Do Parents Have To Pay For College?

With college tuition constantly rising on the upward climb, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to single-handedly support their pursuits of higher education. But even more than that, steeper tuition costs may mean that some parents become unable or even unwilling to pay the large cost for their children to go to school. So the next question is, do parents have to pay for college?

The truth is, parents are by no means obligated to pay for their children to go to college. Having your parents handle that burden is purely a privilege. While some parents may insist on taking this financial responsibility to encourage and push their kids to go to university, it is definitely not a requirement. So if you’re wondering do parents have to pay for college, the answer is “no.” There is no law or decree demanding that a college tuition comes along with the responsibility of parenthood, and must be provided and readily available for the child.

It is no surprise to anyone that college costs a good deal of money, especially in more recent years, and it is understandable why parents may hesitate in the decision to freely spend all that money on tuition alone. Do parents have to pay for college? No. Having parents who pay for college is a mere treat, and your tuition is essentially their gift to you. If you are fortunate enough to have parents who will pay your full college tuition, you should be extremely thankful for them, because it is becoming a rarer act for parents to carry the financial burden of their kid’s college education.

Many times, parents have to specifically set aside college funds or take money out of their personal savings in order to be able to afford college for their children. This money does not come too easily if you take into account what it costs to afford basic survival and child rearing necessities, as well as extra mortgage payments, any luxury items your family may purchase, or vacations your family may take. If you do have parents who are eager to pay in order for you to experience and gain the value of higher education, do not hesitate in expressing your gratitude towards them.

Now there are other possibilities you can work out with your parents if they are hesitant in paying for college. One option is to have your parents pay your complete tuition now, under the condition that you will pay them back some time in the future. They will be paying for you with the understanding that it is merely an interest-free loan.

Another choice is to have them pay a certain amount, and you can pay the dividend. For example, your parents can pay half of your college tuition, and you can work to pay the remaining half.

If, however, your parents just aren’t up for paying for college, do not fret! There are several ways to receive financial assistance. Applications for financial aid, student loans, and scholarships are all readily available to students who need help paying for college. Granted, it is not guaranteed that you will receive financial aid or win any scholarships, but student loans are generally fairly accessible.

Do parents have to pay for college? No, but my own parents actually have enough saved to pay off both my college tuition as well as my younger sister’s tuition when she graduates from high school. It was simply always an unspoken assumption that they would continue to pay for me and my sister, for we never had any discussion that told me otherwise. They have never expressed any interest in having me support myself monetarily. I know I am extremely lucky in this aspect and I let my parents know regularly how much I appreciate them financially supporting me through the institution of higher education.

One petty downfall to being completely financially dependent upon your parents though, is that in the event of an argument, they might threaten to stop paying for college. When I come across a dispute with my mom, she is not afraid to play the college tuition card. At that point I basically know I must give in and do what she asks. I know this minor problem is trivial compared to the struggle of worrying about where to physically earn money for college, but I just wanted to make aware that you run the risk of losing some freedom if you allow your parents to pay everything. Your independence may be a trade-off for tuition money.

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Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang

Ashley Yang will be entering her junior year at the University of California, Davis in the fall, where she is pursuing a double major in Economics and Communication. Outside of class, she loves to see her friends and family, jam out to T-Swift, make smoothies, and curl up and unwind with a relaxing book. Other interests of hers include ballet and gymnastics, skiing, travel, volunteer work, chick-flick movies, animals, and Christmas.
Ashley Yang

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