You know...that's great, but...what if education hadn't been the priority for you? What if one of you wanted to buy a house and get married, and raise kids, without going to school first (or at all)? Would they have had any help?
Let me just say that the only one of those careers that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out to even consider is engineering...and it's nowhere near attractive enough to make four years of hell worth it.
I understand that not everyone would want one of the degrees any of my siblings or I have, but- the fact is- WE wanted them, and now we have them, without the debt (though, since DH's parents didn't feel the same need to help with college, we have his college debt).
It is funny, the way we were raised, college and a "professional" degree was as "understood" as high school, ykwim? That was evidenced by them paying for it. It wasn't "will you go to college?" it was "where will you go and what will you study?"
It is not as if my parents would have disowned one of us if we hadn't taken that path, it was just very unlikely that we would choose not to take that path, given the way we were raised and the value they placed in it.
I don't see any issue with the fact that they would give $40,000 for an education, but not a wedding, it was their money to be spent on what they valued. They also paid for braces, but not nose jobs, ykwim? (even for those whose braces were only cosmetic)
It is funny, my dh is in debt over his college degrees, and even left his field to be a firefighter (which one does not need a degree for here), but- he is still glad he has his degrees and still wants our kids to seek degrees, even if they want to follow him and be a firefighter. I am sure that sounds strange, but- it must just be familial differences in values, I don't think any are more "right" than others, just different.