saying.

  76. Kat July 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    As a student, this is a topic that really gets me….
    First if all, YOU CHOSE to have a child. It is YOUR responsibility to try to give them the best life they can get. If you raise your child right, they WONT be drop-out who sink of all of your money and leave you to foot the bill. Have some sense- just because Johnny and Sally’s son wasted their money and flunked doesn’t mean your child will.
    There are many ways to safeguard your investment. First: raise them right. If you raise spoiled rotten kids- don’t be shocked when they take your money and run.
    Personally, my mom is newly married with a husband, making enough to help- but won’t. “I’ll give you as much as I was given” If you are as selfish as that- just don’t have kids.
    I am a HARD WORKING student. I’m still in high school, working on my AA. Ill have 2 years done at my community college by the time I’m 18. My boyfriend and I plan on getting our doctoral degrees…that costs a lot. Even though were attending a state university after going to CC. HIS father is going to help him. HE IS IN NO WAY “Spoiled” for that! His dad put him here, his dad is going to help. (His dads not a millionaire either)
    So, HELP your kids. YOU put them here. MAKE them work, maintain a GPA and whatnot. Or, pay for their living expenses and let them worry about tuition and books. The things they can get scholarships for.
    To say “I’m not going to help my kids” makes you a DEADBEAT. Those parents who don’t make much aren’t- they find other ways to help though. REFUSING makes you a deadbeat. Forcing thousands of debt on your child, when you don’t have to makes you a deadbeat.
    Just try to help your kids…you put them here.
    When my boyfriend and I get married and have A child (BECAUSE YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE MORE KIDS THAN YOU CAN AFFORD), we will tell them “Work, because we had to” whilst we are saving. When they finally graduate, and have found scholarships, we will tell them about the savings fund, and tell them “we will give you this money if you find a job, work 10-20 hours a week, and maintain at least a 3.4- send us the grades, we’ll send you they money”
    THAT’S PARENTING, not this selfish stuff you guys are doing.

    • Hello maymay July 21, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      i agree with you… like nobody told you have kids and not support them any type of way financially just because their 18

  77. Damnstraight June 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Ya know, once upon a time there wasn’t any federal money to go to college, so parents scrimped and saved wisely.
    This is not possible now.

    The loans you get have to be paid back.
    The grants you get are not much!
    Scholarships are out there…tons of them. Those are NOT federal money.
    and it is possible for a kid to WORK to pay for college or part of it.
    AND IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A DOCTOR OR LAWYER OR SUCH…you will make plenty of money if you are good at it…to pay back student loans.

    so, if parents pay for it, where the hell does this money come from?
    and how many kids every return that favor later? Do they pay their parents back so they have a nice retirement? NO!

    OMG! Seriously…deadbeat parents? At least they’re getting their kids in school and not on welfare or working low paying jobs!
    you will totally screw yourself if you don’t pay them back.

    My point is….
    there is money for school.
    kids can get financial aid.
    Sure, it’s a lot.
    but who the hell says the parents should be forking out 50k-250k for their kids college?????
    You people are ignorant if you think so.
    Good luck with that.

    (Most) Rich people lack common sense and logic when it comes to everyone else.

  78. Jeff Chuss June 10, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    I am divorced with 2 children. I pay over $1000.00 a month in child support. My ex wife has not worked since I knew her. She should have had a job and stopped relying on my child support and her mother. I have not seen my children in years. Never to receive any medical , education or behavior information on them. My ex wife has alienated from from our children. They have no father in their lives. Once at a visitation my sister asked to take a photo of Daddy and his daughters , the younger one said ” Mommy said no pictures .” My ex wife went out of state on vacation with my children with out ever notifying me. I should have had her arrested for kidnapping. Why should I have to pay for them to attend college. They should pay themselves or each have a job working or take out loans themselves. I do not think they need college to exceed in life. I never went college and I am living a comfortable life. They have a choice do it themselves or be a bloodsucking monster like their mother. Joint custody does not exist ! They turned 18 years old now you two our on your own. Wa Wa Wa go cry to Mommy 1

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy June 10, 2013 at 4:44 am #

      Your email makes me sad. I feel for the children in the middle of divorced parents who hate each other.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

    • Damnstraight June 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      Not sure why you got so screwed or why you allow her to screw you harder…but, I agree with you! WHY SHOULD YOU PAY!!!

      the narrow mind who wrote this is out of touch with reality.

      They live in a bubble.

      I am a woman. I think men get the shaft! Then there’s this idiot writing this without even considering the fact MOST PARENTS DIVORCE AND THE MAN GETS TOTALLY SCREWED FINANCIALLY so who really is going to pay?

      I hope you the rest of your life is spent enjoying your adult children. They will understand how things went down, if not now, when they are older. Be patient. Be kind. Do not speak against their mother.
      Tell the truth.
      Even if you made mistakes.
      Good luck.

    • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 4:28 am #


      Your story is an all too common tragic occurrence in our society. Divorced fathers subjected to a campaign of deliberate alienation by a bitter and nasty ex-wife who in all likelihood wanted the divorce because she thought she had “something better” all lined up only to find that “fell through”. In fact we even have a term that is being recognized by more and more folks in this country known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). In the ex-wife’s lust for “vengeance” for getting what she wanted….a divorce……..the kids are placed squarely in the middle of a war zone so they can be used as a source to suck up cash from dad and his family for everything from clothes, to shoes, summer camps, sports, “lessons”, etc….. (which by the way is supposed to be what Child Support is used for, but…… rarely used for), and later tuition and fees for schools, and finally college expenses. Ultimately, the kids are subjected to a steady and relentless bombardment of lies, distortions about their father and their father’s family which over a period of many years drives a wedge between dad and his kids that ends up alienating a father from his children to the point where he loses contact with them.

      Nonetheless, as your children have chosen as adults to continue to participate in their mother’s campaign of lies and distortions to alienate you they can also reap the benefits of that participation. One of those “benefits” should certainly be not having to take any money from dad for college.

  79. colleen May 5, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I am one of 7 , I paid for my college and my kids will too. Don’t tell me it is more expensive today. my loans equaled my first 2 years salary no small change. I lived home too. We can afford to pay and we have saved but we won’t pay for it all. The sad thing today is we make too much for the loan to be in the students name.

    Two key concept that we hope will lead to successful college for our kids

    – We pay for A’s and B’s and 4 years. One admission counselor at Virginia Tech told us a story about her dad that gave me this idea and my son knows we will enforce because he has seen his bill and paid on it.
    – they can sign a form so you can see their grades, no signature – no tuition check. Usually when they fail it is too late but this can help with insuring you don’t get too overcommitted for a failing student.

    A lot of our generation defaulted on student loans so that is a reason for changes today. .It used to be a default did not go on your credit report now they do and believe they also do not get forgiven in bankrupty too.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy May 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm #


      How much you make — you said you made too much– has nothing to do with a parent being required to cosign a loan. I’m not saying you are doing this, but I have a real problem with parents who are happy to push obscene amounts of debt onto their children with private loans.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 10:52 am #

        Ms O’Shaughnessy,

        I have a real problem with people like you who can’t seem to even remotely grasp that basic concept that we’re not talking about CHILDREN……..we’re talking about eighteen year olds who are legal adults. Legal adults who by definition are supposed to take responsibility for their own lives. Madam at what point do you think people ought to grow up and take care of themselves? At what point in life do you think it’s “fair” for us as a society to actually expect people to work for and earn what they desire?

  80. Trevor Cruz March 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    In theory, I understand the value of making your children pay for their own education. My problem lies with the manipulation of the federal government (and taxpayers) to do so. Joining the military is a fine way to do so. Taking advantage of “the system” is not.

    My .02 cents.

    • Amy B May 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      Parents should save and sacrifice to help support their children through college or some post high school training. Yes, college is too expensive but what is the alternative? Most careers such as teaching, nursing, law, medicine, finance, etc require a 4 year degree to even apply. So yes the system is broken but only time will fix it. My child can not wait for the fix therefore she will attend college. I was a single parent for many years and managed to save a little each month for her future. I have made sacrifices, found ways to cut expenses, worked extra hours, even taken side jobs over the years to be able to tuck money away.
      I’ve always know she would not qualify for aid and therefore planned smart.
      She has worked hard and has earned a scholarship that will about 25% of the annual cost for each of the 4 years. She has worked part time during every school year since age 14 saving some of her earnings for her future. Additionally, she has worked full time (40hours) during every summer for the last 4 years. With her earnings, She has managed to buy her car $2,500, accummulate $10,000 in her savings account, and pay for her gas, clothing, and entertainment since she was of driving age.
      She has done her part. She is an honor roll student with 3.75 gpa taking honors and ap classes. She saved and earned some scholarship money. The rest I feel is up to me. I ve had 20+ years longer on this earth to save and figure things out.
      Therefore, I feel it is my responsibility to pay for the balance of her college expenses and am willing to use my money to do so. Of course she will attend an in state public school of her choice. She will live in the dorm and have a required meal plan. The tuition, dorm, food, and misc. expenses that the scholarship doesn’t cover….. I willingly will. She will maintain a 3.0+ gpa, graduate on time, and work 10 hours a week on campus for spending money.
      She will graduate debt free.
      She will be ahead of the curve and set for life.
      My sacrifices, planning, and toiling will have been worth it.

      Note- I was the first to attend college in my extended family. My parents did not provide any financial support for my college education not one red cent. They could have afforded to help me in some way. They were selfish, poor planners, and bad with money. I worked full time and attended college full time 15-18 hours each semester. I live on my own, paid rent , food, and I graduated with $20k + in student loans that I paid off in my early 30’s.
      I always knew that I did not want my child to have such a burden.

      Parents and grandparents should feel a responsibility to help pay for college. In today’s world, a college degree and/or post high school training is a requirement for careers. Doesn’t every parent want their child to succeed, to do better than they did, to pull the family name up? My child is worth the sacrifices I’ve made and I would do it all again.

  81. Cheryl March 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I would love to be able to pay for my son to go to college but unfortunely I cant. He received a scholarship to wrestle but it is still not enough to cover the amount it will cost each year even after taking out student loans. My son understands and has decided he is going to go into the military which was his original 1st choice so that he could save and pay for college himself and not to burden his parents. I am proud of my son for who he has become and who he will be in the future. im very nervous about him joining the military but will stand behind him whatever he chooses. He just didnt want to start off his life as an adult up to his ears in debt

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy March 6, 2013 at 12:23 am #

      Good luck to your son Cheryl!! I hope he stays safe in the military and ultimately receives a great college education when he is finished with his military obligation.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Concerned grandparent March 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

        I’m trying to educate myself in order to try and help my 19 year old grandson navigate life a little bit. My 3 sons are all in their 30’s. The oldest started a family VERY early (16) and his life got so far off track that I fear he will never go to college…this is the father of the grandson I’m worried about. He’s 18, smart, but lazy. Sweet kid, musically talented, but I don’t think will ever work hard enough at it to make a career of it. He is the oldest of 3 children, and his mother (now divorced from my son) is pregnant, so there will be 4. Since his grades were so bad, the only option for him in terms of college at this point will be community college. His mother kicked him out of the house (her reason was valid, but that’s another conversation for another time). He is working basically a minimum wage job and sharing an apartment with 2 friends. I bought a used car for him a couple of years ago even though he didn’t have a license…he still doesn’t unfortunately, but that’s not a huge obstacle. Unfortunately though, his mother sold the car, as I had made the huge mistake of putting the car in her name. The reason I’m taking the time to explain about the car is that we live in a part of the country where a car is almost a necessity for a young person going to community college since there are no dorms, and working as well. Unless and until he is really motivated to work at it, this is all moot, but I’m hoping that I can help him reach that point…which brings me to the point of my post. My wife and I might be able to help in some small way, but there’s no way we could completely cover the cost beyond community college, and even if we could, there will be 2 younger sibling following close behind in the same situation. What I’m trying to figure out is whether he could be considered independent, (He can’t answer yes to any of the questions in your article), whether that matters (His father does not work and lives with his mother, my ex-wife, and his mother makes about $50K, has 2 other children, and is pregnant with what will be her 4th child, due this summer). Those are the reasons I wonder if it will matter if he can claim independent status as a practical matter. Bottom line, I’m trying to figure out if he can get enough financial aid without incurring crippling debt to cover the cost of education. Is being independent critical, and if the answer to that is yes, is there a legal, moral path for him to get there? If it’s not critical, what’s the best case scenario he can hope for at a state school in the DFW (Texas) area? Again, I realize community college is his only option right now, I’m assuming he can and will get past that hurdle and will be ready to go to a real school by the time he’s 20 or 21. I assume his parents will still be “deadbeats” at that point.

  82. College Grad January 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    This is ridiculous. It is true students who are forced to open up loans, and work while in college to pay for overpriced textbooks, food, transportation, do NOT do as well as students who have help. (i live in nyc where everything is extremely expensive. Maybe this could work in Ohio or something but NOT HERE) I think its so stupid how parents would say, I suffered and graduated, now it’s time for you too should really slap themselves in the face. Students need HELP. No one ever explained to us in highschool that afterwards you are on your own if you ever want to do anything with your life. And for the students that said “oh i worked full time and graduated, and im fine” then good for you. Others need the more financial stability to be able to focus more and do the best that they can. I worked part-time majority of the junior and senior year of college, lived off loans, and still managed to graduate with summa cum luade. However, I was not happy doing so with the lack of sleep, and the lack of support that my parents could have provided, and highly dont recommend it. They did not support me 50% while in school, besides a couple of dollars here there for a metro card for me to go to class, OH and a roof over my head. WOWWW so much help thanks! And they have the AUDACITY to try to claim me for income tax which is crazy! Parents stop being pricks. this is 2013. Grow some balls and help your kids out who WANT to learn. If you have lazy kids then NO dont pay. Stop living in the 1980s when school was affordable. Save for your kids education! If you don’t want to help them, then don’t have kids!

    • Devildog4686 February 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      So your parents giving you a roof over your head and a metro card are “barely supporting” you. How about you support yourself. You should be extremely grateful you had a roof over your head while going to school. Instead of bitching about it, DO SOMETHING! If you desperately need their help that badly then prove you want and deserve to go to college. Can’t afford it, save like you expect your parents to do. Get better grades in high school. Go to community college. Or join the military. There are plenty of non-combative roles in the armed forces. So this whole poor me attitude is done. You really want it? Then persistence and determination is how your going to get it. I understand circumstances always dictate our opportunities, but unless they grew up in complete poverty with absolutely no educational opportunities I have no sympathy for kids who have to pay their own way. There are plenty of options out there, but unless it’s a high class university that gives you your “stereotypical college experience” you blame your parents like a selfish, undeserving child. Grow the fuck up and quit feeling so entitled. I served four years in Marine Corp to earn my education. What have you done for yours?

    • Roxy September 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Amen! I feel your pain. Been there and know it well.

  83. notrequired January 17, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    When are we going to shut down the Department of Education.????

    • Dick Smith January 9, 2016 at 4:32 am #

      What exactly does the Department of Education have to do with what colleges charge for tuition?

      When are you going to get a clue?

  84. Roberta January 12, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    I was a straight A student in HS, and a recruited athlete. I was recruited by both Ivy league schools ( didn’t offer scholarship) and Div 1 offered me full ride. My mother was earning about 90K a year ( early 1980’s) and she married a man( my 2nd step Dad who made about 3/4 of a million a year.

    To make a long story short, after I signed a letter of intent at a Div 1 school for a full ride, she bragged to all her friends, then told me I had to apply for FA. The reason: so she could invest the money and earn a profit off of it. Her rationale: I owed her for my room and board for the previous 17 years of my life. I applied for FA fearing being thrown out of house summer before college ( I was a 17 year old girl) . The result: based on my Mom’s 90K income I was turned down for any aid. She was furious and said. ” WHAT ? if I spent this much money on your tuition ( the univ was 8K a year) I would have NOTHING LEFT” Meanwhile, my mom was going to NYC every weekend to be fitted by the furiur , buying art, antiques, and planning a
    20K Bar Mitzfah for her new husband’s son . Fast forward 3 decades: I never married, had achild on my own and work 2 jobs to put him through private school and my Mom, she is on her 5th husband and none of her kids speak to her..

    • Dick April 3, 2015 at 2:55 am #

      Let me get this straight……….in the 1980’s you had a full ride athletic scholarship to a NCAA Division 1 school and somehow your mother insisted you apply for Financial Aid so she could pocket the money and you went along with the scam because you were 17 and “afraid of being tossed out the summer before you were to enroll?

      If one were to assume that this “tale of woe” is true and that’s a huge assumption, one is forced to ask……were you both on seriously mind-altering drugs or are both of you just plain dumber than hell?

      On the other hand were one to apply facts and logic… comes to the conclusion that your story is complete B.S.

      FYI……You could’ve enrolled that summer (as many scholarship athletes do to get a jump on their acedemic studies as well as being in a position to train under the guidance and supervision of the athletic staff) and thwarted mommy’s “evil plans”.

      FYI…….Your “full ride” NCAA Division 1 Athletic Scholarship (if it ever existed….and that’s pretty doubtful) would’ve paid all of your tuition, board, and fees, as well as providing you a stipend.

  85. Mom of three January 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Do we not want our children to begin their lives out on a good financial foot. Our oldest son was helped as much as possible by us.That is not to say he didnt work for his college. Had this father been a man and helped pay, it wouldnt be much, as FAFSA projects the EFC (estimated family contribution) on how much is made and HOW MANY KIDS ARE STILL AT HOME. How many of his kids will chose not to go to college, which will put them in a WORSE financial position. My parents COULDNT help me and FAFSA paid alot but I worked hard and owe ALOT in loans. This doesnt mean that they shouldnt have helped if they could have. They wanted to but couldnt. REAL FATHERS, REAL MEN want their children to start their lives in a good financial and educational beginning. GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LIVES YOU MADE.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

      let me guess………………..from your bitter tone……………………………’re divorced, you’re angry your ex moved on with his life, you’ve worked hard to poison your children against their father, and I suspect you squandered the child support you received (which by the way is one-half….I.e. fifty percent…of what the kids are entitled to under family law in all fifty states) over the years and then expected your ex-husband to foot the bill for college without being given any say in where the kids went or what they studied.

      Once again…..child support is only for the benefit of the children while they’re children.

      Once again….college is a privilege, not a right.

      Finally, I hope that someday you move past your bitterness. It’s only hurting you and your kids.

  86. Sad Tired Mom December 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    I didn’t pay my own way through college completely, but I paid for a lot of it myself. My parents helped, but they didn’t have a lot of money to spend on college.

    I didn’t want my kids to struggle like I did. I know working the hours I did had an impact on my grades. I wanted my kids to be able to select a difficult major if that’s what they wanted, to be able to focus on their grades and go to graduate school, if that’s what they wanted. I also wanted them to be able to live on campus and enjoy campus life, clubs, extracurriculars, etc. I also did not want them to go into a lot of debt getting their undergrad degree, so that they could be more free to pick a major that they liked. My opinion is that people who want to be teachers need to take on a smaller amount of debt. People who are going to be advanced practice nurses can take on more debt. I discussed all this with my daughter before she started school, just like I did with my son.

    My son, my oldest was wonderful. We sacrificed to put him through school with a relatively small amount of debt on his part. He was cooperative with us, helped by keeping his expenses reasonable and mostly kept his grades up. I was happy to write that check out to the university every semester.

    My daughter, on the other hand, is headstrong and difficult to deal with, and has been that way a lot of her life. She does keep expenses down, but it is her position that she is an adult, what she does, where she goes, her grades, her life is her own business. She wants to live with her boyfriend and live her own life without parental input or interference, and not much contact.

    I’m fine with her living her own adult life, but my position is that if that’s your choice, you pay for it yourself. I feel a couple in a committed, long-term relationship should be working out their finances between themselves.

    Where we live, there are many opportunities for students to get a college degree and pay for it themselves. We live in a state which pays for 90% tuition if a student goes to a state university and keeps a 3.0 average. There are 3 state universities within commuting distance and also public transportation available. My daughter can pay for a college education herself without our help if that’s what she chooses.

    I did everything I could to educate my children about college costs. I strongly encouraged my daughter to not take out unnecessary loans for her education, but to sit down with me, work out a budget and let us pay for what she needed. Instead, she took out loans against my objections so that she would have more spending money. She was very angry with me for not wanting her to take out loans. She says she is an adult and it is her business if she wants to take out loans.

