intentionally NOT saving for your child's college? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I don't think it's a responsibility, but I do think it's a gift that parents can choose to give to their children. It is a gift that we will choose to give to DSD. I think there are many roads to happiness. I know I wouldn't be completely fulfilled without my job and I know I couldn't have my job without education. I could have struggled through it all, but I am grateful that my parents helped me through it. My life would have been much more difficult if they decided it was not their responsibility, or if they needed to teach me a lesson, or if they wanted me to wait two years before starting college, etc.

By the way, I feel a very sentimental connection to Peppermint post, as I am one of four siblings, and my parents ALWAYS supported us financially, and NONE of us ever took it for granted. Three of us go to my mom's house at least once week. The fourth one lives 5000 miles away, and stays connected over the internet.

We are a family. A family is a family whether you are 5, 15, or 50. If I am 45 years old and I need 15K for emergency expense, I know that my parents and my siblings can scrape it up for me, and it is NOT a one sided road by any means. If any of my siblings OR my parents are ever in a true need of something, I will always be there for them, material help or otherwise. I don't ask for money. Neither do my siblings, but we offer each other support when one or another family goes through tough times.

One time I pulled out a check from an envelope, from my brother. It had 3K in there. He knew we were struggling, and without any word of forewarning he just mailed me a check. I never asked for it, and fully intend to pay it back. But it brought tears to my eyes, because I know, I can count on my siblings AND my parents without asking.

I want to offer my kids no less of a support than my parents and siblings offer to me. WE are one blood, one family. Finances, joys, tears, all is shared. If it is less of a struggle for us to pay for education for DSD than it is to do it for herself, then we'll be there for her, every step of the way. Just like my parents were for me.

If I had a particularly ungrateful kid that needed to adjust his/her attitude about life - I might reconsider, otherwise, I don't feel the need to either teach them the value of a dollar by sending them into college loans, nor do I feel "we are done" just because the kid turned 18.

Family is a family forever. Siblings are siblings forever. Parents are parents forever. Education is something that many professions demand not only to break into a field, but to work in the field. You can't teach, be a doctor, be dentist or a psychologist, without a degree. There is a reason why so many mamas on this forum are struggling through getting a degree, going to night classes, etc. It helps. It just does. It opens doors, and if I can anything to help DSD to open those doors for her, I'll will, because that's what family does for each other, you know?

I know my parents did it for all of us because they wanted to make life easier for us, not because someone told them they had to. I want to make life easier for my kids, and that's all there is to it.

I don't think everyone has to subscribe to our family values, but I treasure them enough to grow my own little family in a similar way. Paying for kids' education feel right, not paying feels wrong.
I'm totally confused as to what any of this has to do with paying for college. My family is very close. My mom would help me out any time I needed it, if she could (she and dad are divorced, and that's had some profound financial implications for her)...time, money, emotional support, whatever. My brother helps out when he can. My sister...my sister almost certainly has a personality disorder, so there are some complications there...but we're still all very close. Her son and my son are like brothers, not cousins.

However, none of us went to college, and none of us want to. That has nothing to do with how close our family is.

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#122 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Why would he need the money if he not going to college?
- To buy a home and/or land
- To start up his own business
- To travel
- As a cushion for unexpected life changes
- To start a family on firm grounding

There are countless options out there besides college.

I have a question- what if your child decides to go to college but gets one of those degrees that are viewed widely as a waste as they don't bring well-paying jobs?

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DS is only 3, but we talk to him about going to college after high school and then continuing on to graduate school. Hopefully after 18 years of preparation he will know that attending college is the best choice to make something of his life and to give him options for the future. College is not a choice; it is the next step after high school. What else would he do with his life?
I'm sorry but to me that is not preparation but conditioning. What if what he wants to do doesn't require college?

As for what else he would do if not go to college I am baffled by this question. Do you know how many people don't go and have rich full meaningful lives? I don't understand what you mean by this question. Are you suggesting by not going he will have nothing to live for?

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#123 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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I want to make sure my kids are able to fully support themselves without relying on a spouse/partner. If they should find themselves in a crappy relationship or if that breadwinner spouse/partner dies I want my child to be able to take care of themselves.

