Parents should want the best for their children. Nowadays, the chance of obtaining a decent job is minimal without a college education. A college education today is as necessary as a high school education used to be for previous generations. It is the parents’ moral responsibility to give their children every advantage that they can for them to succeed in life. Success without a college education is becoming increasingly rare.
College students need to work to gain experience. No one is arguing against that. Without experience, the student will have trouble finding a job after they graduate. However, it’s very hard to work full-time, attend school full-time, and maintain good grades. If the parents do not help their child, their grades will undoubtedly suffer. If this happens, at best they won’t be able to get into grad school, and at worse they will be expelled from the college. If the student chooses to attend school part-time, it will cost them more in the long run. Some colleges charge more if you are attending part-time. In addition, most colleges do not allow students to live on campus unless they are attending full-time. Living on campus is necessary for many reasons. For one, most four year colleges do not close when the weather is bad. Many teachers will say that if you cannot get to the college in the snow that you should live on campus. But more than that, it is hard to have the full college experience without living on campus.
Grants and scholarships only pay a small portion of the high cost of college. If the parents do not help their child pay for college, then the rest of the cost has to be covered with student loans. Your child will be paying off the debt for up to twenty years. Parents have the option of saving for college from the point the child is born. The child doesn’t have this choice. By the time that the child is old enough to work, it’s too late to save up enough money for college.
The payments on student loans start six months after the student graduates. It can take six months or longer to find a decent job after college. And if your child isn’t making enough money, they won’t be able to afford the necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, etc.) and pay the student loan payments. Many people default on their student loans and ruin their credit. Once your credit is ruined, it deeply affects your life. Some employers run credit checks on potential employees before hiring them. If your child has bad credit, they may also have a hard time finding a job. Not to mention many places run a credit check before they’ll let you rent a place to live or buy car insurance.
If you don’t have the money on hand to pay for your child’s college education, don’t feel like you’re a bad parent. But also don’t use that as an excuse not to help your child. You could offer to pay, or help pay, the student loan payments. If you start paying on the loans immediately, then that’s less interest that will accrue on the unsubsidized loans.