    She now wants to transfer from one of the top universities in the U.S. to a community college. That’s her decision to make, but she is in debt now out of proportion to what is reasonable for a community college graduate.

    For what it’s worth, my oldest is in the PhD program, finishing his Masters degree and about to start his PhD. He says I am one of the most reasonable people he knows and not difficult to deal with.

    I am tired. I’m ready to be one of those deadbeat parents and let my daughter pay for her own life herself. At this point, I think the kindest thing I could do for my daughter is just to let her go live the adult life she so badly wants to live, without parental input or interference, including financial input.

    So I welcome your comments. I don’t think I’m a deadbeat parent at this point if I choose to tell my daughter to pay for the rest of her education herself. When you tell your parents you’re an adult, your life is entirely your own business, then at least don’t put your hand out and say, by the way, give me the money to live my adult life. What do you think?

  87. dan December 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Parents do not have to pay for college. They do not have to. Not sure why the title hs to say dead beet parents. Parents do not have to take care of kids much less sink money on a fraud called college

  88. susanna December 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    when I was young my parents refused to pay, they didn’t understand the point of a higher education. I was sent to private schools for my secondary education, but after that I was made to feel like I was a burden at home.

    With my own child, I was fortunate enough to be able to fund her studies right up to the PhD
    level. It is the greatest gift you can give a child, the gift of a higher education. I have seen many parents getting tired by the time their child turns 18, but it is precisely at that time that children need you the most.

  89. Jeff December 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Thought I’d stop on by again and see the responses. Love the passion displayed here. I have a 20 almost 21 year old daughter who I want to go to school, will pay for it, and she does not seem to have any interest or follow through. I am getting to the point where I am going to put a deadline on her parental scholarship. I do not enjoy having this hanging over my head. Every year and sometimes is, “I am going to go to this University” and then it doesn’t happen.

    Someone up above mentioned that the people like myself who posted they have paid for their own college are liars. That is correct. I had a couple of grants, a small scholarship, a GI Bill, etc. I did work and raise a family at the time, but I really didn’t pay for my schooling. In fact, I made a little money from the assistance I was given.

    I keep reading in the posts here that you need a college education to get a good job. That’s a bunch of malarkey. Where did this ever come from? Can it help? Sure. I know plenty of people w/out a college education that have a good job. I believe it depends more on the person. A college education doesn’t gaurantee you a job either. College is not a prerequisite for a good job.

    Have some random thoughts to share..

    College is not a right.

    Tuition costs are out of control and outpace inflation by a large margin.

    A college degree does not gaurantee a job nor does it make one entitled to anything.

    A child’s wants should not come before a parent’s needs.

    The FAFSA is not a fair evaluation and should be eliminated or revised.

    18 year olds should not have to rely on their parents income to determine financial aid. They should be given the opportunity (without hassle) to say they are financially independent.

    Parents should not be expected to pay for a childs college. It should be considered a gift if they do. Regardless of how much money they make or have made. This point urks me more than anything else discussed. Most (not all) parents will if they can. There are plenty of researched and documented issues of young adults nowadays having entitlement issues.

  90. Lola December 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    I can’t believe parents who fall into paying for deadbeat STUDENTS college loans. And if they do, I feel sorry for them. A college education is necessary if you want a good job. But you know what? If you can’t afford a college education then you don’t get one. It just goes on to prove how we continue over and over to buy something we can’t afford. Join the service get a real job. Go to a trade school, get a real job. The most popular complaint I hear from people that have actually graduated is that they can’t find a job!!

  91. REALITY December 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Every single person who says they “payed their own way through college” is a liar. Question any of these people on specifics and you will find out someone gave them money. Either the government or their family.

    People like myself are screwed out of college educations the most. People who’s fathers make 70k a year and are not our biological fathers. We are adopted, or have stepfathers, or are raised by someone else. I had SATs in the top 5% and didn’t go to college. My adoptive father was a doctor and didn’t save a penny for me to go to college cause he hated kids and was forced to adopt by his wife.

    If the FAFSA can’t share with everyone then they should put all of their loans and grants away!

    This just another reason why this country is collapsing. Morons in charge create idiotic policies. We don’t know who they are, how they came up with these policies and you can’t do anything about it. They are our overlords. We don’t put the best and brightest at the top, we rob intelligent people like myself of the rewards of hard work, and hand the reward to someone else.

    To all the people who claim we are lazy or spoiled. I bet none of you worked as hard as me in school. And not only couldn’t I get a loan or grant, but at 18 I made like 23-24k a year then the thieving piece of garbage government took around 8k out in taxes.

    So thanks for calling us lazy, when I’m the guy who paid for YOUR education you freeloading deadbeat. Explain to me how college grants are different than WELFARE, that YOU received and I didn’t.

    And at the end of the day I’m the guy much much smarter than you no matter how you rig this rapidly deteriorating system against people like me. And no matter all the handouts and special privileges you leeched off the government.

    • Jeff December 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm #


      You sound a little angsty. I get it. Some under acheiver is going to college on your tax dollars so you can’t. You have every right to be upset.

      The good news is that if you can keep some of the angst down and keep plugging away that it will all wash out in the end.

      Keep achieving, be patient, and seek ways to acheive your personal goals!! Be true to yourself.

    • Jodi July 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      I paid for my college education. Granted this was in the mid 80’s to mid 90’s when college was more affordable. I did NOT receive help from my family, as a matter of fact my father created additional obstacles for me. I did NOT get financial aid, grants, scholarships, etc. I went to school I bits and pieces, sometimes I had to skip a semester because I had no money.

      I feel for your situation, I really do. I had been through something similar, yet actually worse myself. It is hard not to be bitter. Please keep trying, do not give up. You deserve a bright future.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 3:59 pm #


      Allow me to translate your post for the “home audience”

      Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I want someone else to pay for my college.

      Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh life isn’t fair

      Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I have to pay taxes so that I can live in the greatest nation on earth.

      What kind of cheese would you like with your whine?

      Out of curiosity who are you to say that everyone who worked to pay for their college education through earning scholarships, military service, or just by plain old fashioned working is a liar?

  92. Sea December 9, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    I’m a PhD student right now, but it was a long road. I worked full time (two part time jobs) and went to school full time as an undergrad, with no parental help. I hated that I wasn’t allowed to qualify as an independent student because of my age. My mom’s income was low enough that I received some small Pell grants, but my student loans just barely covered tuition. My grades suffered and getting scholarships wasn’t an option after my first year. I barely got into a masters program, but it wasn’t a big research institution by any means, and it was hell getting into any phd program with horrible undergrad grades. By some miracle I got into a PhD program but even now, it’s really difficult for me to not to be bitter towards other students that went to amazing schools, studied abroad, and in general had so many more opportunities.

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Rather than wasting your time focusing on what you didn’t get, why not focus on what blessings have come your way?

      BTW…………’re the one who decided to choose a field where a PhD was needed and as such you’re the one who is responsible for that choice. Perhaps a course in maturity would be a good idea for you.

  93. David December 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Here is my take on it. Why is it the parents responsibility to pay for the kids college? Why is it not the kids job to get good grades and get a scholarship. Lets see the kid is older than 18 and we are still going to baby them. This is why i am 27 and see so many people my age no nothing about life. I still see people at the age of 25 that has Mom or Dad paying for there cell phone. Really grow up people make it on your own. If the parents can afford to pay for it i’m all about it. But what i am against is that people assume parents should pay for it. Parents should make sure that they have a nice nest egg and a emergency fund. What usually happens is parents go into debt to pay kids college. Parents than years later can’t afford there home and have no retirement savings at the age of around 55. Than they have to go to there kids for help or end up working till they die. I have seen this time after time. It is sad to see that parents need to be parents and teach there kids how to love them selfs first than teach them about money and how working hard while you are young and saving will get you far in life.

    • Carrie December 7, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      The response to this article is tremendous! I see it’s a very heated topic. I, myself, am a single mother who had rasied my son without any child support or alimony or anything else other than my own job. I often worked two jobs. I was proud that I was able to purchase a small condo for myself and my son by giving up my entire 401K to do so. Now he is approaching college age. I KNOW from what I have read and heard that this kids who get college paid for by Mommy & Daddy do not put in as much effort and sweat and tears and sacrifice as those kids who work hard and SAVE UP for college. They don’t understand the meaning of money. They party, drink, goof off, sleep in, fail classes. And the parents are stuck paying back the loans they co-signed. I may have a decent job now, with an average salary, but the FAFSA people only see that. I do NOT see the years I have been paying back $30,000 worth of lawyer debt (custody issue). There is no place to put down that unusual circumstance on the FAFSA form. I hae no savings of any kind. Not out of my own selfishness or fancy vacations or expensive electronics – NO – for debt I had to pay (or have our house taken away).

      What about those parents who lost a job and lived on Unemployment for over a year, using up all her savings? What about medical bills? There are reasons why people have no savings that have nothing to do with being selfish.

      I have nothing for retirement. Almost nothing. I am at the age where if I don’t start saving right NOW I will have to survive on nothing by social security and work part time somewhere, just to survive. Forget vacations and enjoying my retirement years. I may not have enough to pay medical bills and the rest of my mortgage or buy food.

      To expect me at this point to pay my son’s college loans….impossible. I cannot do it. I’m almost done paying the lawyer debt, and will soon start saving for retirement. I’m running out of time. This was NOT my fault. My son will have to realize that he needs to save as much as he can by working and go to a community college part time until he reaches age 24 so he can file for Independent status and obtain loans.

      Paying these loans himself will make him sure to not flunk out of his classes and goof off and sleep in late and party all night instead of studying. After he graduates college, he may have to work two jobs, just like I did. Acually, I worked 3 jobs to pay off my loans. It was NOT easy. It made me appreciate school so so so much more. My parents did not give me one dime.

      College is so out of control expensive right now, It’s unbelievable.
      How do employers expect to hire educated, qualified employees if no one can afford to go to college? Should all the parents give up any hope of retirement savings to instead send their kids to college?

      • Ruthannparent December 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

        First of all, $130,000 per year in income means nothing! The problem with the FASFA is that the income means nothing when the expenses are high! Ok, $130k sounds like a good salary, but everything ends up being relative. In this case- there is no place to explain expenses, and I’m not talking about spa treatments or huge mortgage payments!

        Shame on all of these judgmental people such as the author of the blog to say what parents should or shouldn’t do with their own money!

        As parents, we are not continual money machines to our kids. We have spent SO much money raising our children and providing a loving environment for them to grow and flourish in, but there has to be some sort of limit here!

        Have you looked at tuition rates??? I am very offended by this general statement that you are putting out to parents that unless you pay for college, you are deadbeat parents!

        Yes, it is a good idea to save for college, but don’t forget that life is not always neatly packaged this way. What about good, hard-working parents like us that have worked our buns off to provide and have a good life for our family!

        Don’t forget that these parents that you are talking to are the parents that more than likely had to put themselves through school!! I know that by the time my husband and I finally graduated and paid off our loans we were raising a family and TRYING to save for the children’s college dreams.

        Society bombards parents with demands – take your children on vacation; get them involved in sports, get them involved in music…. etc etc which I happen to agree with; however, that costs money and time!

        I found that I had to take off long periods of time due to illnesses in the f
        family …. then I found that I had to retire early on disability… what about that???

        I have put out $31,000 for my son to attend a university and I find out that he is failing his first semester…. he was in the gifted program in school and has always been very bright, but he doesn’t seem to get the “knack” of studying. This was NOT due to our parenting methods- we are very hard workers and have raised him in a very good home with good morals and values! We have another child who is doing extremely well and is very grateful. It is just our son’s personality and stubbornness that seems to hold him back- I have come to realize this after many years of trying to be understanding; trying not to spoil him; paying thousands upon thousands of dollars hiring private tutors, getting him analyzed for learning disabilities, etc….

        My son doesn’t seem to care that we are spending our VERY HARD EARNED money on him and why is this???? It is because people like yourself stand on a pedestal and point down at parents and say that they should pay. The kids feel entitled.

        Just because parents pay for college does not mean that the child is deserving. College takes hard work and not everyone, no matter how bright they are, is able OR willing to do what it takes to get the help they need to succeed. The chronological age of a child is not necessarily the emotional age of a child. Most parents know their own child.

        This whole subject is very disturbing to me because in America, an 18 year old does not have to do “what their parents say” and yet the parents are paying the bill! The parents have “NO SAY” in their education…. but yet the parents are paying the bill!

        I am happy to pay for my son’s school, but after the first year if he does not do any better, than he will need to pay his own bill.

        **Note: Please know that I am not a mean parent, as I have opened my heart and wallet to my son, as well as worked with him to make sure that he has what it takes to succeed, but I have found that some kids just WANT to do it their own way and unfortunately, some are not mature enough to do it the way that is most beneficial to themselves. Before you say “well, I can find out his grades, etc” … he has to give me permission to do that and he has not.

        Ok, so what about these situations?????? Shame on you for making parents feel that they should continue to pay without considering all of the other scenarios that surround one’s life. Life – especially with children- IS NOT black and white! Each situation is different.

        Bottom Line…. I am so sick of these righteous people that stand in judgment without walking in the other person’s shoes!

        • Angela April 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

          Thank Goodness community college is an affordable option for him. Sometimes it takes a “real life lesson” to finally mature some. Good luck!

    • Ruthannparent December 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      David- well said!!

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm #


      I suspect that your parents are very proud of the fine young man you’ve become. Next time you see your mom and dad please thank them for me for doing such a good job raising you to be a man.

  94. Devilishbrat November 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    As a divorced parent, I do not feel it is the parents job to continue to support a child after they graduate. It’s time they grew up and became responsible for themselves. I myself did not go to college, however, I’ve paid for my middle sons college for the first semester at Junior College, and will do so again the second semester, but after that I’m done. I had asked my son to get a part time job to help with his college expenses as the first semester was a thousand dollars. I had explained to him that I’d pay for half but he needed to pay the other half. I’ve got two younger children at home as well. I pay for my sons gas, car insurance, cell phone and purchase his clothing and food. I did not think him paying half would be so outrageous. Well, I suppose he thought it did as he plays video games all night and sleeps all day, didn’t really put forth an effort to find a part time job nor look for any grants or such. I wash his clothes, and have to get him up to go to school. So guess what, his meal ticket is about to come to a screeching halt… He’s going to get up one morning, the vehicle will not be there for his use, his cell phone will be cancelled, his UVerse in his room will be shut off and there will only be food that we like to eat, nothing special that he puts on the grocery list. So to all those whinning about it’s a parents job, that’s BS, it’s a two way street once you get out of school. That’s what is partially wrong with our society now a days, children think their parents owe them. That’s not the case!

  95. Lakita November 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I am one of those students whose parents cannot afford to assist them with college. My mom is a single parent and a teacher in the inner city who gets paid squat to deal with so much but that’s another matter. She does try to assist me with paying cell phone bills and money for food when she can but I don’t expect it from her. I do however think that it’s unfair for parents to say that kid need to learn the value of a dollar for something so vital for success these days. My mother raised me to appreciate the value of a dollar and the satisfaction of having your own money throughout my life. As parents, its your job to teach your kids these lessons far before college. I know my mom wishes she could help more as I am at a private college going for a Pharm.D. She knows its really what I want to do. Maybe if you sat down and talked to your children about what they really want to do, then you’d have a better idea of how serious they are about college. I think adults quickly forget what it was like to be young, college is a time of discovery and to make mistakes and learn. It’s not bad if a kid changes their mind about their major. I only work 25 hours a week which is a lot with my degree. I know if I had more time to study and get more rest that I would have a 4.0. Pharmacy school is really competitive and if I could just study, I’d have the grades for a full scholarship. If you want your children to be successful, help them out. Even if you make them pay you back when they’re more established or offer some kind of cost split. I find it really sad that parents who have the means to help, don’t because of some antiquated notion of the American Dream.

  96. Megan November 23, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    I have to agree parent who can help out should. My mom doesn’t care to help me out but my dad provides as much money as he can to help me out. I’ll have to start taking out loans soon. But having that extra cushion helps. My uncle went to college and had to drop out because my grandparents couldn’t afford to help him they were scraping by as it was. The only reason my mom was able to graduate was because my dads parents helped pay her tuition once they got engaged as an early (2.5 year early) wedding present. I’m not saying a student shouldn’t work for spending money (I’m in the process of applying for a part time job now) but at least at my school and course load it’s a full time job especially at the University I’m at. (literally 50+ hours a week for me to keep up with classes homework and readings) I started college classes during high school to get my gen eds out of the way, I don’t party and I budget very tightly. If you really want your kids learn independence have them pay a percentage of their rent/food/upkeep each semester and slowly increase it each time. I understand college is a gift but isn’t your child worth the best gift you can give to them?

  97. Raider8083 November 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    All I see on here are people crying about their parents not paying for their college. Everyone needs to stop and take a look at what the parents have done for their kids. Most have fed them, clothed them, provided insurance for them, payed for all kinds of fees such as sports, probably bought them a car and provided insurance, etc, etc. Kids have to start growing up and taking on responsibility, as long as parents are there for everything they will never grow up. Hell I guess after the parents pay for their college education and they can’t find a job they can move back in at home and live for free. Before anyone post anything on here about me being a dead beat parent I am paying for college for my kids and plan on helping them anyway I can but they need to be realistic and if parents are going to pay for their education they don’t need to pick universities that are charging $35-40K a year.

  98. Gil November 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    I was searching for some information on the norovirus and stumbled onto this website, and let me say it baffled me at how insanely stupid the premise is.

    My children are 8 and 6, we do not save for their college, however, when they get to college age my wife (Pharmacist) and I (I am a pilot) will pay for their schooling with a couple of rules. We will pay if their education is for something Medical/Scientific/Engineering.

    After that? You pay for it yourself.

    I am not going to invest in their education, if it is to get anything from the Liberal Arts Buildings, the whole argument that you need to have a degree is a complete lie. You need a degree that is useful.

    Best thing you can do, is get a technical “degree”, work your way up through a company, and end up needing college for further advancement later. Those situations, those companies pay for that, and they have a specific direction they want you to be in anyways, as well as the school they want you to attend quite often.

    Think I am wrong?

  99. James November 5, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    This new law of having to be 24 to be independent was created specifically because rich people abused it. I was fortunate enough to slip through college before that happened, in the early 90’s which was good because I didn’t speak to either of my parents and even if I did, they wouldn’t have paid a dime towards my education. It really isn’t fair to students who have jerk parents that don’t want to pay. Worse, I know plenty of kids whose parents won’t even fill out the FSFA for their kids and allow their kids to try and figure out a way to pay for what their parents won’t.

  100. Reina October 27, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Hi… I’m not sure how this works but, I’m hoping to get an answer. Anytime in the near future would be appreciated.
    I have a boyfriend that is out of college right now. Originally he had planed to go to Coppin State Uni. but…his mother kind of messed that up. She refused to apply for any loans until August; the same month he was supposed to leave. So, they day he was supposed to move in, they turned him away after he had all his things packed and in the car because his mother didn’t turn in all the necessary forms. Granted they took their money without letting them know before that date to turn the form in but they were also asked to come in during the week before that day. But she said she wasn’t going to make two trips in the same week. They live an hour away from the school.
    Right now he is working and has applied to another school to go in for the Spring semester. But now his mother refuses to even pay the acceptance deposit. She refuses to take out any loans whatsoever and tells him to “start applying for scholarships” even though he keeps telling her that those are never guaranteed. We feel like she is acting this way because he apparently doesn’t help her out. Meaning he won’t give her any of is hard earned money from working at a minimum wage paying job because he is trying to save up what he can for college and at the same time, buy the necessary things he needs. She has a government job and gets paid about 80,000 a year. He should not be required to give her money for little things like gas money and groceries when she wont even give him a ride to work when he has to walk a mile in the rain or buy him dinner when she buys some for the rest of their household. His father is out of work and technically homeless and he lives with his mother and 3 other siblings. 2 in high school and 1 in elementary. So right now the only person he can rely on is his mother who won’t do anything to help. She expects him to get scholarships and the school to automatically give him money to pick up the slack. He needs to be declared as independent but it seems he doesn’t have much of a choice. He could try to talk to he all he wants but nothing gets through to her and she is determined not to help.
    I really want him to get into college to get the future he wants but right now hes struggling. Is here anything else he can do??

