Paying For College – Students Or Parents?

by Leon on January 21, 2013

When you’re a parent holding your newborn for the very first time, there are probably a lot of thoughts that run through your mind. One of them just may be that you hope that you’ll be in a position to provide your son or daughter with all that they need in order to be a thriving adult. And, without a doubt, that would have to include sending them off to college.

Of course, when it comes to deciding who should pay for it, it may not be as black-and-white as it might initially appear. On one hand, if you’re in a financial state where you can pay all of their way, it could be a real blessing. On the other, as the price of tuition only continues to increase, that may not be the most realistic route to go. Plus, there’s something to be said for a college student contributing to their own educational future (they tend to appreciate it more when they do).

So, when it comes to deciding who should ultimately pay for college, the parents or the student, we’ve provided a few options for you to think about before reaching a final decision that is best for you and your home:

Tuition and retirement often happen at the same time. If you speak with a financial consultant about how to provide for your child’s college tuition, one thing that a lot of them will tell you is that you definitely should not do whatever would require pulling from your retirement fund. The reality is that your child is younger and so they have a lot more opportunities to make money than you will. This is why it’s smart to have a savings account that is allotted for your child’s tuition; one that is separate from any of your own future plans.

Scholarships and grants are available. One of the main reasons why a lot of parents want to assume the responsibility of their child’s tuition is because they don’t want their son or daughter entering into the workplace with any amount of debt. Taking out financial aid is an option for most students, but it’s definitely a loan that must be paid back (and can do amazing amounts of damage if it’s not). However, financial aid is not the only funding option for a student. Each year, there are articles reporting the fact that there are millions and millions of dollars that are wasted simply due to the fact that people do not make the time to apply for scholarships and grants. There are thousands of them at your child’s disposal and a couple of hours each weekend to fill out some applications can make it well worth everyone’s while.

Jobs encourage a sense of responsibility. Whether your child is preparing to be an incoming freshman or applying to get one of the masters in human resources degrees from a reputable school, college is going to be one of their main priorities for the next few years. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have some kind of employment, though. Whether it’s a part-time job or even work study, one benefit of having a job while in school is that it teaches young people to have a greater sense of responsibility along with how to balance several demands all at once. It’s not about “not helping your child” by paying all of their tuition. It’s more about “providing them with the tools” needed to be an independent adult. Just something to think about.

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