I do not have a college education (I have some college credits but they are so old they probably don't matter). If my husband should pass away or leave me, I have no way to support my three kids. All the money I would make would barely cover their daycare costs (assuming I make what I made when I last worked 3 1/2 years ago). I don't want my children to be put in a position like this with their own adult lives.
I was the breadwinner for 12 years (more than that, but I'm talking after I got married the first time). However, I've now been out of the work force for 6 years. I'm not good at networking. It's very unlikely that I'd be able to support myself and the kids on my own. It's not likely I'd be able to even with a degree. If I'd had a 4 year degree, and 8 years of job experience, instead of 12 years of experience, I'd still have been out of the work force for 6 years (and counting). It's not like I could just walk into a high-paying job, based on having a 19 year old degree (that's what it would be, if I'd gone right after high school, and completely it on schedule).

DH doesn't have a college education, and he supports us very nicely. He interviews well, and is good at selling himself. I'm not - and that lack costs me far, far more than my lack of a degree ever will.

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#124 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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That's fair enough...but it sure would have made me feel like crap if my siblings got that kind of money handed to them because they wanted something my parents approved of, but I wanted something else...like a house. It doesn't matter in your case, as you all went to school, but I can see that being a huge family issue.
This wouldn't have been an issue in my family. In fact, it wasn't an issue in my family.

Everyone's situation and needs are different. My sister's education cost way more than mine. I have absolutely no resentment, why would I? I do not expect a check to match the difference either. Love doesn't work this way, and I'm happy to say, our family doesn't work this way either.

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#125 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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Do you know how many people don't go and have rich full meaningful lives?
Unless I'm mixing up my posters, she already addressed that. People who think they have rich full meaningful lives, but don't have degrees, are only imagining that they have rich full meaningful lives. That's not quite what was said, but it seemed to be gist of it.

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#126 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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I loved learning, too. My mom instilled that in me - the educational system largely killed it. Learning and formal education are not the same thing.



Why? As the daughter of a furniture mover, I find this sentiment off-putting and snobbish to an appalling degree. FWIW, my dad, despite a lot of other problems in his life, took more satisfaction in his work than 90% of the people I've met in my life...even those with degrees.

I guess that you can thank my brick layer grandfather for my apparent snobbishness. He is the only person in my family that did not attend college because he wanted to make sure that his sister was properly educated since their mother could not afford to do so. He took great pride in his work, he loved his work, but he knew that with college education (and not just a 4 year degree) that life was easier, better. Yes he had a good life, but he knew that havign an education would have made it better.

But, what if what he wants in life doesn't involve an "excellent education"? Why should he be limited to what you want for him, instead of what he wants for himself?

Why is the idea of a child attending college such an anathema? Obtaining a college degree will not prevent anyone from doing what the want to do in life.


If ds1 can't comprehend the responsibility that comes with student loans, then I find it highly unlikely he'll comprehend the responsibility that comes with spending our hard-earned money, either. If he's not ready to take responsibility for his financial situation, then I think he should consider working full-time for a year or two, and finding out what that's like, before he starts college or whatever.

FWIW, my mom had the same viewpoint that I do. Since she was in a financial situation to help out, at least to some extent, she would have done so if that's what I wanted. Since I didn't, it didn't matter. She did give me a heck of a deal on room and board for five years, though...so when I moved out, I had a nice little nest egg in the bank. If I hadn't married my ex, I'd have owned a home (probably just an apartment) within a year.

In any case, I don't believe I have a responsibility to finance everything ds1 wants now. (We certainly couldn't afford the language department field trip to Greece, for example, even thought it would have been a wonderful experience for him.) I don't see why I should suddenly have to do that, just because he's decided that what he wants is a college education.
And I guess that we are two different people, because DS, DH and I would have worked part time jobs and sold lemonade, to pay for the trip to Greece

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#127 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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This wouldn't have been an issue in my family. In fact, it wasn't an issue in my family.

Everyone's situation and needs are different. My sister's education cost way more than mine. I have absolutely no resentment, why would I? I do not expect a check to match the difference either. Love doesn't work this way, and I'm happy to say, our family doesn't work this way either.
What does the cost of your sister's education being more than yours have to do with my question? I'm talking about how I'd feel if my parents basically told me that what my siblings wanted was worth spending their money on, but what I wanted wasn't. It has nothing to do with how much money is involved. I have no idea how you even got that out of my post.