  101. Laronda October 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I wish there was a way for me to afford college myself. With the recession, I can barely keep a roof over my head. Trying to pay to have an education is out of the question for me. My mother died 3 years ago and my father refuses to help me fill out a Fafsa because he never wanted me. So, I am forced to wait until I am 24 or find someone to marry me for Independency. Tell me how that’s right? When all I want to do is go to school and be more in life.

  102. Self-taught October 26, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Expensive college should be abolished. I vote for COLLEGE CREDIT BY EXAMINATION all the way through to earn a degree. So the exam will cost $25 per credit.

    For a 3 unit course, the cost of the exam is $75.

    60 units for an associate’s degree will cost $1500.
    120 units for a Bachelor’s degree will cost $3000.

    So, for $3000 worth of COLLEGE CREDIT BY EXAMINATION, a person earns his or her Bachelor’s degree. The graduate was self-taught all the way through. He could choose where to learn Calculus, Humanities, etc., tutor, library, by himself, etc. Then he takes the college credit by exam. Problem solved with high overrated expenses for college.

    Really, public colleges do not prepare you for the job. The person’s ability to be self-taught prepares oneself for the job.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

      I suspect by naïve nature of your comments that you have no idea whatsoever as to what it costs to maintain and operate even a very small college or university.

  103. Kane October 24, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I think the parents who say “Suck it up babies, I paid for my college, and so should you.” probably got nothing more than a liberal arts major, or some mediocre child care degree. You cannot go to medical school,or be an engineer, or become a lawyer, or major in a science field and get your PhD, (which pretty much means you’re a full time student) AND try to pay for it. Let alone schools nowadays that offer these careers are literally IN THE THOUSANDS per semester. AND require more than 5 hours per day studying.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

      Your comments betray your ignorance. Many folks, myself included, put themselves through school and got degrees in things like engineering, law, or science.

      • jim April 29, 2015 at 2:43 am #

        Late to this discussion by a couple of years, but Kane…you’re kind of ignorant.

        I have a Juris Doctorate that I paid for myself with ZERO financial aid, scholarships, or grants.

  104. Grant October 22, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    Parents will have endless excuses for why they shouldn’t pay for their kid’s college. Most of which are great reasons for why those kind of people need to stop having kids. Waaaa I have 9 kids how am I supposed to pay for college.

    I don’t know, you humble hero, maybe USE BIRTH CONTROL?! That could possibly alleviate some of that future burden.

    I paid for college myself with a mix of working full time during high school and college, 2 years community college and about 15,000 total unexpected inheritance from various grandparents. The 15,000 helped immensely, but without it I could have just live at home and gone to the local state college instead of moving away. Assuming your parents let you live at home rent free and the local state college is a bus/train ride away, paying your own way through college is perfectly possible.

    I spent maybe $35,000 total, and probably $20,000 of that was living expenses.

    That being said, I barely had the “college experience” by just being a transfer student and I feel like I missed out on a lot, but I did appreciate my degree a whole lot more than the unbelievably naive kids whose parents paid for their education. In my experience in college, I’m guessing 90% of the 18-20 year olds in college with tuition paying parents have ZERO clue how much exactly their parents are paying.

    So in conclusion, parents should offer to match dollar for dollar what their kids pay for college. Share the expenses 50/50 and you both will feel you earned that degree. The kid will still have to work their ass off, but they also won’t be buried alive in taking on debt they don’t understand the full consequences of.

    And as a note to the endless responses of “Well you don’t understand I was unemployed for blah blah blah” we aren’t talking about your special circumstances so simmer down.

    To the parents insistent that their kids are deadbeats with no understanding or appreciation of money. Well, you should have a talk with those kids parents and ask them why that kind of stuff never came up in bringing them up. Ooops….

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  106. Jenn October 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I guess my parents are considered “deadbeats” since they gave me the privilege of earning my way through school. I worked full-time and went to school full-time, and am currently working on my Ph.D. (my fifth degree). Wow. What horrible parents to make me work for and appreciate what I have earned.

    You really need to get out of your glass tower, get on the streets, and earn your own way. Parents need to raise the children to be independent, to be thinkers not free-loaders, whiners, and those with and constant hand out.

    Thank you, mom and dad.

  107. wow October 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    In this day and age,if parents can’t afford to send their kid(s) to college,they should close their legs and keep their pants up. It is essential!! You can’t even get an interview without at least a 2 year degree. Then,there are people who say”Kids today are spoiled” Bullsh!t,if you didn’t raise your kids with responsibility,then that’s your fault. It doesn’t cost $2 like it did in your era. Parents want the joys of making kids,but they call them spoiled and rude if they don’t want to be $20,000 in debt. Being in debt sucks. Face it,not every person is smart enough for money. I got some reward money,and I am happy for it,but I tutored kids who worked hard at getting average grades. Parents don’t help or say “you should have paid attention” My older brother has a full ride,I have about half paid for and my other sibs are in h.s. My parents are helping us all. THEY SAVED and encouraged us to have summer work. I know parents who don’t want their kids working!!!!! WTH is wrong with “grown ups”

    • Dick April 3, 2015 at 3:12 am #

      WTH is wrong with “grown ups”? Well………………maybe we’re just sick and tired of listening to the never-ending bitching and moaning of a a bunch of self-centered, self-entitled little brats who are desparately trying to justify their unjustifiable refusal to become a grown up and ever take responsibility for their own lives. If you kids want to be treated as adults and taken seriously…….then figure out that you all need to start acting like adults and actually take responsibility for your own lives.

      I love these “we didn’t ask to be born” or “you chose to have us” arguments that it seems an ever growing number of selfish and lazy kids lamely use to in a pathetic attempt to claim that somehow their parents are responsible for their lives after they’ve reached what is universally recognized as the age of consent or……eighteen. Did any of you little bratty turds ever think about how much better off your poor parents would’ve been had none of you whining wussies had ever been born? I’ll bet your folks think about it and more than just occassionally and wished they’d used birth control.

  108. Regina October 15, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I can’t even call him a dead beat parent. I wish my parents’ status was at least half as good as his. Neither of my parents hardly worked and the whole family of mine lived off Welfare. I am the oldest of seven children, still trying to get by in my early 20s. Tried very hard to get a job, struggled in school and graduated high school. My parents couldn’t even help me with homework that’s pass the 2nd grade level! I was on my own doing the work. Trying to get help and teachers didn’t want to help me. Also I start attending after school classes, although that still didn’t help because I need to be assisted. I graduated high school with a 72% average. I tried! My parents weren’t very helpful either. But it was understanding because they never got pass 3rd grade. Now I understand what Lynn is saying about what Dan did because his children were under 24 and a dependent. He was wrong for forcefully pushing them out like that. Of course they can learn being on their own but it’s wrongfully by law. But man, I wish I had something half as good as his children. He’s doing this out of some jealousy of his children. Not necessary. :c

    • Regina October 15, 2012 at 10:44 am #

      i made a lot of errors in this lol xD

  109. Really? October 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    I absolutely can’t stand it when parents who have the means, make their child’s life harder because “they had to do it”. Absolutely ridiculous. I can bet neither of the people screaming on how they did it themselves had any quality of life. My parents have helped me, but I have also worked 2 jobs so I can start a business. I see the kids around me that have no financial help. They are often in poor health, in tons of debt, often have no good job opportunities because they don’t have a car to drive off campus, and don’t have time to network because they work so much. And lastly, alot of them PROJECT their feelings about their situation on people who have financial help. For every person that does make it on their own, there are several more falling through the cracks. Parents, please understand you are setting your kids up for failure by being selfish and stingy. We didn’t ask to be here.

    • Jenn October 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      Get off your ass, earn your own way. Your parents were responsible for your raising, not your adulthood. What a pathetic outlook to think that your parents owe you just because you’re alive.

      Suck it up!

  110. josh October 11, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    I don’t think deadbeat is the right word. Teaching your kid to pay their way though life and not freeloading on society, yeah that sounds like a deadbeat. Also you neglected to mention the tax break the parents of dependent students get (something like $1,500 for each dependent and $2,500 for each dependent college student). Yeah that’s a real burden on the taxpayers.

    You also assume that by filling out the FAFSA as an independent, they will be getting the government to pay for most if not all of their college. What you didn’t consider was something called a SCHOLARSHIP (unless you assumed the kids weren’t smart enough or would rather take easy money from taxpayers). Also filling out the FAFSA allows them to be eligible for school aid which may or may not be taxpayer money.

    Believe it or not, some parents can’t help pay for college. I know this doesn’t apply to this so called “deadbeat” but if a student wants to go to college, they will find a way to do so.

    Feel free to leave your comments and corrections to my email jsrogers@ncsu. leave college solution in the subject. I don’t expect any replies though.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy October 11, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      Hi Josh,

      My college blog post was not aimed at parents who can’t afford to help pay for college. Unfortunately, there are many moms and dads in that position. I have a real issue with parents who can afford to help, but don’t for a variety of reasons including being stingy. I also recoil when I hear parents brag that they put themselves through college and they expect their children to do the same. These parents don’t seem to realize, or don’t care, that college prices are far, far higher than when they were students.

      And yes, there are education tax credits — Lifetime Learning and American Opportunity tax credits – that can be as high as $2,500 per student. Parents, who have helped their children with college costs, can use these credits when filing their taxes to ease the sacrifice of helping their children.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 11:06 am #


        It obviously never occurred to you that perhaps…….just perhaps parents who don’t just blindly foot the bill for junior’s college are actually doing their child a huge favor and teaching them one of the most valuable lessons in life?

        That favor being allowing a child to feel the joy of having actually earned something of life changing value on their own, and learning the lesson that if you want something badly enough and are willing to work hard enough that you can accomplish anything.

        It’s a shame that from your comments you just don’t understand that basic proverb that says….

        “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”

        Maybe us “deadbeat parents” actually love our children enough to want them to “eat for a lifetime”.

        Food for thought.

  111. Michelle October 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    #2 As of today you are married.

    Here is my problem with the Dept of Edu. and their guidlines. First off anyone who is over 18, files their own tax return should be classified as an independent. I am the parent of 7 children all grown but 2. I have 2 degrees and 1 advanced degree I paid for all of my college and went while I had 4/5 children under roof. I was single and worked nights. My father helped me by watching my children.
    My daughter married young, 18 she has attended college now for 3 years and is supposed to graduate in July 2013. Here is the kicker because she divorced in 2012 she is now classified as my dependent again and that is the biggest crock of &*&* put out by our govt bureaucrats. She lives in another state, supports herself and will likely have to drop out of school because I cannot help her.

    It is the near sightedness of govt agencies that put the screws to everyone. If my daughter had a child she would be home free and even if that child was tragically lost she would still be classified as an independent student because someone with sense understands that once a parent always a parent. The same goes for marriage the most difficult contract one can enter and divorce is a close second and it is insulting that a person who can accomplish both, buy and sell a home, is declared a dependent. Our government and their “Take Backs” what a sorry joke played out on young people.

  112. Jeff October 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    This topic obviously hits home with a lot of people and I love a lot of the responses up above. Amazing that this article is still generating responses. I would enjoy sitting down with many of you to discuss what we have to go through with our kids.

    The ‘deadbeat’ moniker I think is a little over the top. Maybe it was to generate responses, but I have a feeling it is a product of a subculture. I didn’t like the father’s response as well although he may have felt cornered. This whole idea of providing for those whose parents make less and taking from those who make more is immoral. Those parents who do not make enough to not qualify for financial aid could be considered deadbeats too. Why didn’t they work two jobs or make sacrifices to better themselves? I read about all these kids with 16-17 ACT scores getting scholarships up in the Chicago charter schools. Is that fair? Reward the underachievers? My daughter pulled a 24 on her ACT and had a ‘B’ average in high school. No scholarships or grants for her (unless if she would pursue art). I make too much for financial aid. I payed for my own schooling back in the 90’s, worked very hard and continue to do so. I also pay more in taxes than those whose children would receive financial assistance of some sort.

    College is not a right and what are you really getting for your money these days? Even community college is getting expensive where I live. Why should parents be expected to pay for college? I think that thinking is a little off. Me? Well, I want to pay for my daughters schooling. I forced her into community college and am still pushing to get her to go to a University. Yes, I will pay for it and support her as best I can. However, I should not be expected to do this. It is a gift because I want her to have every advantage she can. I saved some for her schooling even while I was paying 25% of my income for child support and andother 25% for taxes. One disservice I have done for her is that I did too much. She doesn’t understand and really doesn’t seem to want to grow up.

    The U.S. laws are a mess when considering what an adult is. At 18 they think they can do what they want (which they can, but there are consequences) and nobody can tell them what to do. However, parents are put on the hook for supporting them. Parents can’t even see the grades, etc. I have a rule I want to share with some of you…don’t pay for the next semeseter until you see the grades. It is called the Parental Scholarship and just like other scholarships…you are aware of the grades and progress of the student.

    I am proud of my two college degrees, my military service, and what I had to do for my accomplishments. College isn’t for every one and it surely isn’t a gaurantee to a good future. With or without my degree I would probably be doing the same thing. Some of the best people I work with do not have college degrees. Being educated and capable does not have to come from college.

  113. LM October 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I am 30 years old. I put MYSELF through college. My parents could not afford to help, and even if they could – I wouldn’t have wanted their help! I firmly believe the only way a child/adult can truly appreciate higher education is if they put themselves through it. College is NOT a right and is NOT mandatory to succeed in life. College is a PRIVILEGE and a CHOICE. Once a child turns 18, he/she needs to learn skills of the real world and one of those is responsibility. When I’m older and have children, they too will put themselves through college. I think emotional and mental support is far greater of a tool to provide students than cash.

    • Ben October 7, 2012 at 2:48 am #

      I am 31 years old and put myself through college. I don’t understand why people feel that it is necessary to provide as much as they do for their children especially when they obviously cannot afford to do it.
      The people blaming their children for incurring 60-80k in costs is ridiculous. This financial irresponsibility is as much if not more your own faults. It would be great if everyone could afford to pay for all their children but if it is not realistic for your current situation then DON’T DO IT.
      I am saving for my child’s education in hopes that it will cover his expenses and at the very least offset incurred debts. But there are things that can be done to reduce these costs such as attending a local college and transferring credits to a university after a year or two (depending on major and course offerings) but also so that IF your child is irresponsible with the college lifestyle it does not set you back nearly as bad. And let them live at home rent free. It drastically reduces their cost and shouldn’t be too expensive for the parent.

      I was fortunate enough to gain employment at a company that paid for all of my tuition (although books and miscellaneous expenses were mine). I understand that not everyone can be this fortunate but even McDonald’s pays some amount towards tuition and a lot of programs offer internships, research assistant, lab assistant, tutoring, etc… jobs.

      The bottom line is that you should only take on financial responsibilities that you can realistically meet your obligations to and hopefully know your child enough to understand the risk that you are taking on. And if you’re paying for it then what’s wrong with seeing grades?!?!?

    • Whitney October 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      What people don’t understand these days is that it’s hard to work full time and pay for college. Not everyone can handle that. When it comes down to working full time and going to college, grades are more important. If you have failing grades because you work to much, then you need to stop working. Parents ride on their kids about succeeding in life and about how they should always have money, save and all of that. If you want your child to succeed in life so bad, but aren’t willing to help where and when they need it, you should just tell them to fail. And not only is it hard to work full time and go to college, it’s hard enough to even find a job that you will get full time hours. I work at a huge company and was suppose to work 30 hours a week so I could go to college too. They cut my hours to 15 and under. Guess who can’t afford college? Guess who now needs loans and will be in debt for who knows how long! ME. Think back to when you had to pay for college, remember how hard it was? Why in the world would you want to burden your children with that too? Sadistic much? Obviously some people can not afford to pay for their children’s college at all, but if you can, do it. When I have my career, I plan on saving money for my children so they can at least have some help for college. If you put 1,200 a year away for your children from birth till 18 years later, you will have about 20,000 towards college. A lot better than nothing. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a job and learn life skills. You need to stop demeaning younger generations, you don’t know what other responsibilities they carry, who they are, or what their needs are. So I’d say it is immature of you to judge that way. Maybe you’re the one who needs to do a little growing up.

  114. Adam October 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Parent’s shouldn’t be expected to pay for college costs, but neither should students!

    Let me clarify — college is grossly expensive right now. We have Presidents making over $600,000/year at state schools, while the students tuition jumped from $8,000/year to $12,000/year in the course of two years.

    Taking out loans isn’t some sort of giveaway. Student loans are the only loans that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy or any other process, except death. Every single penny I borrow now I will be paying back, WITH INTEREST.

    How would you like me to pay for school? I work full time, go to school full-time, and provide 100% of my financial support. I NEED the loans offered to independent students, because my parents cannot afford to pay me a penny. Alcoholic father who is out of work? Check. Disabled mother? Check. So, when they can’t even survive without selling off their own things, how could they be expected to help me? I’m 21 years old, and support myself completely. I’m also married to someone of the same sex. (Note: DOMA means that my marriage doesn’t count for being independent.)

    Tell me — why should a classmate of mine, who is unemployed and living at home with her parents and her 2 year old son (mind you, she is 20) be eligible for more loan and grant money than me? I don’t qualify for food stamps or any assistance programs because I’m a student. I have absolutely no problem with busting my ass to pay for school, but if the cheapest school I can go to for a 4-year degree will cost me $12,000/year out of pocket, I think i’d need to be making about $12,000/year more than I do now.

    Think about this one — try supporting yourself while on the poverty line. Now, add to that $12,000/year in tuition, and at least $500/semester in books. Can you still afford to live in the cheapest apartment you can find, even eating nothing but rice and ramen?

  115. Sally October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    The high school graduates are placed between a rock and a hard place. Parents aren’t required by law to support these young adults passed the age of 18 and them being out of high school. My son had a total deadbeat dad, and I was low income, owed $25,000 in back child support the courts wouldn’t even require him to pay the interest on the money, much less the principal. He really had to join the Navy to get help with his education. If they are not going to change the laws on how long you have to support a child, then they need to stop asking about the parents financial abilities. Nothing is legally required of them. The question should be are your parents willing and able to pay for your education. Being away and supporting yourself should equal emancipation period.

    • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 11:14 am #


      Just what the hell is wrong with joining the Navy, serving your country and earning money for college? For your information, that’s exactly what I and some of my closest friends did. It turned out to be the best thing I ever did as, thanks to the Navy, I got to learn and do some really great stuff, I got to go to college, graduate and to top it all off……I’ve had the honor and privilege of being allowed to serve our country.

  116. Lo October 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    I think being married and under 24 is not a fair way to get declared an independent either. If two 19 or 20 year old people get married and supporting themselves, then yes, they should be declared independents. However, there are some cases where 19 and 20 year old people get married just to change their status to independent students, and have kids to get benefits. Really, in my mind the law favors married people and people who have kids at a young age over single people who are restrained and wait to have children until they can afford to support them. Also, what is up with well to do parents who wanted to bring children into this world, and then who act like they no longer have to support or nurture them after 18? To me it seems like we need to start giving more perks to single people and responsible people.

    • Adam October 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Exactly. On top of that, same-sex marriages aren’t recognized.

      So, a 19-year-old married and living at home is independent.

      Yet, a 21-year-old married to someone of the same gender, working full-time to support himself, living away from parents and receiving NO outside support MUST be considered dependent.


  117. Co October 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    I have two things to say…1) “Deadbeat parent/s”, mean/s someone who doesn’t supply money for basic food, basic clothing and a roof over your head. 2) Doesn’t mean, you get free University/College tuitions and all the housing costs and yes, clothing & “partying” needs.

    Omg, what has happened to our society? *Sigh*.

  118. Get serious September 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    What’s next, we’re “deadbeats” if we don’t pay for their first born too?

    Give me a break…where is the cutoff???

    Kids want to be adults at 21, well, being an adult means paying your own way, no matter what your parents income is!

    • Rose October 1, 2012 at 3:54 am #

      I started school at 21, after three years of working at a minimum wage job I had no money saved up (because of the cost of living) and was looking at relying on Pell Grant and the Oregon Opportunity Grant, as well as student loans.

      My parents told me two things: 1) student loans are “good” debt; 2) they weren’t going to help me because they had “investments” they wanted to make.

      My parents make about $80k/yr … which means I’m not eligible for the full Pell, or the OOG, or work study, and 3/4 of my tuition loans are in their name.

      For a while I struggled with the idea between being really pissed off at them for that, and wondering if I have entitlement issues. Eventually I came to this conclusion: sorry, but telling me to pay my own way while single-handedly taking away most of my ability to do so is not exactly right, nor is telling me to go 30, 40, 50k+ into debt while I have no financial solvency so that they can continue to make “investments” (one of which was a new boat, btw).

