Student Debt (part 2)

Yesterday we talked about the valuable lessons that can be learned if a student pays for their education themselves, today we look at the alternate view that it is the parent’s duty (or a relatives duty) to pay for the student’s education.

Pros of Student Not Paying

  • Student graduates with no debt load, and can start their working career with a clean financial slate. This is an incredibly valuable gift to any young person, and can put them far ahead of their peers financially.
  • Whoever pays for this, does get to use the Tax Credit for tuition on their taxes (a stretch, but still kind of a pro).
  • Student has more time to concentrate on their studies and not have to worry about their financial position and where their next meal might be coming from.

Cons of Student Not Paying

  • The student has no concept of how much money their education cost, and how much work had to be done to allow them to go to school. In my case, I didn’t really realize the hard work that both my parents did to give me the luxury of not having to worry about paying for my education, until I had kids of my own.
    • Another underlying thematic premise of this journal that I really didn’t realize how hard my parents worked, until I had kids of my own.
  • Lack of pride can happen, and a lack of drive is a derivative of this. If there was no “sweat equity” invested in the education, how does the student value their accomplishment?

Is either methodology the correct one?

Thus far I have had some very insightful comments from my readers, so tomorrow I think I’ll have a look at the comments and give my opinions in this area as well (as a Student who had parents who paid for the education (I paid for the partying mostly)).

Keep those comments coming, I want to hear your opinions, or even your stories, this topic is important to discuss.

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  • Amy April 29, 2008, 1:56 PM

    Hi, I have been lurking here for a few months and finally think I have something worthwhile to say here.

    I graduated with a BA in 2003 with very little debt. I worked like crazy every summer (maybe taking 2-3 days for a camping excursion with friends every summer but that was it). I also worked most Saturdays during the school year. Seeing as I attended a Christian university here in Ontario, my earnings didn’t stretch as far as I would have liked, so I applied for DadSAP:) My parents were in a position to help me out, and I’m very grateful for that. I gave all I could towards my education and my parents paid the rest. The only money I was required to repay was the amount paid for living on campus. I only lived about 20-30 minutes away from school so that was considered a luxury, not a necessity. Although, when I moved on campus in my second year, my GPA went from an 8 to a 10. I am the oldest of five children, so concentrating on my studies was better achieved in my own space with my own computer, etc. Plus, I loved the freedom:) Those years really taught me a lot, about discipline, my field, and also in gaining life experience.

    So like a few people have commented already, it really doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. We had started putting money aside for our children but we know we won’t be able to carry the full load. We plan to use this same system someday.

    Reply

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