      I did, however, learn one thing. The definition of “good debt” is debt that belongs to someone else.

      • richard April 2, 2015 at 9:30 pm #


        Had I been your parent I’d have told you to grow up and take responsibility for yourself.

        BTW………….you do have serious issues with self-entitlement.

    • Dick April 3, 2015 at 3:16 am #

      What’s next?

      Parents will be “deadbeats” when they don’t buy junior a new car whenever he wants, pay their bills, feed them, clothe them and take care of them till the day the parents die.

      On that day, those same self-entitled brats will no doubt bitch about how their parents had the nerve to die and leave them to fend for themselves.

  119. Kerry September 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I live in a conservative upper class neighborhood I hate. I sold a house that was paid off and moved to the most competitive school district in the area where I live. Why? So my kids could get the best education possible to go to get into a good college. Add to that I quit my job to raise them and now make less than I did when I got out of college. That adds up to VERY little left to fund college for the kids. They know we can help them little (twins maybe $5k each a year). I figure it’s better for a 20 year old to be in debt for an education than a 50+ year old to have no retirement. So that makes me a deadbeat? Grow up!

  120. Chad September 27, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    Calling parents who choose not to spend the money to send their children to college “deadbeats” is a bit much. With a dropout rate around 44% for four year degrees (and that for the six year plan) I can see not wanting to risk tens of thousands of dollars on an education.

    I started college at 24, and I did extremely well. The extra 6 years of maturity did wonders for my work ethic… and having to pay out of pocket was quite the motivational tool.

    It isn’t as easy to justify skipping class when it was your money that paid for the class in the first place.

    • Karen H. September 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Chad, it would be helpful to really find out WHY it is 44% of people drop out of college, and who.

      I learned that 80% of college applicants are girls. Only 20% are boys. That didn’t used to be the case back in my day. I also learned that once those boys get to college, over 60% of them drop out.

      Most of the people in college these days who get scholarships are girls.

      And the one big reason given for why young people drop out? They don’t have the money. By the time they drop out, they’ve been working full time for more than a few semesters. If they skipped class, it wasn’t because of partying. It was because they had to work to live and pay the bills.

      • Angela April 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

        and as someone I know likes to say, society is waging a war against young men in general these days.

  121. Javaris Taylor September 26, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    It’s hilarious how all these guys commenting are already through it, an please excuse me I’m typing this on my new iPhone 5 so I don’t have much time to spell check. Btw I bought this myself and I pay my own bills. College isn’t easy I am in my second year with no help, I have grey hair, an I’m 19. I work full time in a chicken process plant slaughtering from 11-8am ALL NIGHT. So to the USMC guy your clueless to the fact that college is difficult and jobs aren’t easy to get. FURTHERMORE I’m not capable to claim myself on taxes because my mother still claims and an takes that money for her own living expenses. she’s not a dead beat we just don’t have the money so to all the parents that are spoiled and think their kids the ones who really are, think back to all the help that you reall got whole you were “Doing it yourself” which I know is a lie because I’m doing it as we speak, and without those good people that help me.. It would be impossible. And I won’t forget that when I have my children’s. they will have good ethics from how I raised them. And that’s another thing you can’t do everything for them and then just cut them off you should have raised them to be prepared for the moment you stopped as I was. And even then LIFE IS HARD and unpredictable. So take into account what people have done for you cause I know you didn’t do it alone and think of the true reason for having kids, so that they can go further than you. Not work harder. Parents like you have no generational progression. Bye

    • Ben October 7, 2012 at 3:50 am #

      Help is great IF you have it. I dropped out of school and worked full time to help my parents pay bills when I was 16. When I was 18, I moved out on my own and started college when I was 19. I have not had any support financial or otherwise from my parents and worked full time the entire time that I attended college. It took me 11 years to get two degrees and I don’t owe thanks to anyone but ME for having done accomplished it (well maybe some awesome professors too).

      Everyone comes from a different background with different challenges and you do what you have to accomplish your goals. Parents would hopefully help their children how they can (not only financially). I’m with you that I think generational progression is one of the best things to shoot for but you are naive if you think that everyone is getting help. I’m glad that you have family that supports you but that is not the case for a lot of people.

  122. Miss 4.0 September 23, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    I have a 4.0 GPA…. AKA I work my butt off every single day. I live independently, WITHOUT my parents, off campus, in an apartment where I am responsible for all of my own bills. I work THREE part-time jobs, totally about 40 hours a week, and I am taking SEVEN courses…

    Guess how much non-loan financial aid I got. Not a dime. Nothing. Every dollar offered to me is a dollar I have to pay back. Which is all fine and dandy, except every foreign student I know (mind you, with much lower GPA’s) are going to school for FREE, and everyone with partial scholarships attained them by hanging around campus after class to suck up to the dean. The same school as me. Working half as hard, living with mommy and daddy, but getting a much less expensive degree.

    So, two years from now I will graduate with $80,000 in debt even though I am one of two people in my graduating class with a 4.0 and the students who have time to lick the dean’s booty continue to go to school for free.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

      Miss 4.0,

      You’d be far better served if you stopped focusing on what others “got” and sharpened your focus to what you’re doing. Allow the courtesy of letting you in on one of life’s little secrets……

      Are you ready?

      Here goes.



      Have you ever considered switching from your current major to one that is “less expensive”?

  123. Brittany September 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Ok so when i lived with my mom she took all my money i worked for and financial aid, so i could barely get books. So i left and i barely talk to her but your saying i have to file as a dependent even though i don’t even talk to my mom and my dad is some where in Nevada. Bullshit, i work hard to barely make enough money to eat, i am independent.

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  125. Ann Phillips September 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    That statement calling parents “Deadbeats”is totally offensive. No one is “entitled”to a college education! That being said there are many families in today’s economy barely getting by and lets not forget the Sandwich Generation who are taking care of and many who are also financially supporting their elderly parents.
    If someone wants a college education their is no shame in working your way through college if it takes you eight years to get a four year degree and you do it with no debt then as far as I’m concerned you’ve come out ahead and youve learned alot about perseverance and commitment!
    It is obvious to me that you feel that parents no matter their financial position OWE IT to their children to pay for their college education.That in and of itself says a lot about your political affiliation and ideology.
    Teaching your children to be responsible adults and to work for what they want is not anything to be ashamed of,more parents should be like that! We have a couple generations of spoiled brats who feel as if their parents and the world in general owes them something! I know families who have cheated the system to be able to get their college kids a free ride..that free ride cost me and every hard working American taxpayer money. I’m sick and tired of a system that rewards the “under privilaged” and financially penalizes responsible hardworking adults. Many parents wish and pray for a way to be able to help their kids get a college education,many of them lay awake nights worried about just how they can make it work. The reality for many of them is they cant make it work! This does not make them deadbeat parents! In the future you should use a little wisdom when it comes to “labeling” people.

  126. Mike September 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    If you are talking about assisting kids for college, then by all means ‘yes’ parents should do all they can, but assisting can be giving the child room & board, meals, free use of the utilities, and transportation, if the child is going to a local college/university. For those who just pay the whole shot, rent, utilities, transportation, and then when Jr, or Jr Miss cannot find employment and bring them back into the household with free room & board, then absolutely not. There is a time when the lessons of independence need to be taught. Remember when your parents tried to teach you the value of the “dollar”? Well, independence is no different. Too many parents are trying desperately to be their kids “BFFs” and not parents. Don’t worry Jr., mommy and daddy will take care of it. Rubbish! When it’s time to get off the “teet”, its time to let go. I know a gentleman who is doing this for 4 kids, I should say, young adults, and these 4 have no idea of independence and constantly come to him for every problem, seeking a resolution. When does it stop? When they’re 25? 30? 35? 40…? Enough all ready. I got my kids started, now they are on their own and now they learned how to critically think and solve their own issues, though they do come back for some fatherly advice.

  127. Victoria September 19, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    School is too expensive. I graduated high school two years early (at 16) and did two semesters at a community college. My mom and step-dad, who struggle, have 3 younger kids (one who is severely autistic), and live paycheck to paycheck did their best (and still are) to help me. My mom got sick, we moved to a bigger city area in such a last minute that my financial aid wasn’t going to be available and I didn’t have the money to pay. My biological father, who does anything to keep his child support at the bare minimum, makes well over $180,000 and will do anything to not help me. Given he does have two other kids but they’re not even teenagers and he claims he never can help yet he always finds time to take vacations, buy nice things, buy alcohol, etc. Now, I’m working two jobs that total to a minimum of 50 hours a week and lately it’s closer to 60. Next week I’ll have 70 hours under my belt… I wish I had more help, but I already have a small loan on my tab so I’m saving my money. Obviously I won’t be able to work 50+ hours and be successful in school this spring but funny enough I tell myself, this is preparing for future sleepless days I may come to endure if I do achieve becoming a surgeon. I’m not spoiled, I’m just another person trying to go against the grain and not be like the rest of my family (minus my mom and stepdad) who don’t care to do anything with their lives. It sucks right now but I won’t let this bring me down. As for deadbeat parents, I think that if parents can’t afford it I can’t blame them, but when a parent can afford to help (the tinest form of help goes a long way) then they should. My mom and stepdad help by providing me with a roof over my head, food to eat, and a place to shower. This alone makes me happy and I don’t care to waste over $20,000 to live on campus, I’d rather be around people who’d do anything to see me achieve all that I can.

  128. Keely September 16, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Both my sister and I had moved out and were working full time jobs just after graduating from High School. Our parents were both teachers who made the decision to put themselves first. By this I mean that they provided their children with little or no financial support. And I mean nothing…
    There was no support for college, for a down payment on a car or apartment and no co signature for any means of establishing credit.
    This resulted in both myself and my sister having to work to provide ourselves with the basic necessities. There was no college for either of us until I was married and had a husband who worked so that I could go back to school.
    My parents are both still alive but my sister and I seldom communicate with them. The kicker is that my sister married a commercial developer and now lives in a million dollar home. She could have done a lot to help our parents out but because of their apathy towards us that started when we were teens, neither of us would consider providing care or support for either of them. I wish them good luck in there elder years and usually see or speak to either of them about once a year. Friends and other family have commented at intervals over the last 20 years “and you two still speak to them?”.
    I have a teenage son of my own and could not fathom casting him out at 18 with no further support. I really should be criminal because many children are not as capable as my sister and I were. We were both able to find jobs and husbands but some are not as fortunate.
    BTW, it is inexplicable to this day that my parents could do to us what they did since neither of us got in trouble in High School. I received a total of one detention in high school. Yes, one. and we both earned a B+ avg. GPA throughout school.
    We don’t pick our families.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm #


      Such bitterness. Sounds like yet another case of “if only we got to hear the other side of story”.

    • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

      …and unfortunately your family didn’t get to “pick you”. By an occurrence of biology, they just got stuck with you the day you were born.

  129. Josh September 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Well i think in countries where student can work part time everything written above is possible, but in other cases in countries like the one Im in Sri Lanka you do not get part time jobs.And the weekend courses are not upto par. So for people like me who have drunkard fathers who just wishes that we were dead rather than alive cause it will be less expensive. Our lives are over.

  130. steph September 14, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    I didn’t expect my parents to pay for anything but I felt obligated to go to college right after high school. FAFSA is getting tougher for students who had to withdraw school for finanical, health, and other circumstantial events (grandparents hospitalized for about 1-2 years). The economy is tough for even minimum wage drops. I had to drop out. I still hate the fact that my parents/family had to pay for some of the rent/food.

    Here’s an interesting video on the colleges in America:

    • steph September 14, 2012 at 4:23 am #

      Whoops. Sorry, I just meant to say about minimum wage jobs…

  131. Duke September 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    I’ve always considered the whole concept of being considered a dependent until age 24 for FAFSA purposes to be pure rubbish. Even back when I was 18, I thought that it was absolute crap that my parents’ income was used against me. My parents really could not afford to help out (the one time I had to take a $1,000 loan from my father to make tuition, he had to borrow against his life insurance).

    I WANTED to do college on my own, regardless of the fact that I had a loving and supportive relationship with both of my parents. I was raised to hold true that once I turned 18 and graduated from high school, it was time to cut the apron strings and succeed or fail on my own, as an independent adult.

    Doing so made me into who I am today, and I don’t think it would have been so if my education had just been handed to me. I had to go deep into education debt to get it done, as well as hold a 35-hour a week job. I could not qualify for any grants due to my parents’ income. I had to learn pretty quickly to stretch a dollar to its breaking point, and to pinch a penny until it cried. These were real-life lessons that were perhaps even more valuable than the college education itself, and looking back, I would not trade them for anything.

    One could argue that since my loans were subsidized, I did not truly do college “on my own”. In reality, though, the subsidy was the government’s investment in me, which I feel I have repaid several times over with my contributions to my field and to society in general. I paid off all student loans on my own.

    If the government is going to make this kind of investment in education, it should be based on the student’s income and ONLY the student’s income. I read through the stories here of people who went through financial aid hassle over their parents’ income, even if the parents were abusive, unsupportive, or otherwise unable or unwilling to contribute to their childrens’ education. Every one of these stories pains me, because if the government would just come to the table treating these students like the potentially-independent young adults that they are, instead of treating them like certainly-dependent old children until a mountain of paperwork proves otherwise, these injustices would not stand.

    Sure, Daddy Warbucks might be able to keep a little more of his money, but by rights, this is how it should be, because Junior Warbucks is her own independent, adult self who really doesn’t have any right to Daddy Warbucks’ wallet anymore.

    Of course, even treating all college students as independent adults would do nothing to address the issue that a large part of the reason for soaring education costs is due to these government subsidies for grants and loans, and the schools’ financial view that these subsidies represent free money for them over and above what they can get out of the student. That is a stark reality that at some point is going to have to be addressed. I do concede that these rapidly rising costs are making the “independent go” of education less and less feasible.

    Having said all of this, rather than worrying about whether Daddy Warbucks is going to contribute to Junior’s education, I’d rather spend my time worrying about how we’re going to make college more affordable for our upcoming children, so that they CAN afford to put themselves through college.

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  133. dadof4incollege September 10, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    Not sure if I beleive Dan. I think he’s bs ing or embelishing a bit. So before we get jealous or mad at him, wll he’s first of all had 7 mouths to feed to start. Yes as others and authorstated- it’s not that easy and more complex to claim independence. Im also certain that he is footing part of their other bills. I tried very hard to get my daughter who was in a 6 year doctrate in the healthcare field (there are several optometry, physical therapy,pharmacist,etc.) Since she no longer was a bachelor candidate and into also the first year of herdoctorate program 4 year in her third year of college and only 20 this was difficult it wasnt until her 4th year full summer term did she get apprval. You have to show you show real proof that you can pay your cost of living and tuition on your own in her case scholarships, stafford loans plus a TA stipend and her part time weekend job in that state for one year. Also have to change car and voting and apt lease and utilities and not claim her on taxes in the previous year and forego the 2500 tax credit that I normally could of claimed. She could stay on our health insurance til 26 now. But to be or show an emacipated 18 – 20 year old good luck. Also if you are lucky and can go to some low cost public college (cheapest is 12K unfortunately in our state) or maybe he s talkng community college first 2 years.

    • sofrustated September 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      My panic attacks are real.. we really thought there would be help for our daughter to go to college. In PA, there are no programs for middle class students. Our state schools are high priced (we don’t live near any to commute) and are for the most part a joke to many of the kids who attend. DD attends an out of state “state school”. which has a crushing tuition.

      If you are in the job market now.. get a job at a university or community college..

      it seems like most of her “friends’ from high school attending decent universities and colleges are:

      1. Amazing athlete’s with full rides
      2. Amazing scholars with full rides… that spent their HS YEARS getting REAL Leadership and driven community service projects (not just BS 4 hours here or there)
      3. Children of parents who have worked in either a large college or community college – their tuition has been either paid for or generously subsidized.
      4. Children of parents who are deadbeats.. made no money, no savings.. just enjoyed life as it came. Those kids are entitle to more “grants” and even to apply for scholarships based on their fasfa form.
      5. Children of wealthy parents, who don’t care what the bills are.
      6. And schmucks like me and hubby who were ” suckered” into believing how great a degree will be for our child. We are loading her up with private loans.. and now I can’t sleep at night.

      She has been treated like a typical suburban kid.. but it stops here. her brother is now in community college, and I’ve got the know how and experience to not repeat the mistakes I made.

      thanks for letting me vent!

  134. Mike September 10, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Sorry about all the typos. Im typing on an iphone and in a hurry.

  135. Mike September 10, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    I have never heard of any law stating that parents are liable for paying for their kids college. When you are 18 you are considered an adult. Start acting like one and get a job. I was a Marine as well and i worked my butt off for 9 years to get the benifits i have now. I dont have kids now but my wife and i both agree when it comes to this. We will wipe their butts for 18 years and teach them how to be men and women. If they screw up a little and fumble thats ok we will help out here and there. BUT we will not continue paying for their bills or paying for their college. We didnt get a free ride so why should they. My sister has been supported by my mother untill she was 26. When she finally had to get a job and start paying her own way she did nothing bit complain about how hard her life is. I was in the Marines from the age of 17 till 26 and paid my own bills and owned my own car that i paid for and had my own saving account so she got zero sympathy from me. Even when she was almost homeless i didnt bat an eyelash. We are becoming weak as a society by wiping childrens butss and pampering them and paying their way through school. Everyone ive met who had mommy and daddy pay for their school might have a decent job but ive seen them at work and they are useless. Still having to rely on others at work to get their work . Anyone who thinks moy and daddy should pay for their college or thinks a mom and dad is being harsh by not paying for their childs college education needs to wake up.

  136. Legend September 8, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    In high school, I was valedictorian with a 2390 SAT and multiple Ivy acceptances. However, my father died senior year. My mother received a large insurance payout and basically ran. My father blew a lot of money on things like a big house, a boat, a sports car, etc, but did not ever support me (many years spent by myself with a computer, self-learning) because he was very much pro-sports and anti-academia.

    Anyways, I couldn’t attend college without taking out sizable loans. I couldn’t declare myself as an independent, either, even though I was receiving no support. If it were that easy to do, then every parent would claim “they couldn’t support their kids either” even if they could.

    I live in NYC now and make enough to cover my loans (about $40k left from undergrad), but it’s soul-crushing. By the time I finish paying off these loans, I’ll be in my 30’s. I feel like instead of paying down loans I should have been able to save for a mortgage or enjoying my youth or planning for kids, etc. Instead I am just paying back loans.

    Put up with all those years of being the class nerd for nothing. I could have just skated by, gone to a cheap college, and wound up making just as much in terms of margin.

  137. Gabi September 7, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Yeah, qualifying as an independent student is very difficult. I tried it twice and was denied both times. Because of very strong differences, my mother wants me to leave the house once I get a job. I’ve tried several different places many times and keep getting rejected because I “lack experience”. I’m 18 years old with a $1,200 bill looming over my head. Now I know for other students that bill is very small but for me it is a big deal since I can’t find a job because of my lack of experience and as soon as I get a job I need to attend to other bills before I can get to my college bill. Living in New York City is expensive for a well-off married couple, imagine an 18 year old. Now, I don’t think my mom is a “deadbeat” parent. Just think she didn’t plan out my education very well. Working so hard to pay for me to go to a private school rather than investing in my college funds and allowing me to go to public school. Anyways, applying as an independent student is very hard so if worse comes to worse, I suggest just dropping out of college and working until you could afford. Sadly, that’s my only option at the moment.

  138. Lucky August 30, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I’m in a dumb situation thanks to the rules governing financial aid. Let me just start off by saying I’m 20 years old, and I’ve held a great GPA consistently since high school, about a 3.5 average. After graduating high school I decided to stay home and go to a local community college, and work part time to save money for school. I paid for all of my classes, books, and transportation there, and worked 30 hours or more a week with a full schedule. I’ve always been extremely dedicated to my schooling, and have never failed a class or gotten in any sort of trouble. I was even in the school’s president scholar program, which awarded small grants to students who held a high GPA.

    When I finished my general education, I transferred to a CSU outside of my hometown because it offered an excellent program for my major, environmental science. I heard nothing but horrible stories about the rooms, so I opted to get an apartment with a friend who was also going to school there, and calculated that it would save me money in the long run. So now I’m here, two hours away from home, classes just started, and I’m scared to death that I’m going to get evicted.

    I took out loans for my classes and I got a job where I work 20 – 25 hours a week. My rent is freakishly high ($736 a month is my part) and my roommate refuses to take in any other roommates to lower the cost. I did have a lot of savings, but first month’s rent, groceries, gas, a car battery replacement, books and supplies, and laundry have taken a chunk out of what I thought I was secure with. I’ve asked my parents for help to no avail. They refused to take out a PLUS loan to help me, though I’ve offered multiple times to agree to a contract to pay them back with interest.

    I understand that they are not obligated to pay for my expenses, and believe me, I wish that I could be independent and pay for everything myself. I wish I could qualify for grants or more loan money, but because they make a lot of money and are not financing me I’m kind of SOL. I spend every day worrying about not getting enough hours at work, not making enough money, losing my job, having money to pay the bills… All on top of my class schedule. It’s horrifying to think of sometimes. I know that this has been the situation for many others before me, but the more I assess my situation the more I realize that realistically, this is not going to work out for me. And furthermore, my heavy work schedule prevents me from attending clubs, activities, career days, and other extracurricular things that would help me with my degree. I could request the days off, but then I risk losing hours at work, which I can’t afford.

    It’s extremely frustrating for me. I’m a good, dedicated student, I stay out of trouble, I work hard, I understand the cost of an education and I want to make the most of it, but I’m feeling like my hard work is going to be all for nothing. Meanwhile, I have friends who don’t apply themselves, who fail classes, who goof off, or who just have no clue what they’re even doing in college and their parents support them so much. It makes me so jealous sometimes. And then when I looked into becoming an independent student, it almost made me sick. I chose to make good, responsible decisions with my life and I cannot be considered independent, but if I decided to get married immediately following high school or had a baby, I suddenly become independent and can get an education? What kind of sense does that make?

    I don’t want to put the blame on my parents, but on the system. This isn’t right and it needs to be fixed.

  139. Peg August 27, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    My oldest daughter (26) Graduated debt free with her BA and did it on her own, no student loans and did not apply as an independent. My next daughter (21) IS DOING IT NOW. My youngest daughter (19) Has an associates degree,no debt and is planning to finisher her BA. They work hard. This idea parents owe their children a college education is insane. My Father had to leave school at 8th grade to help support his family during the depression. He educated himself and ended up being a very successful business man. His 5 brothers also, with less or just a high school education lived successful lives. Yes it is sacrifice. It is their dream. They have great GPA’s and are on the deans list. I do not see drunken pictures of them on social media and they do not life their shirts for girls gone wild. They know the value of a dollar and have learned some very important life lessons far above the academic education the professors provide.
    Come into reality people.

    • Peg August 27, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Forgot to add that my 26 year old also earned a stipend and graduated with her Masters degree this spring AND is working on her PHD.

  140. Jenna August 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    The reason I work so hard to do well and make sure that I’m NOT being a financial burden to father is because I know he’s a good, kind person and he would help me any way he knew how. A father like the one in this article is simply a terrible person. I wouldn’t be surprised if his children resented him most of the time. He doesn’t want his children to be responsible, sensible, intelligent, loving people. He’s selfish, self-centered, and he’s being vindictive by trying to “teach them a lesson” rather than trying to help them grow up to be healthy, independent individuals.

  141. Steven August 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    It’s silly. Know when you are being treated as a pawn in a very profitable industry, education. Just like health care reform or the government tells parents now that they must cover their children under their health insurance until age 26, just plain ridiculous. What is the next generation going to do, make it 30 years of age. What happen to 18 years being the age of legal independence? When is junior responsible for himself?

    I am financially independent. When I was a freshman I had a credit balance on my account, the finance department was going to send the balance to my mother. Refused to give it to me. I almost had to get into a verbal screaming match with them. I paid 100% of my tuition myself, what were they doing. I realize that a lot of my friend are completely financially dependent on their parents. I find that so ugly. Stand up, be an adult. Grow up.

    • richard April 1, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

      The government does NOT tell parents that they MUST cover their kids medically until they are 26. The law states that a parent may choose to cover a child until the age of 26.

      Please get your facts straight.

  142. Gov crapped on us again! August 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    What if you had worked as an adult for over 2 years after high school…. supported yourself…. lived on your own away from your parents (they no longer supported anything for you!!! and you decided to go to college, your parents no longer have any say in anything you do but yet they have to fill out a fafsa and use their income (that they have been working 30 years toward and made much more than you) but they don’t have the money (whatever the reason be) to help you….in fact you have been giving them money to help them out for well since before you were out of high school! What do you do then about help!!! So basically unless you get someone knocked up, get married at a very young age, your parents die or have been through some kind of trouble in the court system you can not get help!!!!!!! Yay for our government! By the way this is what my husband did before we got married and now are up to our eyeballs in student loans, but he has a degree that we may pay off by the time our children are grown and ready for college!!!

  143. Crazy August 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    I just can’t believe there’s NOTHING you can do about this situation if your parents are unwilling or reluctant to pay for school. So you seriously just can’t get an education if this is the case, you have to wait until you’re 24 years old? Aren’t we supposed to be trying to ENCOURAGE people to get college educations? Look at people’s circumstances, and stop applying draconian policies that are preventing people from realizing their promise and making contributions to society.

    The political system fails us again.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy August 20, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

      One suggestion that I have for students who have deadbeat parents is to consider attending community college. In some states like California the price of community college is incredibly cheap.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Jenna August 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

        My parents aren’t deadbeats, they’re poor. I do go to a community college despite the fact that it doesn’t even offer my major like a university would. I go there anyway, for my parents sake.

        When it comes to states with cheap tuition, it’s not anywhere near as easy as you think. It’s not cheap to move all the way to California, and it’s not easy to get in-state tuition. (Their out-of-state tuition is just as expensive as any regular college.) They make it hard for people to become residents (by school standards) because they know that people try to move there for tuition purposes and they want to give students from THEIR state, students whose parents’ money has been funding their state, to get a good education. They don’t want to pay for everyone else who should be finding a cheap school in their own state.

  144. ninatomahaka August 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    The problem is NOT the parents that cannot help pay for their children’s education, but those that have been so selfish as to think that all of the extra curricular activities and/or school related activities should be shunned not enabling their child to gain the resources for scholarships, while still refusing to do anything after the fact either. I grew up in a large household, my mother was poor, my father was not. He remarried, and cared for me throughout my early teen years, but remarried a very overbearing woman who would not allow me or my sisters to pursue any scholarship programs because we were constantly being “punished” for something. CPS intervened, and by 15 instead of living with my father, and due to my mother’s illness lived on my own. I paid my rent all through high school with a fast food job only to find when filling out my fafsa that I was not considered an “independent” student because he had been claiming me on taxes-no I didn’t ever file (had no kids at the time either). He remodeled his and his wife’s house, bought a new car, and replaced all of their electronics, but didn’t help me with a cent throughout my high school, or adult years. (Not that I would have accepted it, but the offer was never made.) As an adult, my mother told me that he gained custody because he had more money than her for an attorney, and was tired of paying child support. Sorry for the info, but there is a reason for the rant-I promise.
    My case is one that is not uncommon, and is an example of how broken our justice system is, as well as the sickening ability of those with money to not follow rules. It also is an example of how aid is denied to college students-when in the end they are indefinitely alone, and responsible for paying for their own college. It is folly for the government to assume parents would take responsibility, but not punish those who refuse to. It really is an extension of abuse.
    As for those parents who fall under the obligation, but want to teach their children responsibility: Give them the tools to qualify for scholarships, help them with programming to get that excellent SAT scores, nurture their potentials, and you won’t have to pay for anything. Guaranteed that if they found their talent and passion, and were given the tools to cultivate it, they would have a free ride.
    Parents should either be responsible when the kid is younger, or older. Either way they foot the bill, but should be required to decide how they need to do it.

  145. Chris B August 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Hmmm, I found this thread while looking for info on College Loans that my Sophomore Son will be needing in a few years. I didn’t read every post, but here is my take on it.

    I have never been of the belief that “Parents are obligated” in any way to provide college aid/tuition etc. I believe that if my kids are motivated enough, they will excel in school and “Earn” scholorships/grants to aide them in there college pursuits. If they are not motivated enough and they still want to go to College, they will need to get a job or loans or a combination of both to pay for it. I don’t think of myself as a “deadbeat parent” and refuse to fall into this keeping up with the Joneses mentality of “if you aren’t paying for your childrens education you are a deadbeat”. Don’t even get me started on paying for HUGE Elaborate weddings. lol

    Growing up my parents were typically low income, I joined the Air Force out of High School and I got an AA degree while serving. I would consider me and my wife Middle class, we make around 100K combined, both working full time. To many out there this may on the surface look like a HUGE income, to others not so much. To us, it’s enough to provide for our family, try to pay off debt that we have accumulated over the years and survive the increased costs of everything. We don’t have any extra left over to save for College (but we wouldn’t save for it if we had it either). I assume that we probably make too much $$ for our Son to qualify for most grants etc. He isn’t at the very top of his class and he isn’t a Sports star. He will most likely be required to pay for his own education and that will most likely mean student loans.

    I currently work for a Government agency that specializes in finding people jobs. I see first hand everyday how hard it is for College Educated AND Skilled workers to find employment. Why should I give up my retirement savings for a piece of paper for my Son?? When that piece of paper may or may not provide him gainful employment?? He could very easily spend $80K+ over 4 years, get his degree only to find out there are no jobs. Or there are no jobs in his field of study paying big money. He may graduate from college to find that the only job he can find is minimum wage.

    My recommendation to my kids is if you want something bad enough, you will work for it. Be it good/great grades in High School to get that Scholorship or pay for your own education if you don’t want to just work after High School. I have also spoke with my oldest about enlisting or possible Officer Training in the Air Force after High School. It is a good way to be employed and get education while going through those youthful years. It will force him to grow up, while teaching him responsibility among other great qualities.

    • Niki August 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Chris, point well made. But what do you think about parents who force or push their kids to go to college and refuse to pay for it.

      • richard April 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

        Your statement begs a couple questions.

        1. Why would a parent force a kid to go to college if he/she didn’t want to go?

        2. More importantly, how could parents force a legal adult to go to college and then refuse to pay for it? Couldn’t the kid just leave?

  146. ashley August 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    i think that parents should try and help pay for their kids’ college if they can. i am 18 and currently footing my own college tuition bill because my parents are in a tight money situation. we got foreclosed on not too long ago and are not looking to buy another house. i dont need the burden of college costs placed on them when i am the one going to college. if however, a child’s parents are able to help foot the bill, they absolutely should so that the student isnt racking up debt for himself or herself.

    • Niki August 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      I agree completely. And it isn’t even the childs debt that will be created. it is the debt of the goverment. If your in college someone is paying for it and if it isn’t you or your parents, it is the government. I believe financial aid should go to students like you who deserve it. Your parents seem hardworking and so do you. You’re just having bad times as well as many other families are financially. I think it would be unfair for a student who’s parents can affor to pay for college to recieve financial aid when someone like you needs it more.

  147. Karen August 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    I think it’s awesome how there are many young folks on here writing that they do NOT believe it’s their parents responsibility – Good for you! That is the attitude that will lead you to success, the others who have a false sense of entitlement and do not have the aptitude and fortitude to do it for themselves will ultimately not be successful no matter what kind of pig skin they leave college with. It’s very refreshing to see these comments from current college students. I’m in my 40’s now, have a very successful IT career and make 150K a year, and just to set the record straight my father who earned 250K per year paid for none of it, I had no loans, didn’t finish college until I was pregnant and married with my second child – and it was worth it! That attitude that I CAN and DAMN will do anything to succeed has followed me all of these years and still brings me continuing successes to this very day and will in the future! If your parents are not assisting do not let that stop you!

  148. Karen August 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    I don’t agree with this post or calling parents who don’t foot the college bill deadbeats. That is a total load! My BF and I have been together 7 years and planned to marry next year, trouble is we will have 3 kids in college (two mine and 1 his) His child will apply (complete FAFSA) first, so my efc, which is in the 40K range because of my income will go toward the child that I did not save my college money for and my own kids will have to get higher loans. How is that fair, just because we marry 2 months before the first child leaves for college does not mean that I take on that responsibility for 4 years. The 18 year old is not my child and quite frankly I didn’t raise her, yet it’s okay to not include her biological mother, who by the way is unemployed – what about using the household thing on her so her daughter can reap some benefits of her step daddy and not the woman who married her hard working dad 2 months before she packs up her things for a major university. There is a defect in the way this is processed. My ex is kicking in college money for his biological children – but silly me I would like my contribution to go toward the daughters I gave birth to and ALWAYS planned to help through college.

  149. Alecia August 11, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    I agree with the father about kids paying for their own college. I am 22 and graduated a couple months ago with a BSN. My parents made no contributions to tuition or other living expenses and I worked parttime but more than 20 hours the first year and full time the last 3 years while doing a full load and paying for rent and utilities on my own. Yes it was hard. But I did not take out any loans and I owe $0 to anyone which is rare for even kids who recieve money from their parents can say. I believe when you pay for it on your own your more likely to do better and work harder because you know how much money you will loose if you fail.

  150. Rachelle August 10, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Then how did I get independent status? I moved out of my parents house in with my boyfriend who pays for everything while I go to school. I’m not my parents dependent and I don’t have income. None of the requirements you posted apply to me and yet I get 5,550/year from the pell grant which covers my expenses (I’m going to a good community college) I usually get more money than I need.

  151. c.k. August 10, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Oh shut up to all you whiners. Ya know my mom is a SINGLE mom who is not paying for my education…thats how it is. Not that she doesnt want me to succeed. My dad pays a lousy $50 a month A MONNNTHHHH!!!! that does not even cover groceries. He is not in my life whatsoever. even though im the one that is always tried to establish a relationship because family is important. I gave up. Hes such a dirtbag i remember once he kept my high school diploma from me. I mean i got it back eventually but still. he used to abuse me verbally and not abuse physically in the sence that he would “beat me up” but when he was stressed from work would come home and take it out on me when i was only 7. My mom is a single mother. although she says she cannot afford my tuition i wonder…she is taking a trip to south africa in a few weeks. She takes trips overseas to exotic places like egypt all the time…but still i dont budge. Because i dont have a kid or married i am not getting much i have to go to a community college cause its cheaper not that im complaining because i know that i could have gone into the military and had them pay for it. but i wouldnt have wanted to go for the wrong reasons. So for all you people saying your mom bought you a car or daddy gave you money but you sit there and pout because your middle class and feel deprived….SHUT UP. Try being poor and the only reason i have a car is because despite having bad luck all the time suprisingly i won my car at my senior ball so shuttt upppp.

    • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 11:25 am #


      I gotta call “B.S.” here. Your tale of woe is ripe with contradictions. For example….in what state do you live in that your dad is only asked to pay $50.00 per month in child support or to continue paying it long after you’ve reached 18? Would that be the state of your imagination? How did your dad keep your high school diploma from you? Didn’t you get it at your graduation and wouldn’t there be a record of said diploma on file in case you lost it or it was “kept from you”? How do not call your mom a “deadbeat” as she seems to be regularly taking trips to “exotic places”? Finally, exactly when do you plan on growing up, taking responsibility for your own life and stop blaming others to the point of fabricating stories about them that frankly don’t pass the basic smell test?

  152. Anita August 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I believe if you are financially able to help your children with college that is fine, but when children start saying that this is the parent’s responsibilty and demand it then something is wrong. I know of parents who take loans out and with the ecomony being what it is , are having a rough time paying them back. A college education is becoming to expensive in America for the middle class.

    • Lesli August 10, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      When our son graduated high school he was enrolled in a very expensive college that his father and I agreed to pay for. Hoping for a great future for our son. After one semester he quit. We spent 10,000 for nothing. He told us college just wasn’t for him. We stripped him of his college allowances and told him he would have to get a job and support himself. Well he seems to have a problem with that. So…..deadbeat? No one should have a comment about anyone else’s responcibilities unless they have walked in the parents shoes of a particular child. Some don’t deserve it.

      • Niki August 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

        I agree. On the other side though there are parents who force their kids to go to college and then critisize them for not being greatfull and or not paying their way. College is not for everyone. There are good paying jobs that don’t recquire college, and don’t forget trade schools. Society seems to have this opinion generating that you need to go to college and that you will be looked down upon if you do any sort of alternative.

  153. Ellysa August 7, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    Hello, I am 17, going to college in the fall and also moving in with my father and out of my mother’s(has major custody)house. My father is paying my rent, already pays for my phone, will cover my first semester’s tuition and monthly expenses. Without him, I would not be able to go to school at all. My mother has given me no concrete statements of how she will support me- although I don’t want to owe her anymore as we have a very toxic relationship-she is manipulative, does not want me around, and a verbal abuser. I have tried to get along with her and make her happy my entire life but it seems she has personal issues that have affected how she treats me. I have forgiven her but really want a fresh start and so am moving in with my father. I was applying for a student loan but I have no cosigner. If I put my mother down I would not get approved as her husband(my stepdad)is a stockbroker and makes in a month an average person’s salary for a year. My biological father has bad credit and doesn’t want to be put down. Is it possible for me to negotiate a student loan and explain my parents have the means to support me but won’t? My dad is an entrpreneur, he is being very generous by paying for my tuition, but he does not have a steady income. I know I should get a job, I have been working since I was 14, I’m looking everyday now and signing up for the student employment program but at my school 3 courses is full time and I am taking 6. I am also ADD, have no meds so I just deal with it, concentrating is hard for me and high school was a struggle but I made it out with a few A’s. Honestly I love my parents, it’s impossible not to, all I want to do is please them. But it was my initial plan to work after high school and save up, the career I’m interested in does not require a degree(advertising copywriter), I could have gotten experience through work or internships later on. I am feeling slightly demotivated to go to school when financially my family will not compromise or be logical when they demanded I attend post secondary. Every second day is a threat, nothing is stable when it comes to my mother’s support, everything is a guilt trip. She is dragging down the process so much I would gladly become a ward of the government, because I sure as hell don’t belong to anyone permanently and haven’t for quite some time. I’m sorry for the rant, however I am confused and tied up in legal binds to my parents, who will not let me apply for a loan and will not pay for(or at least aren’t specific on how much) my schooling, which was their choice I do.

    • Rizza August 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      Hi! I’m a college student too so I know I can’t give you very good advise, but I just want to tell you not to give up. You sound like a really kind person – even though your mom hasn’t been kind to you in the past, you’ve forgiven her for that. Many people can’t do that and they hate or resent their parents for the mistakes they’ve made… it just eats away at them, really, and makes them sad people who hide behind anger. And even though your mom won’t say for sure that she’ll give you any support with college, you’re still not blaming her for anything. Someone with a great attitude like yours definitely should be completing college. Even if you already have a career in mind, you should get a degree in case you decide years from now that you’d like to do something different. People would love to work with someone nice like you. Things can look so confusing but they always work out in the end. Please don’t give up! You can make it! 🙂

  154. jessica August 5, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    I think it’s a darn shame that parents are considered deadbeat for making their children pay for their college education. I have had an job since 16 graduated early and by the time I I graduated at 17 and was in college I was working 2 jobs and going to college full time…. yes it’ was hard but my parents raised my older sister and I with a great work ethic and responsibility … and not once our parents paid for our education… maybe it’s because they came. Impoverished from the Philippines but I would never consider them dead beats for making my sister and me responsiblefr our futures…. they were and look at them now!!! I am grateful for my parents not letting us take our education for granted!

    • Niki August 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      But it sounds like your parents didn’t have the money which is a different circumstance. I wouldn’t want my parents suffering to get me through college, however, putting the money they could be using for their kids college education into home addictions and vacations and expensive new cars is what some parents do. It just shouldn’t be like that.

  155. Ashley August 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    EXCUSE ME???? The best thing my mother ever did for me was making me pay my own living expenses (which she didn’t actually have to teach me, I did it myself because I knew it was the right thing to do because she didn’t SPOIL ME MY ENTIRE LIFE) and find my own means of paying for college.

    That dad SHOULD be darn proud of himself. He did the RIGHT thing for his kids.

    Parents that save and pay for their kids education are only hurting their child. My mother taught me a lot of lessons that I still hold today. I learned how to get what is needed to survive, not spend ridiculous amounts of money on things I don’t need. I have 2 bachelor’s degrees, started my first job out of college making $55,000 base annually and have a $230/month student loan payment. Why the HELL would I want my mother pay $40,000+ for my education that is not going to her? It’s not her benefit to go to college it’s MINE. Why should she have to pay for it? I’m a grown adult. I pay my monthly expenses and live well below my means, able to save $1000 every single month from the lessons she taught me.

    Some of the people I knew in college are still unemployed, their parents paid absolutely RIDICULOUS amounts of their hard earned money, while their parents stocked their dorm rooms with all kinds of food and comfort and clothes, car payments and everything they want (and don’t necessarily need) and now they don’t know what to do with themselves. Many majored in blow off programs and now are still living with their parents because their parents made them think it was ok to get everything handed to them!! This article disgusts me. Why does every new parent these days think they have to pay their kids college. There’s something called Financial Aid you know! The more you save for your kid’s college, the more that FAFSA will calculate you can pay for college. If you have very little saved, in my case, you don’t have to pay nearly as much. I took out everything on Stafford Loans and got scholarships that I secure MYSELF and my mother didn’t have to raise a finger. The only thing she did was buy a car and let me have her old one so I could attend college classes in high school. She shouldn’t have to! There’s no reason for her to have to pay for my life!

    A child is to take care of their parents, not the other way around, I can help her with anything she needs, anything she comes up short on, and still pay for my own life. THATS HOW IT SHOULD BE.

    This article was written by children.

    • Niki August 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

      Ashley, It would be very rare for a student to be able to pay for school alone financially without some sort of aid from the government. Like Lynn said, if everyones parents did that than there would not be enough financial aid money to go around. Students who get financial aid aren’t paying all by themselves. The government helps them (AKA the taxpayers). I am confused when you say that a child is to take care of a parent and not the other way around. First of all, I think it should be both ways. How is a baby supposed to take care of their parent huh? But I know as a child that there will be that day and many other days where I will have to take care of my parents. I would feel like a terrible person telling them to do it on “their own” or to go get money from the government if I had plenty of resources. Isn’t that what parents are doing to their kids when they have the means but decide not to share because they think they are teaching a lesson?

  156. Tuku August 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Hi Lynn:

    Great blog. Wondered if you could comment on this contradiction I’ve pondered for some time. Under the current rules, the educational system assumes that you’re dependent on your parents until you’re 24, even if they haven’t paid a dime for your college. You’re still a “child” at 23. Yet, if you leave college with an unpaid tab or default on the student loans taken out in your name, that same system will collect upon and sue you like you’re an adult, even though you’re that same 23-year-old they otherwise classify as a child.

    I’ll add, could some of the problems that adults are having with student loan debt be related to this issue? For example, a 20-year-old student is ineligible for grants or need-based scholarships because her parents make $200,000 a year, even though she receives no support from them. She has to borrow to the hilt to pay tuition. Had she been able to claim herself as an independent student who made just $15,000 last year, she would have qualified for grants.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy August 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm #


      Unfortunately students whose parents are wealthy and refuse to help with college costs suffer because these parents are supposed to help. The system can’t reward students of deadbeat parents, who have the means, but don’t want to dig into their wallets. If all children of affluent parents could declare themselves independent everybody would and that would overwhelm the financial aid system.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Raymond March 18, 2016 at 10:25 pm #


        Kindly provide me with the legal references (both federal and for each state) demonstrating that wealthy parents or parents period are LEGALLY “supposed to help” with college.

        You seem to have a habit of making statements that are lacking in both factual accuracy or logic.

        • Lynn O'Shaughnessy March 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

          Hi Raymond,

          Wealthy parents should help their children with college costs because it is the right thing to do. They should do it because they love their children. I shudder at the thought of a parent only helping their children with this tremendous cost because they are forced to do it by law. I feel very sorry for children whose parents would only help if the law required it.

          Lynn O.

  157. Chris August 1, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    That not a mans responsibility and in my opinion is a extremly severe human rights issue that should be brought to U.N courts . We can no longer expect our men to pay for a colege degree. If that was the case I would hav never went to prison .

    I have no kids but if I knew I could those that support rules like this its forcing many men into jails I want this trash off the earth . I have seen to many die because of trash and garbage running around here playing god when they know they could not do what these men are doing out here ,.HEY TRASH do not ask men to live on $7.50 an hour and dont expect us to not get on welfare if we go insane because we cant live on this gabage.

  158. Savannah July 31, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    I am currently enrolled in college as an independent student.. I was a unique case though, as I had several factors that qualified me as such. I was a ward of the state from ages 9 to 14, granted a legal guardian, and then was adopted by said guardian that same year. My sole adoptive parent died just a year later from cancer when I was 15, and I was a ward of the state again until I was 18. I now have two children that depend solely on myself and my fiance (who I cannot account for on paper until we are legally married) for care and income. As you can imagine, having some kind of help to assist me getting a higher education would have been lovely, but I did not get such a luxury. I was very lucky however to qualify for several grants for college, as well as a scholarship later on. I do believe that children should be independent and primarily find their own means of obtaining a college degree, but to a point. They are adults now and their parents should not baby them any longer.. however I think it’s great for parents to start a college fund for children and have that money go towards helping them get started. All in all, the students should really try to take it upon themselves the best they can. We all need help though and I don’t necessarily agree with smug parents who watch their child work themselves to death just trying to afford school just because no one would help them. I feel like college is really the first step in a young adult’s life and that it should be met with both independence and some ending guidance.

  159. Cara July 31, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    It is truly silly of you to call parents “good parents” or deadbeats for putting children through college or not. Good parents are those who successfully raise self sufficient people. Sometimes the tact one needs to take in order for this to happen has to do with cutting purse strings. Furthermore, an income of $150,000 is not a great deal of money in many big cities accross our country. Circumstances are crucial in determining the huge financial toll a college education places on a family. While a collgege degree is essential in our marketplace it does not gaurantee success or self reliance.
    As a Sociologist I am astounded you are a published writer. As a Sociologist I recognize your one sided stance as attention grabbing rhetoric because no truly intelligent person could believe that good parenting = paying for an education.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy July 31, 2012 at 4:27 am #

      Cara — Sounds like you are just offering excuses for deadbeat parents. Parents who earn $150,000 can afford to set money aside over the years for their children’s education. If parents can’t save when they are making $150,000, how are their teenagers supposed to foot the bill?

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Niki August 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

        Lynn, I agree completely. Parents who claim they can’t afford to help send you to college when they make five times as much as the student will be able to make if working full time just doesn’t make sense.

      • richard April 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm #

        At what point are kids actually expected to grow up? Is this “point” age dependent or is this point based solely on their parents income as in the more money mom and dad make the longer little Johnny gets to be a child? Were one to fully apply your rationale, the child of someone making $50K/yr would be expected to grow up by 15 while the child of parents who make millions of dollars per year could remain children for the rest of their lives.

        Kindly re-examine the premise of your illogical and unreasonable statements. The primary problem this generation faces with college isn’t that college costs are too high. Rather, the primary problem with this generation is that they’ve been allowed to live in the deluded fantasy that they don’t have to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives let alone be accountable for their own decisions.

  160. Jane July 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    While my husband and I always thought that we would be able to help pay for about half of each child’s college educations, the savings we had were eatten quickly when the economy tanked, followed by a mountain of debt that occurred during 3 years of underemployment. Are we trying to getting back on our feet? Absolutely. Did we ever consider declaring bankruptcy? Never. But now our income has reduced our children’s financial aid and we don’t qualify for parent loans because of our debt. The only solution we have is to wait until our last child graduates from high school, sell the house, and use those proceeds. We’re willing to do it but it’s not going to help the child who’s in college for the next two year. Talk about feeling like the worst parent…

  161. Dave July 28, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Paying for college is the STUDENTS responsibility. You Parents that enable so much are a main reason this generation is in so much trouble. Are you going to see the professor when your kid doesn’t vet the grade they want too?? Many parents simply cant afford to put them through college…as you mentioned…it is MUCH more expensive than in ‘our’ day. I am not saying you should watch your kid get saddled with a ton of debt..but they do need to realize that everything in life isn’t going to be given to them just because they think they want it. Life is not fair. Don’t stop your child from understanding that. They need to understand everything in life isn’t free.

  162. Niki July 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I don’t think it is unreasonable for parents to expect their children to pay some of their finances; whether it be college fees, car insurances, personal expenses etc. I do, however, find it unfair of parents to spring such demands of their children spur of the moment. Your intentions as a parent should be known to your children. Everyone should have a clear understanding in the family of what is acceptable so everyone especially the child can prepare and be ready; whether financially or emotionally. My parents stress me out constantly over money. They do well enough that student loans were a “no” for both my sister and I. My sister is long out of school since she is seven years older than me and I am due to graduate next year. My mom works at the college I attend which means I get a scholarship every year that includes all of tuition but not room and board. Living on campus made me very depressed and I was done with the “dorm experience”. For my last year I am deciding to live at home until I can find a suitable (affordable place that isn’t in a town full of crime) place to live in. Originally my parents had told me that they would help pay for rent as long as it was less than what they would pay for school (room and board) they changed their mind last minute and now decided they won’t help me with a penny. What is worse is that they aren’t being supportive emotionally which is what I think is most important. They believe that since my sister had to graduate with school loans that I should have to suffer somehow I guess too. I don’t find this fair because they can more than afford to help me out a tiny bit. I am lucky in not having school loans but I do go to school where my mom works which changes the experience a lot. I don’t think that makes up for not having school loans but it isn’t as if I got to choose where I went to school. Anyway, my point is that my sisters education cost so much more than mine. My parents helped her through five years of college while I only need help with four and my tuition is nothing compared to what her was. My parents are done paying for my education since I am not living on campus next year and they are still paying off a loan for my sister’s education. I hope I don’t sound like a brat but if I can’t pay for myself and my parents refuse to help even though they have the money I just don’t think it is right to have to take tax money. By the way I work very hard and have been working for 6 years not including silly jobs like babysitting and am very good at saving money. I currently work full time during vacation breaks and at least 16 hours during the school year when I have classes.I work as much as I can but the economy is just terrible right now and rent where I live (Massachusetts) isn’t what it should be. I wish my parents wer eat least emotionally supportive and would stop punishing me for not having school loans. When I asked if they would help me a little (I only expected maybe a thousand dollars at least so I could have car insurance or something else important) they told me they liked having the money they are saving from not paying for my room and board. My parents are not luxuriously rich, however, they are far from poor. The money they are saving isn’t going to neccesities for the house. Some of it was already spent on new additions to the house. I just feel so loved.

    • Niki July 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      oh and by the way. My my parents especially my father are very emotionally, verbally and only mildly physically abusive which is why I really want to leave home.

      • Richard Smith November 23, 2015 at 11:31 am #


        If it’s so bad, then why not just leave home, leave them behind, grow up and make your own way in the world? I suspect that we’ve got here is another case of a self-entitled child masquerading as an adult until it’s time to pay the bills.

        Seriously, you’d be better served if you grew up and figured out that if you want something in life….you have to go out and earn it.

  163. Clem July 25, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    People forget that colleges use parents as leverage for charging outrageous tuitions. College professors demand 10% increases each year (While the rest of society is taking pay cuts and loosing pensions and retirement heathcare). Now the govt wants to cut Soc Sec benefits to people with no pensions just so the govt employees don’t have to pay the price the non-govt workers have to pay.
    Parents are not responsible for college tuition for their children just like my parents weren’t responsible for mine.
    While tuition has gone up 3 time the rate of inflation and the education has not improved, society needs to stand up to colleges who use this to screw the parents.

    • rducky26 October 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      @clem the profs at my state school received a 5% pay cut last yr via furloughs. Since state incomes (pay) are a matter of public record, I suggest looking up the figures for your state specifically. Instructors at community colleges make $40-60k for teaching 5-6 classes a semester. Also note that most schools offer far fewer classes summer term and teaching salaries will fluctuate significantly due to whether an individual gets summer teaching assignments.

      I am currently in grad school and have funded my entire education by scholarship and jobs. My parents paid for car/gas/insurance during undergrad

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm #


      You’re full of crap. Most college professors haven’t seen a 10% raise in more than a decade

  164. Jim July 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I believe in helping those that help themselves and in also making sure I can retire.
    That said, I lost all my pension and 401K in divorce several years back but kept the house to raise the kids. I inherited enough money to help them a few years in college. One son is now almost 22 and has attended 8 full-time semesters but not quite halfway to graduating. Because of school policy he cannot get FAFSA loans. I paid for all living expenses for the first 1.5 years living at school, and whatever FAFSA didn’t cover for tuition. After that I paid for trainfare to commute to the same school, since I had run out of money to pay for him and he was taking far too long. At this point I gave him a couple thousand per semester, plus since he didn’t qualify for FAFSA due to lack of progress to next year’s status, I also cosigned a privaty party student loan for one semester’s tuition. Then, the last two semesters I asked my son to get his own loans, without me cosigning, and he took two private party loans. Now the banks will not loan him any more money, and my son still isn’t quite to junior status. But with me in my mid-50s and still having a 10 year old at home, I must think about my 401K or I may be a ward of the state someday. So no more loans. However, I am allowing my son to live at my house rent-free as long as he is working full time or working part time and also going to school. At this point he feels I should cosign, but with his lack of strong work ethic I see a very real chance I will have to pay back any loans I cosign in the future if he never gets a degree. And so far he hasn’t gotten a full time job, and over the last 4 years has been fired from 5 part time jobs for various reasons.

  165. Anon July 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    It is fantastic to see so many grammatical errors from a majority of our college graduates. It makes me feel even better about higher education.
    Anyways, if you can’t pay for college and you are an intelligent human, take some CLEP exams and test out of classes – at $80-$200 per exam, they won’t break the bank nearly as much as the equivalent classes would. These won’t get you out of every class, but it’s a good start to reducing your financial burdens.

  166. Tiffany July 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    I am so sick and tired of kids whining about not being able to pay for college, it’s completely ludicrous. I just graduated, early might I add, at 21. It only took me three years. I did my research and chose a school that lowered tuition costs if you took 15 hours at a time. I took summer classes every summer…when they practically give away scholarships. I’m the first person in my family to go to college so I had to figure it out for myself. As soon as my degree posts, $18,000 of my debt will be wiped away because of the Texas BOT program. People are just too lazy to do the research. I had a work study job the entire time and received minimal support from my mom. I even joined a sorority from which I got enough scholarships to pay for dues and then some. They are even giving me money for law school. But then again, no one wants to take the time to do the research so quit your bitching. I have just sent off my application for the USN Jag Corps to pay for my second and third year of law school. After 12 years of minimum payments the rest of my debt will be forgiven through the military and public service forgiveness option. To you 22, 23 and 24 year olds whining about paying for college, you could have already served your four years in the military and go to school for free. Oh and let’s not forget about ROTC that pays for college and gives you a monthly paycheck. Until you’ve talked to a recruiter don’t say you’ve explored all your options. Grow up and quit feeling entitled.

    • Amanda July 26, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      You assume that everyone attending college, not graduating early, in debt, and struggling is at fault because they are lazy, whiney, and entitled. Everyone has different homelives, opportunities, conflicts, and circumstances and it most certainly is not fair to blame them internally for the challenges they face and how they deal with them. Yes, you have been successful and there is nothing wrong with being proud of that success. No, that does not entitle you to judge other people. Perhaps you could reflect on how proud you are of yourself for coming out on top of your conflicts without attacking those less fortunate than you who are trying have a voice.

      • Mandy January 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

        Not to mention the parents who are using their kids social security. Read about that, or getting credit cards in their kids names. Google that. It’s sad, but it’s on the rise. Kids who didn’t even use credit cards and finding themselves in debt, because of their parents.

    • Rachelle August 10, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      Wow, that’s pretty cool, I couldn’t join the army if I wanted to. Active or inactive duty, they wouldn’t accept me. I barely graduated highschool because of family issues. You’re right though, I’m probably just a lazy piece of shit and it’s my own fault I didn’t have home internet access.

    • Jeff October 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Solutions, not problems. Love your post Tiffany!!!

    • Roberta January 12, 2013 at 5:08 am #

      Good for you, but have you ever considered that maybe some people cannot qualify for FA because our parents make too much money. I was 16 my senior year in HS. THere was no way I was going to be accepted as an independant adult applying for FA on my own. I had straight A’s , a 1300/1600 on SAT and was recruited by Ivy League schools, actually offered a spot, if my Mom and step Dad would have just paid ( step Dad made about 650K a year). BUT, he refused to pay a dime and so did my mom. My HS graduation present was two samsonite suitcases. I signed a letter of intent at a Div 1 school sight unseen because it was my only chance to go to college. I ened up hating it there, was completely lost, and once my scholarship was over my senior year. I was a 20 year old without a BA degree and no clue about what to do next. And my Mom, she might call me once a month and ask shallow questions like was I dating anyone….No, I was homeless in Chicago and my mom was living in a mansion and married to a millionaire. It took me about 10 years to put a life together and I was a good student, and a good kid. I think my Mom could have shown she believed in me by taking me to look at schools, asking me what major I was interested in, and , in short, being a mother. In the end, she spent about 150K a year on furs, clothes, home renovations, art,etc.. while I was starving in Chicago and suicidal, and ended up with nothing because her husband eventually divorced her and she had to sell all of the “things that she colected…was it so much to ask that she be my mother?”

    • You August 7, 2013 at 3:45 am #

      You make me sick Tiffany… You conformed like a sheep to get what you desire. Suggesting to join the military shows that you have a sadistic nature and are completely clueless as to what your actually saying. Good luck being a sheeple people… and please, don’t have kids.

      • richard April 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

        How exactly is joining the military to honorably serve one’s country and fellow citizens showing a sadistic nature? You sound like another whining loser who is too lazy to get off your collective duff and who expects someone else to pay your way in both school and life. The very fact that you can post this unadulterated crap is due to the men and women who have served, fought for, bled for, and died for this country and your rights to freedom of expression. So rather than criticize those who’ve chosen to serve and defend this great nation, you above all here need to get down on your knees and thank God for those who have served and defended and those who do serve and defend this country.

  167. alex July 19, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Hi I am 22 yrs old ans just graduated from NC State university. My parents were in that c. Category where they made enough ti support our family but not enough to pay for school. There ate always ways to support yourself. I have been working since I was 14 years old. I would go work with my dad on thanksgiving holidays and stuff. For the past four years I have worked to get scholarships and grants. And the rest u had to get in student loaned. Ppl say it was different 25 years ago. It’s not. If I can do it in .2012. So can anyone. I’m sorry. But I’ve had friends in school whose parents paid their rents their books everything. Mean while I had the higher GPA and had a full time job during school. I have worked my butt off to put ny self thru college. Dies that make my karwnts dead beats ?? Absolutely not. I think it is absurd to think otherwise. They have dine everything in their power to help me on my way. And if they had the money. Idk if I’d want them to pay for it. There is a certain level of respect I have for myself and my friends who have had everything handed to them. My best friend joined army rotc to pay for college. I had the GPA and loans. There are always ways to pay for school. And I think I woukd like my children to have the financial responsibilities I have had over the last 6 yrs. Kids paying themselves thru college should be respected above all others. They often have full time jobs and have school 30 hrs a week on top of that. Much harder than mommy and daddy handing them everything. Paying for their beer…

    • Ashley July 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

      You and a lot of other people who commented obviously didn’t read what the author of the article said correctly. He never said that parents who don’t pay for their children’s tuitions are dead beat parents, he merely said that if parents are able to save early and help out then they should. If your one of those parents who has been struggling to make ends meet then he’s not talking about you so stop getting so offended. If possible children and parents should work together to pay for college. Children are not entitled to a free ride, but if parents can help then that is ideal. My brother graduated with a degree in journalism. If my parents hadn’t helped him, because they can afford to, he would not have been able to pursue the career that makes him happy because he makes just over $20,000 a year. The author is not trying to make parents that cant afford to help feel bad, he is just angry at those who abuse the system and those parents who have enough money to help or had the option to start saving early but don’t help their children at all.

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      Young man,

      You are to be congratulated for:

      a. Putting yourself through college
      b. Learning the invaluable lesson that nothing given has any real value. That which is earned is that which is truly valued.

      Once again…….

      Congratulations and best wishes.

  168. Lisa July 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Wow! My daughter is 17 motivated to go to college but because of her age she cant apply on her own for loans. We cant cosign due to 3 years worth of medical bills and illness following us.
    We also had job losses that were due to the economy which you never comment on I saw we went through everything! We both are currently working now making ends meet but now our daughter has to bare the burden of this! I by the way worked my way through both undergrad and grad school without my parents help ! and I know some children who blow it when their parents foot the bill. One cant judge others as you aren’t in their shoes!

  169. Brooke July 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    I got a bachelors degree that put me in debt didn’t make anything on it was just a pre-degree for OT ..Bachelors in Human Services, but now I’m in a masters degree more debt for a Master of Occupational Therapy. I will walk away with 60K debt my parents refused to help me thru school, at least the public loan forgiveness will be of some assistance for me.

  170. Shania July 13, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    I’m 22 years old and struggling to start school. My parents are not obligated to pay for my school but they do have a moral obligation to do so. I’ve been looking for a job since last year, when I graduated community college, to help pay for my university education but to no avail. We aren’t dirt poor but we are still pretty poor. My father’s paycheck is the only source of income and my mother is unemployed. We don’t have fancy things like cable or even telephones. All we have is internet. My father’s paycheck pays for the car payments, credit card bills, the electric and water bill, and basic things we need like groceries, gas for transportation, etc.We are going through foreclosure and can barely afford to buy groceries most of the time (a household of 6 people!) and my father pays $232 for my older sister’s monthly loan payments. I qualify for a good amount in financial aid. I flew by community college with financial aid and it helped a LOT. However, now that I have enrolled to classes at a university that I transferred to, financial aid BARELY covers anything on my registration statement. I’ve accepted small unsubsidized and subsidized loans (only those two) but it still leaves me with $14,000 to cover. I qualify for a Direct PLUS loan of 38 grand but the monthly payments are 2 thousand dollars monthly with a payment plan of 10 months (fall&spring)!! My father does not make that kind of money. What should I do?
    I’ve been applying for jobs EVERYWHERE POSSIBLE. Do I just postpone school, find a job and dedicate to working for a year? Or is there another way around this? Even while going to school, I’d still find a part-time job to help lessen the financial burden from my parents. What should I do? Any suggestions?

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy July 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      HI Shania,

      I feel for you. Since your family has such a fragile financial situation, I wouldn’t take undue risk when continuing your education. I would not borrow more than the federal loans that are covered by the Income Based Repayment program. The IBR program provides a safety net if you can’t afford to pay what you owe on your federal loans. (PLUS loans are not eligible for this program).

      Here are IBR links:

      If you can’t afford college without borrowing more than Stafford Loans, I’d seriously consider working for a year to save up for the expense. And then make sure you stay in close contact with the academic advisers at the school so you can get out in two years. Most kids take more than four years to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. You don’t want to be one of those Americans!

      Also check to see if you qualify for a federal Pell Grant. And use net price calculators to see what the cost will be before you apply to a school.

      Good luck!!

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Roxy July 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

        While I was not in the financial disaster you are in, I found myself in the same circumstance that you are in as far as needing to come up with more money for school. What I ultimately did was instead of going to a more expensive university, I’m going to a state school which my loans and grants more than cover. It sounds to me like you have decided to attend a very expensive institution and that may be something you want to reconsider before taking tons of PLUS loans out and further burdening your parents.

        Even if parents are somewhat held responsible for your education, they are not responsible for going into financial ruin because you want to go to a more expensive university than unnecessary. Yeah, we’d all like to drive a BMW but most of us have to settle for a KIA now and then. A degree is a degree, they are all the same as long as they come from an accredited institution.

    • Adam Hunt September 11, 2012 at 2:51 am #

      Hi Shania, I just started with Western Governor’s University, an inexpensive but well-accredited non-profit university. Like I mentioned to another person on this reply forum, it may help you to get your degree online faster and with a lot less money, depending on your learning style. Just an idea. So far, it is looking really good to me.

    • Ray February 2, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

      Grow up and figure out that a 22 year old is an adult and as such is legally and morally responsible for their own lives.

      College isn’t a right. It is a privilege. A privilege that in a society that seems to value self entitlement over sacrifice is going to become ever more expensive as colleges have “tapped into” and propagated this myth that mommy and daddy are supposed to pick up the tab wherever their little darling wants to go to school……..regardless of costs.

      I remember when my son informed me he wanted to go to Northwestern. I asked how much did it cost to attend NWU and was told it was only $75,000.00 per year. I laughed and told him if he could pay for it….he could go. He seemed shocked and told me his mom, my ex-wife, had told him that it was my job to pay for his college. I reminded him that when I was his age my mom and dad told me that I was a man and that it was my responsibility to pay my own way through school, just as they had both done. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and it was the best thing I ever did. The Navy paid for my school and I had the privilege to serve for 31 years.

      I would highly recommend that you and others who can’t afford college seriously consider serving your country or trying for an ROTC scholarship.

  171. Lala July 9, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    One more thing, that’s not fair to me because obviously I am trying but apparently the law wants me to suffer and not go I school because of my dad’s refusal to help out. Last year I almost got kicked out of my school bc of this. I had to beg him, and he clearly stated that it was the last time, and never hear from him ever since. There has to be another way.

  172. Lala July 9, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    So my dad doesn’t talk to me anymore and I have no idea where he is. My mom is not in any condition to help bc She’s struggling in Haiti. I live with my uncle and his wife. What do I do? I have a summer job now, but I really do need help with school financially.

  173. Roger July 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    were is it written that it is my responsibly to pay for my kids college. If its my responsibly then why can’t I take the interest for the loads off my taxes.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy July 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm #


      I can’t tell you how to be a good parent and I don’t know your circumstances, but there is a very generous tax credit that you can claim for helping to pay for your children’s college expenses. It’s a $2,500 tax credit that reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar. I used that with both my kids to take $5,000 off my taxes when they were both in school. That’s an excellent deal.

      I hope you can help your children and help yourself.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  174. Kelly July 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I am 22 years old I have had to stop going to school on 2 different occasions because well, my parents do not file their taxes until October. As of right now, I am knee deep into their paperwork (receipts,bank statements) trying to get a spreadsheet done to give to their accountant so she can finally file their taxes. Our Fafsa information at the school I go to is due on July 13th.

    I file my taxes when I get my W-2s. I have, time after time, told my parents to file their taxes before April so that 1. they don’t have to worry about it and 2. because I need it.

    My father thinks that since i want to go to college so badly, i should pay for it out of pocket. My mother does not even care. And all this because they have their own business that they do not even make that much money out of. I know, because I see their tax info.

    Now, why is it my fault that my parents do not want to file their taxes until last minute? I pay for my own rent. I have stopped saving up for a newer car that I want (the one I have right now is having major problems). Just so that I can pay for college out of pocket. Not to mention that I have many private loans that luckily I was able to get without my parents co-signing.

    I have 8 days to get this paperwork done and pray that the accountant can get their taxes done before July 13th or else, I have to let go of another year of college. I should have graduated already.

  175. Alex June 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I have never understood the “independent” model of college in the United States. I am from Mexico and here, almost 100% of people in college have their parents paying for that. And for their cars. And their apartments if they’re that lucky (others, like me, still live at home). Let me just tell you that none of the cases you say, of people who don’t understand sacrifice and tend to do worse in future life, has come true in most cases (hundreds) I’ve come to know here.

    I truly don’t believe that having a gigantic debt on your back (I’m gonna have one, I asked my parents not to pay for the 50% loan I’m getting to pay my tuition each semester, approximately 50k when I graduate) and perhaps health problems because of stress, a bad diet and all that is the “ideal” way of having your kids start their independent lives. I, for one, am willing to shatter my spine working like hell (when I get to that) in order for my kids to have everything at their disposal, none of that “you’ve gotta earn it” shit you’re so “proud” of.

  176. Tyson June 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Wait a minute…Dan said “Suck it up babies, you are not getting a free ride to college, you will actually need to work your way through.”

    Yet, his children are getting a free ride to college–through FAFSA. “I have 2 of my seven children in college right now as independents”.

    This guy is ridiculous.

    I disagree with some of the other comments. I do think that Dan is a deadbeat parent who won’t pay for college. Deadbeat because he’s not paying for it. The government is paying for it. And that was his plan. He probably never planned on having his children actually pay for college. He probably planned on having the government pay for it all.

    What kind of lesson is this actually teaching children? “Don’t rely on your family to help out. Rely on the government. They’ll take care of you.”

    Good lesson you’re teaching children, Dan.

    • Jackie October 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      You know, I don’t get where people think independent students applying to FAFSA get a “free ride” from the government. My grants from the school and governments only covered 1/3 of my tuition. I also got a scholarship from the school for another 1/3 of tuition and no more because my college made the assumption that I would drop out because I’m poor, despite my 4.0 grades in high school. So I was left with 1/3 of my tuition and ALL my other expenses: room and board (required to stay on campus 2 years), books, food, all of it! That cost as much as the entire tuition myself. Did I get a “free ride”? NO! All the rest of that came out of student loans, work study job, and 2 other part time jobs. I am now paying all those loans back, so don’t tell me that just because an independent student applied for FASFA, they got a “free ride” from anyone. That’s bullcrap! You take on far more loans than grants. Loans that become your own responsibility, not the taxpayers.

  177. Concern Parent June 14, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    I have a question that you might be able to help with, about 7 years ago my wife and I took in my niece to live with us. During these years she has been supported 100% by us and it was not till the last 3 years that her mom has come back to her live and provided some support ($200 Per month if you can call that support) she is a nurse and makes good money but now that she is ready to go to College she said that she will not be helping her out since she has her own bills to pay. My wife and I have done all we can but we think its unfair to have us pay for college on top of all we have done for her. Thanks to us she is now a High School graduate with a future ahead of her but since her mom makes good money she does not qualify for any help. Is there anything she can do to get her self taken as an independent child since her mom has not been there for her? by the way dad is a dead beat dad, no job, no money

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy June 14, 2012 at 5:10 am #

      Hi – I would talk to the FAFSA folks to see what to do in a situation like this since you have raised the child for 7 years. Here is the contact for FAFSA:

      Also, don’t assume that the child’s mother makes too much money for financial aid. People who make six-figure incomes can get aid from some expensive schools. You would need to run the net price calculators and use the EFC calculator too. But first try to get the answer in regards to whose income would be used for financial aid purposes.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

      Of course there are things she can do to help herself. She has to make the decision to get out there and find what is available. Remember, college is a privilege not a right.

  178. Ann May 29, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    As a very loving parent it pains me to keep reading about “deadbeat” parents. This term does not take in consideration other real life factors that many of us face. I have always worked hard but never made enough to save. Divorced I only grossed enough to survive just above poverty level. There are many families like us out there.

    What about parents who want to help but have multiple children with college costs or other needs not addressed in a FASF? What about the parent who is making ends meet but because of life’s circumstances can’t even fully fund a retirement plan?

    At 54 I may be remarried now only a year but between us both afyet taxes and health insurance our take home is only approx. 36k. We drive aand maintain a 12 year old car, trying to save for a downpayment on a house so we don’t have to pay rent and have a retirement that would cover us for a year. Why should my husband’s income be part of the picture when he never even raised my children? And the other parent is also in same position. We can help with small stipends but not much more.

    Having done a Dave Ramsey budget with oy one debt – which is a student loan – there id no money. So does that make me and others in my position deadbeat? Personally wr all know the system is flawed but kids who are highly intelligent dhouldn’t have to flip hamburgers their whole life because parents make too much but not enough.

  179. Matt May 29, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    If an adult is not living with their parent’s after they turn 18 and are a high school grad, they’re independent. The fact that the federal government doesn’t see it that way as far as college & finances go until that adult is 24 (unless that person falls within the certain requirements to be declared “independent”) is really backwards & ludicrous. If the adult is not dependent on their parents, live on their own & work and pay their own bills which plenty do, then it’s quite difficult to say to oneself, I gotta go get mom/dad’s help because the government says I’m not independent of them. It’s really stupid. I understand that alot of folks still depend on their parents from time to time for college or finances in life but unless that adult is living at home full-time regardless of their job status, the adult is independent. The rules/laws should be changed to reflect this. When I applied for college, I used my money from the GI Bill to help fund my way & I recall doing the FAFSA application & it had the independent status questions on it. I thought to myself, man, if I wasn’t a veteran I’d have to get my mom’s info??!! Hell, I hadn’t lived with her for years up to that point & frankly I was as independent as you could get. I was 22, almost 23 at the time too. I recall telling my admissions adviser that I wouldn’t be able to get any info about my mom (never met my dad) if I had to go through that for some reason. I agree with Dan’s thoughts though & I hardly consider him a deadbeat parent. Nobody here knows his particular circumstances. I would make my own kid pay for his college if need be but I’d probably throw him a bone here or there at times to help. WORKING is necessary though & paying your own way is THE WAY.

  180. dustycotton May 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    My son is only 4 years old and I’ve read again and again on new mom websites about how they are saving as much as they can for their child’s college education. Yet nowhere do these people mention their own retirement. My husband and I decided that our first priority is our retirement, because there are no scholarships or loans for retirement; you either have the money or you don’t. Which would my son rather have, us pay for his college or us moving in with him when he’s 35 because we cannot live on our own? We are in our mid-30’s now so we save for retirement as if we will not receive any government assistance when the time comes and will need to live entirely off of what we save now.

    If you make enough money that you can put the max into your 401k account, and the max into an IRA account, and pay all your monthly bills, and STILL have money to set aside for your child’s college tuition, then by all means I think parents should do so. However, if you are putting money into college funds first and sacrificing saving for your own retirement, then you are a fool.

    With the incredible increases in college tuition just over the past 10-15 years, we have no delusions that we will be able to completely pay for our son’s college tuition 14 years from now. However we do believe in helping for his living expenses as much as we can afford to. I agree that the rules for who gets grant money is flawed, and I was a victim of those same rules 16 years ago when I needed assistance for college. I went to a JC and worked full time to pay for it. Years later, after starting a career and being married, I went back and took night classes to finish my degree.

    I do agree that our education system is flawed and that everyone should have an equal chance to attend college if they choose to, regardless of how much their parents make. Maybe that means if your parents don’t contribute, you don’t get to attend the top colleges, but I think one should still be able to go to a college somewhere without having to be 100K+ in debt to do so. How we change our current education system so that can happen, I have no idea, but it should be something we as a nation should be putting more focus on.

    • Buda August 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      You have it figured out perfectly….this is what parents should be doing….like you said there is no loans for retirement. We have funded our retirement fully and have no regrets in doing so. We also planned like we would get no assistance from the government went the time comes to retire….there are student loans for our son and daughter which we will gladly help them pay.

  181. Katie May 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Im 18 years old and am trying to go to college. My father, who refuses to pay a single dime of my education is also kicking me out. He wont support me in anyway and yet schools say he is responsible for my education! I cant even afford to go to community college part time. Its really crappy because my mother passed away and my father is just too selfish. What am I supposed to do if I cant afford college? Wait until I turn 24 and can get loans based off my income? Its seriously messed up….

    • Jackie October 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Unfortunately, according to the government’s FAFSA, your options are work and save money on your own (go to school later), join the military, or get married. Unfortunate really, but I’d definitely hit the job market hard, multiple jobs if able, and start saving as much as possible. Then you can start at least part time community college classes with that savings.

    • Carol October 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

      My advice to you is don’t sit and wait you can work full time and you can take one or two night classes at a community college that way you won’t be completely out of school. If you tend to forget stuff this is not a good idea. I waited along time to go to college and had to start all over again because I had forgotten everything especially math. Other than FAFSA there is another thing at community college in california colleges call Board of Governors Waiver with this if you qualify you don’t have to pay for tuition you would just pay for books. I don’t what state are you in but you should definetely find out. That is the way I did it.
      Anyways Good Luck!

    • richard April 2, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

      Why did your father kick you out? It would be interesting to hear his side of things.

  182. Adam Bodford May 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    What about students that were wards of the state?! It seems we have been completely forgotten about. Uncle Sam is the ultimate deadbeat parent. With living parents that hadn’t been in my life since I 11 years old I remember sitting in the financial aid office being grilled on their financial details when I barely knew more than their names. I’m now managing to graduate with my associates at the age of 28 with no clue how to pay for a four year. Entry level wages don’t pay for a four year college and the Pell is just enough to remind you how hopeless your situation is. Graduating in debt to the robber barons of Sally Mae is pretty much the only option…

    • Adam Hunt September 11, 2012 at 2:32 am #

      Hi Adam, Look into Western Governor’s University. It may help you to get your degree online faster and with a lot less money, depending on your learning style. I am 28 as well and going back to college to finish with WGU. For the way I learn, it is perfect. I wish you the best brother.

    • Jackie October 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Actually, I was also a ward of the state and right there on the FASFA form, if you are a ward of the state, you get to apply as an independent student. The colleges also tried to drill me about parent’s financial background because they WANT your income to be high so they don’t have to provide you as many grants. I filled out the FAFSA online where I couldn’t be bothered and poof, once that box is checked, it doesn’t matter what your “parents” made.

      That means I got more grants, yes, but I also had more student loans because I was on my own (and I went to an expensive private college.) I did it because I wanted to and I worked hard. Do I regret going to college? No, but I do think I would plan and budget a little better for less student loans coming out of it. If you plan right, you will not be in THAT much debt, and you can get through it! Do your best!

  183. ann April 25, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    I’m a current college student and I have to say that I agree 100% that kids should pay for college themselves. Having a college degree gives someone a tremendous advantage over somebody who doesn’t have a degree so having a degree just handed to you on a silver platter is WRONG. The hard part earning a degree isn’t going to class and taking tests because just about anyone can party all night, stumble to class for a test, manage to barely pass and get a college degree. The tough part is balancing school and a job to pay for your own education and/or studying your butt off b/c you have to maintain a certain GPA or risk losing scholarships you need.

    However, I definitely don’t agree with lying on the FAFSA as the rules currently stand. True, I don’t agree with the rules but I still abide by them since it’s the law.

    • Sarah July 2, 2012 at 6:51 am #

      Ann, you will probably take your words back once you graduated with debt.

    • Maggy August 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      You’re probably talking about the easy liberal arts major there. I’m an architecture major, a major where the curriculum is tougher than the job itself, and I literally have to be at school every single day of the week from morning to night to do my work, many times staying over night. PLUS I have a part time job. The only amount of time I could fit in was 8 hours a week. My parents are poor so I have financial aid pay for me completely and more but that’s still not enough for books and food, so sometimes I have to go hungry. School IS hard work, maybe it wasn’t for you, but for dedicated students it definitely is.

    • You August 7, 2013 at 3:41 am #

      If you trust the law, then your a waste of education…. If the law enforced its citizens to board a train and walk into an oven, would you follow or break that law? Your a sheeple people.

      • Callie December 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

        Dan is teaching his children to grow up to be tax cheats. I had dead beat parents too – I paid my way through school, took on more debt than I ever thought possible at a state school (I’m from Maine and even in-state tuition is ridiculous) and stopped talking to my parents shortly after. Good riddance to bad baggage.

  184. dad April 20, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    OK, here is a situation for you to ponder. I sent my son off to a 48K per year private college that is highly ranked in the nation. During one average night of college partying a drunken kid (not my son) got into my sons face and started picking a fight. After my son tried to get him to settle down to no avail he ended up pushing the kid into a snow bank. The drunken kid lunged out of the snow bank at my son and my son punched the drunken kid in the nose. He broke the kids nose and was arrested for a 2nd degree assault charge (felony) that got him suspended (not expelled) from the school until court was over. By the time court was over (he was found not guilty) we lost the rest of the semester. I lost 20K in tuition and 5K on a lawyer. Now, my son should have just walked away from the drunken kid! But, as we know most 18year old boys would not do that.

    Now, since I am stuck with 25K of debt and he has nothing to show for it. I want him to pay for his own schooling moving forward. I do not have a problem helping him pay for them. I just would like the option to just stop paying for them if he messes up again. Maybe he will walk away if he has the debt/money on his shoulders? I have him paying me back $50 per week out of his minimum wage job as punishment for the last mistake. Is that enough to stop it from happening again? IDK, but I would feel better if the loans where his…

  185. slj March 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    The financial aid process is seriously flawed. For one I don’t think a legal adult over 18 should still be the parents financial responsibility. Most people are having kids later in life and don’t have pensions. When they should be saving for their own retirement they instead are supposed to pay for their adult children’s college expenses. Easy to say start saving when the kids are born. Those are the low earning years and many people are paying off their own student loans and have many expenses and don’t have any disposable income. I don’t consider these parents deadbeats.

    The FAFSA looks at income for just the prior year. That doesn’t mean the person has been making that much money long term nor does it mean they will make that much in the future. It doesn’t look at mortgage expenses or other obligations that are not easy to change.

    My daughter has a friend whose parents are high income and they refuse to give her any money for college. She can’t even get decent student loans because they base them on her parents income even though they are not legally obligated to help her out. Why should she be penalized by no fault of her own over something she can’t control? So, she either postpones college or works almost full time while taking classes. Is it her fault her parents are deadbeats?Meanwhile some other student is getting over $5,000 in free money each year.

    To me these kids are going to college not just to learn, but also get a good career after they graduate. I think they should do away with so called need based grants. All these students get out of college making similar incomes. It is not fair that some get free money in the form of grants and some get none due to nothing that they have control over. It would be so much more logical to just give all students 100% the cost of college attendance in the form of loans with no questions asked. I think the government should pay interest on the loans for all students while they are enrolled full time. No FAFSA, no assuming of parents helping out or not, no moving assets around or not reporting all of the income….no games to play. Everyone is treated the same and no when is rewarded or penalized by things they can’t control. I think adult children should be responsible for college costs, not their parents.

    • Katie May 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      People the ages of 18-24 should be responsible for college. The problem is legally they arent. Which means the only loans they can get are based of parents income (which is sometimes to high). So if your parent makes too much money, you wont get loans, which means you pay most of your schooling. If you cant afford it then what are you gonna do? If the law was changed so that you become responsible for your education at age 18 then loans would be based off the students income. Meaning they could get a bigger loan to help them pay for classes.

    • Carlos May 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      I truly believe that the cost of college is directly based on this notion that parents are paying for these young adults education.

      I believe in market forces. If colleges could only base their prices on what these students could pay today I truly believe college would not be as expensive.

      In this day and age of no pensions, high tuition bills for parents own college careers, and high cost of living we should have all college based on the student’s income not the parents.
      Our current system just ensures that those who should be making room for graduates to take over the workforce have to remain because they can’t afford to retire.

  186. Chris March 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    We helped our son somewhat financially but were clear he needed to do most of the funding himself. He got some financial aid. He would have had more money for college but seems to think that going to Raves at $50 a ticket, eating out at school when he has a meal plan, etc. are part of his budget. At the end of High school he got into an accident- his fault and it was sticky situation and we made him pay his court fines/fees which took a lot of his money. He accepted his responsibilities. We encouraged him to get a part time job freshman year but he didn’t try and wanted to “adjust” to college, not sure how that went as his grades were not great. His 2nd semester he is finally seeing the what college is and studying more but still hasn’t gotten a job despite having 12 units (GE classes). We aren’t willing to give him more money until he is showing financial support to himself for his extras he would like or to save for next year. Our financial status can change year to year as I am a teacher and every year waiting to see if I have a job and dad is self employeed in construction so we fluxuate, Our son needs to understand that as an adult (19) he is responsible for his choices and live within his means. I don’t have legal access to his medical records, school records, bank records, etc but support him through the processes/systems of being coming a responsible, self reliant adult.

  187. DB February 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    The federal government is frolicking in bed with higher education. You have the audacity to claim that a young adult who is providing for their own living expenses independent of all parental support is not an independent young adult until they are 25 years old. Seriously?!

    How does not paying the living costs as a legal adult qualify as a deadbeat parent. No wonder adulthood is delayed so damn long these days. Better to have the 18 year old go independent and learn to pay their own way than to declare them dependent on parents and get the cheap little tax deduction a parent makes on a child.

    If you think the costs of a dependent n the home are as stinking low as the tax code allows, you are living in fairy tale land yourself. Our country simply can’t seem to decide whether an 18 year old is an adult or not. This breeds immaturity and irresponsibility. We can shoot them off to war at 18 but they can’t buy alcohol or tobacco until they are 21. This is pure BS nonsense.

    By the way, I carry PLUS loans from my children’s college education so I’m not one of your deadbeat parents. I just know (because I work at a college) that colleges are lined up at the pig trough of federal funding taking all they can get while throwing households into debt for their children to get a college degree. This financial pyramid scheme is going to wreak havoc on the country just like the housing fraud did.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy February 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      Hi DB,

      I would suggest that parents should not take their cues from the federal tax code when deciding whether to support their child while they are still in school. To me, it’s the right thing to do whether or not you get a tax break for being good parents.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Congress Works For Us August 10, 2012 at 12:40 am #


        DB is absolutely right. This is a financial pyramid and the only thing stopping it from collapsing is cheap money.

        Do you think that the reason Congress extended the 3% loan rate was for the benefit of the students being robbed for a so-called “education” — or do you think it was to prevent another economic catastrophe?


  188. Kate February 28, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Wow! I guess we always thought that we would provide a college education for our child, just like we provided for her other needs. Now that will be contingent on said child appreciating and making the best use of our money. So far she has an impressive track record of taking school very seriuosly (we don’t have to set high standards as she sets them herself).

    I know one family that pays for one semester a year per child, while the second semester is the students responsibility (funded by summer jobs, student loans, and scholarships). So far that seems to be working well for them.

    • Marie February 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      The title was intentionally provacative to elicit a wide range of responses. Our situation most resembles that of Kimberly O’Reilly in that my parents held expectations, but never said it would be a full ride. If I didn’t live up to their expectations, there were consequences which included picking up my own tuition, moving to a Junior College or dropping out altogether and joining the workforce. The level of entitlement eminating from the children of all ages is nauseating.

      Furthermore, I vehemently disagree with your premise that we “all have 18-19 years to plan for these expenses.” What of the family that suffers perpetual job loss, as has been the history of my 25 year marriage? 7 extended job losses of 9 months to over a year in that time period! Saving for college is NOT a priority when you are attempting to avoid living out of your car. Choosing a college account over paying medical bills is a ridiculous notion and incredibly insensative and naive.

      And what of caring for elderly parents? I am the Sandwich Generation in spades. In my early 40’s with elderly parents and children from middle & high school and into college. The expectation to take care of and pay for my aging Mother AND save for my children’s college while digging out of the burden of debt prolonged unemployment has caused is laughable and without compassion.

      Despite the circumstances our children have been born in, our daughter is a junior and is completely self supporting and will graduate in 4 years. She does not qualify for “independent” under FAFSA rules, but except for her expenses to come home on holidays and the summer, she works multiple jobs and survives on scholarships and grants. She does have some debt with subsidized loans and that makes me sick that she will begin her life as a public servant in the teaching profession, carrying forward with her this debt. I think there should be a step in between that looks at those students in similar situations to ours and judge on a case by case basis. Gratefully she is attending a university that does consider situations 3 dimensionally and it has eased some of the burden.

      But what of her little brothers?

      According to your definition, now that there has been a year without unemployment, we would be “DeadBeat Parents” because we are choosing now to pay off the debt we accrued during the recent 2 years of unemployment instead of doubling down on saving for them.

      We all have choices and perhaps not being so provocative and insulting to those of us who make choices that instill a self reliance instead of self service would be more insightful in the future.

      • Lynn O'Shaughnessy March 1, 2012 at 1:54 am #

        Hi Marie,

        Like I noted in one of my previous comments, I’m not suggesting that any parent who can’t help a child attend college is a deadbeat parent. Many Americans, particularly in these hard times, can barely support themselves much less underwrite a child’s college degree.

        That said, I’ve run into many affluent parents who have saved very little for college. I don’t understand why these parents have not been saving for many years. College shouldn’t sneak up on people.

        In my own case, my husband and I started saving for college when our children were babies even though it was not easy. I was staying home to take care of the kids and my husband did not have a high-paying job. We did without a lot of creature comforts, but we did manage to save a small amount every month for each child’s college fund. All that money — $25, $50, $75 a month can add up to a sizable college fund over 18 years.

        When my husband’s hours were cut at work during my daughter’s last year in college and my son’s first year in college those savings were a godsend.

        I believe that most people can save something for college, but most aren’t. And that’s what I find inexcusable.

        Lynn O’Shaughnessy

        • Karen H. September 27, 2012 at 8:56 am #

          Lynn, my husband and I–middle class–did save every year for my son’s college. What we didn’t realize was how much college ended up costing. Back in my day, tuition and fees was $600 per quarter. A nice one bedroom apartment in Seattle cost me $175 per month. I could manage to get through college in 6 years with a part-time minimum wage job and living on Top Ramen and oatmeal most of the time.

          These days, it’s over $7000 per quarter, and I mean at a public university. My husband and I, we figured with inflation, it’d be something like $2,000 per quarter, so we saved for that, just in case. Obviously, it fell pretty short, especially when the same exact apartment in Seattle (I checked!) now costs $1000 per month. You can get a hole in the wall, cockroach-infested apartment in Seattle in a bad neighborhood for $600 per month, if you’re lucky.

          Meanwhile, minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation. If you’re young, just out of high school, chances are good you’re not going to make much more than minimum wage.

          The problem is with inflation all around, especially with education. EVERYTHING costs more–food, rent, medical care, transportation, gas, you name it. But wages haven’t kept up, not in real dollars. 15 years ago, an office assistant with a college degree could make $12 per hour. These days, an office assistant can make $15 per hour. You can bet your bottom dollar that $15–when you consider inflation–buys a hell of a lot less. Anyone remember when gas was under 57 cents a gallon? When you could buy a dozen eggs or half a gallon of milk for 70 cents? That’s what prices were like when I went to college.

          Now gas is $4 per gallon, eggs are over $2 per dozen. Have our wages doubled in buying power in that time? Tripled? I don’t think so.

          So the bottom line is that our wages haven’t kept up with inflation, and it has to stretch to pay for everything that costs a hell of a lot more. A lot more. Especially education. A college student can’t make it any longer on part-time minimum-wage work, not like I could back when I was going to college.

  189. Kimberly O'Reilly February 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    I found both the attitude shown in the title and the attitude of the father who provided the inspiration for the article troubling. I qualified for $300 in grant money the entire time I was in undergrad (that year my parents lived off of his pension – he lost his job). My parents paid for my tuition the first semester and I paid for my books and housing. After that I was on my own. The idea that my parents are dead beats because of that is ridiculous. I am one of four children. The age difference is such that my parents had at least one teenaged girl in the house for 19 years straight. I was told by a financial aid officer that my parents HAD to pay for my school. I responded with, “Well someone forgot to tell them that. I’ll give my Dad a call and let him know that instead of paying the mortgage, credit card bills, utility bills, car payment, extra curricular costs for the kids still at home, etc. that he needs to pay my tuition.”

    I appreciate my education much more than my friends who had school paid for by parents. I knew that the debt was mine alone and at times it motivated me to stick it out, even when I wanted to throw in the towel. My Dad provided clear expectations from the get go. I never thought they would pay for college, it wasn’t a surprise that I was on my own. The idea that income alone can determine how much a person can afford to pay for college is laughable – did we learn nothing from the housing bust?

    As for the Dad who wrote in… I wish he had taken a more compassionate approach in the interest of having his views heard. Starting off a sentence implying that all kids today are cry babies was not the best way to get our attention. I am sure entitlement plays a part in the attitudes of our teenagers. I also think that a societal expectation has been set that says parents WILL pay for college. College officials make the assumption that parents WILL pay for college. The radio, internet, and television are full of ads about saving for your kids college. I’m sure if we surveyed middle to upper class families many kids would assume there was a fund for them. He is right though – there are ways for kids under 24 who are legitimately independent to be declared independent. It does take work and many who are generally independent (like I was) do not qualify as independent. It isn’t a perfect system and some on both sides of the playing field will be missed and qualify or not qualify when the opposite should have been true.

    In the end, college is expensive and students and their parents should be well educated on the options available. College can be affordable, but not everyone can have everything they want in order to make it so. I personally choose to pay 100% of my kids tuition and housing. They are responsible for their spending money. I do not want my kids to graduate with debt. I’d like for them to be able to start their professional lives debt free. It won’t all be paid for with cash and I am still paying my own loans. I do not believe I am obligated to do this. I do not believe my parents were dead beats for not doing it. It is simply a choice I am making and I believe other families have the right to make their own choice.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy February 28, 2012 at 12:21 am #

      HI Kimberly,

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate what you are saying and the headline probably was too provocative.

      I certainly am not suggesting that any parent who doesn’t pay for college is a deadbeat. Some parents don’t earn the sort of salaries that can support paying for college. In this post I was referring to parents who try to get taxpayers to pick up the tab for their children through illegal methods. I also have no patience for parents, who have the ability to help, but don’t because they are either greedy or uncompassionate. Parents have 18 or 19 years to plan for this expense. I’m shocked at how many don’t bother.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Congress Works For Us August 10, 2012 at 12:35 am #


        In every way possible, except for drinking alcohol and going to college, my “adult child” is considered just that – an adult.

        Why am I in any way obligated to pay for his/her education?

        Please note “obligated”.

        When you’re done pontificating about whose responsibility it is, I suggest you consider the millions of parents today who are following your oh-so-sage advice and paying for their kids education at the expense of their retirement.

        I know several; they are broke, with no retirement savings to speak of. And they all got there the same stupid way — buying into an over-priced, worthless education.

        Degrees do not make the person; being smart (academically or otherwise) makes the person.

        It’s no wonder we are in such a mess with all these sheep off to the Higher-Ed slaughter!

        • Megan June 21, 2013 at 3:00 am #

          I am currently a senior in college, and I am beginning to run into financial aid problems this year. My parents and grandparents had put about $7000-8000 away for me for college. I had started off at a community college to save money. I worked up to 60 hours a week to save up money to pay for college. I am now beginning my senior year of college, and as always, I do not qualify for barely any financial aid or work study, because I have to put myself as a dependent. My father is laid off and my mother makes less money per hour than I do, yet I still have to assume that they’re going to give me money for college? I live on my own, I pay my own bills, and I work as much as my school schedule allows (about 30 hours a week). I’m going to a state school, so the tuition is rather low compared to other schools.

          My parents should not be obligated to pay my tuition. It’s sickening that I won’t be considered “independent” until I’m 24. It’s sickening what the father did in the story above. It’s sickening that he cheated the system even though he had the money to send his kids to college, while me and my family have to scrape by to try and afford the tuition that the federal loans don’t cover.

          It’s just….sickening.

        • Read Before you Type September 11, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

          Lynn stated quite clearly in the post right above yours that you are taking the post the wrong way if you think she’s saying parents are required to pay for their child’s education. She is talking about a father who had his children falsely claim they were independent on the FAFSA so that tax payers footed the bill for their college expenses. Independent students rarely, if ever, have to put any money towards their education, but if they do the college will then bill them directly, in contrast to being a dependent student, the University and government will send the bill to the parent and expect them to pay on it. Because students who are expected to go full time while maintaining a job suffer academically. There is too much dumped on their plate. You can’t expext a child, within the realms of logic,r to go from being a student who always had mommy and daddy’s help and have zero real world experience to be able to handle all of that. And having them wait and earn real world experience is not a solution either. Every day you wait after graduating primary schooling to go to college lessens your chance if successfully earning your degree. Parents shouldn’t have to foot the entire bill, but honestly, what kind of parent are you if you don’t want to help at all? It speaks volumes about how much you actually care for your child.

          • Lynn O'Shaughnessy September 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

            Thanks Jacy for clarifying that for me!

            Lynn O’Shaughnessy

    • Linda January 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Ms. O’Reilly, it sounds like you win the prize for being the only one that can really understand life. And I bet you can thank your parents for teaching you some great thinking skills. Some people are not born with a rich family or even a slightly well to do one. I think people who have high negative opinions of those of us who can not afford to send our children to college ought to listen to you! Thanks for understanding that sometimes as parents we can’t help our children finacially but yet we still love them as much or more than those parents that can. I thank God that I am not stoned to death for being a so called “dead beat” parent. Wish I could help my child but the high cost of living in the state of anywhere in the US is preventing that.
      With people like you there is hope.

  190. Kelly February 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Well, it must have been different (easier) 25 years ago. When my husband was 19, we had moved out of our parents’ house and got our own apartment, and worked full time to support ourselves. Six months later when he applied to a private CA art school, the school’s financial officer let him go back and complete paperwork to declare himself as an emancipated minor, and he ended up qualifying for quite a bit of aid. I’m wondering though, why don’t more kids do this (emancipation)?

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy February 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for your comment. The laws have changed so students can’t just declare themselves independent or emancipated. If it was that easy to do, everybody would go that route which would destroy the financial aid system.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Paul Schirf September 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        A student doesn’t need to declair themself as emancipated at 18; it happens automatically when a person turns 18. This has not changed. You are still considered a dependent, but it’s a seperate issue.

  191. Michael Keathley February 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Thank you for clarifying this issue. As both a parent and an educator, I appreciate the information as there is much misinformation out there. The title really threw me, however. There may also be more to Dan’s story. There doesn’t appear to be mention of mom’s role in supporting these seven children. It’s possible that Dan is a single father not receiving any support from mom. Courts rarely enforce court-ordered child support when mom doesn’t pay–if it’s ever ordered in the first place. This puts a single father in a near impossible situation. How many of us could afford to pay for college for seven children? While I agree with you on your assessment of a child becoming independent for financial aid, the leap from Dan’s comments to “deadbeat” parent is a bit non sequitur.

    • Sumi Skyz September 29, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      I agree totally. I think the author may want to trade places for a month in his shoes.Its hard out here and we are not doin our kids any favors by not showing them the importance of hard work and reward. Study now… Play later. I mean with 7 kids as a father he knows he will never be a atm machine for that many. So the rules for that family unit may be differant…. However very effective. These kids will make it. When I applied for college I had lived on my own since I was a minor. And not believe all the stuff the government asked about ppl that barely raised at I had not lived with in ages. Smh. I think most would support our kids. But seven? smh give the guy some slack.

  192. Rachel February 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    This saddened me. People are suffering by following the rules and you have parents encouraging this behavior. It’s just wrong. I have a friend who has yet to attend college because she is has yet to turn 24, as if she could control that. Her parents are unable or willing to help support her financially or emotionally. The amount of fin-aid she qualified for would still require her to take out heavy loans. In hopes of keeping her motivated, I scheduled a campus tour at her dream school a few months ago. We met with a financial aid advisor who said, basically anything less than legally emancipating herself from her parents, having a child or getting married would they be able to talk to her about a realistic financial aid package. It was disheartening that the school couldn’t look at her as an individual – at 22, and had to hold her parents finances as her de facto income.

  193. Becky February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    I was an independent student for my last two years of college because my parents were physically abusive. Even so, this required a lot of paperwork to prove. I initially had to provide a police report and hospital records, along with a letter from the mother of my boyfriend, who I was staying with while not at school. Each year I claimed independent status I had to fill out my FAFSA on paper so my financial aid counselor could sign off on my special circumstances.

    • Lynn O'Shaughnessy February 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      Hi Becky,

      I am sorry to hear of your experience! Abusive parents is one of the legitimate ways that a student can claim themselves as independent. Good luck.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      • Skip September 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        I was independent when I was sixteen living in a multitude of locations through my last years of high school. I had no police reports. And yet despite being on my own LITERALLY, without going into the military I couldn’t get assistance for college because I wasn’t the “magic age” of 24. It’s TOTAL BS to tell a kid they can’t qualify for financial aid at 18 years old let alone 21!!! I was old enough to die for my country but according to the financial aid department I was still living with my parents. I want to throw in about a half dozen expletives here. If you only knew how bad.

        • Sumi Skyz September 29, 2012 at 5:31 am #

          Agreed. In othrr countries ppl are married with a family at 21… But here adults cant even begin the education process until they lose interest or have bills from workin at underpaid jobs for years waiting to qualify. Smh.

      • Linda October 14, 2012 at 2:14 am #

        Be very careful on that on I had a daughter taken from me at 13 she is now 21 I was never abusive ever the state took her farther my husband died 3 years earlier she was evolved in some very very dark situations it was heartbreaking for me she manipulated the system to get away and live wild stay out till 3:00am on school nights in her new family it tore me up we have a relationship and have since she turned 18 she told me over and over before she left me she was going to have a new family and one day she would be back. I will right a book one day on this just change the names we love each other but things will never be the same! So be careful what you think or say everything isn’t always what it appears to be unless you know all the facts!

    • pissd July 14, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      All you parents who can’t afford to send your kids but actually want to, I commend you and I know it truly is painful for you to want to help your kids but can’t.

      Many people, parents included, are competitive and hateful. Men fear their sons and women fear their daughters, so they handicap success and punish them with all these self-righteous justifications of why they were responsible enough to have sex and procreate multiple times, but they weren’t “lazy” so it is now their kids responsibility to pick up the parents shortcomings, including social and financ