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#128 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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Unless I'm mixing up my posters, she already addressed that. People who think they have rich full meaningful lives, but don't have degrees, are only imagining that they have rich full meaningful lives. That's not quite what was said, but it seemed to be gist of it.
Oh me.....

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#129 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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I guess my question is whether you'd want your kids to seek degrees if they didn't want to? The assumption generally (don't know about your family) seems to be that if the parents want it, the kids will to. But, what if they don't?
No, I don't want them wasting time and money to please me, and my parents didn't want that either. I don't assume that because we want it, they will do it, I just kind of figure that given our family, they will likely want to do it, and I want to pay for it if they do.

It is funny, as much as you cannot imagine how it would be ok with a kid to have their sibling's college paid for, and not get an equal amount of money for whatever their heart desired. I cannot for the life of me figure out how that would be a problem. I mean, I suppose if you see it as "my parents owe me something", but we never saw it that way at all. My parents sent my older siblings to Catholic grade school, but not me, I went to public. It never dawned on me that they owe me an equal amount. If we are at a bookstore, I will buy my kids a book, but not a toy, they have to use their own money for toys, but- I am more than willing to buy them each a book. I truly don't see what is "unfair" about that. But- again, if a person felt "entitled" to their parents money, perhaps that would be an issue.

Do you think it is a problem that parents are willing to pay for teens (cosmetic) braces, but not a nose job?

I figure, the way my parents did things, and the way we intend to is "fair and equal". I am willing to put all of you through college, but not pay for houses/cars/weddings for anyone. Everyone has equal access, but not everyone will want it

Honestly trying to wrap my head around this one, so bear with me. I had 2 siblings go to private colleges, and my other sibling and I went to state school. Do you think my other sibling and I should feel entitled to our parents giving us the monetary difference? I mean, we CHOSE state school, we could have gone private too, but we didn't. We didn't "get as much" money out of our parents, do you think it would be reasonable for us to hit them up for it?

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#130 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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I'm totally confused as to what any of this has to do with paying for college.
I felt it was an odd thing to say that it was not a responsibility of a parent to pay for college. I was trying to make a point that it is simply a nice thing to do, and family does for each other nice things because of love. Sometimes they do small things for each other, and other times they do very big things for each other.

I was trying to explain why it feels wrong for me not to support a child's college education, I guess I wasn't very successful with my post if it left you confused.

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#131 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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Why is the idea of a child attending college such an anathema? Obtaining a college degree will not prevent anyone from doing what the want to do in life.
Nor will someone choosing to not go to college/other post secondary education prevent anyone from doing what they want to do in life...

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#132 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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This wouldn't have been an issue in my family. In fact, it wasn't an issue in my family.

Everyone's situation and needs are different. My sister's education cost way more than mine. I have absolutely no resentment, why would I? I do not expect a check to match the difference either. Love doesn't work this way, and I'm happy to say, our family doesn't work this way either.
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What does the cost of your sister's education being more than yours have to do with my question? I'm talking about how I'd feel if my parents basically told me that what my siblings wanted was worth spending their money on, but what I wanted wasn't. It has nothing to do with how much money is involved. I have no idea how you even got that out of my post.
Sorry, I cross posted and also must have completely misunderstood your point. As I took it the same way Oriole did.

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#133 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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Nor will someone choosing to not go to college/other post secondary education prevent anyone from doing what they want to do in life...
Yup.

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He took great pride in his work, he loved his work, but he knew that with college education (and not just a 4 year degree) that life was easier, better. Yes he had a good life, but he knew that havign an education would have made it better.
How did he feel his life would be better? For that matter why do you believe a college education makes life better? Genuinely curious here...

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#134 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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Nice.

Yes, we will be helping out all of our kids. We have the luxury of doing so thanks to dp having a trade that we've turned into a business that now employs others. Of course they're too young yet to know what they want to be but *I* hope and pray that none of them ever feel the same way you do. To do so would be to discount our entire family of carpenters, ironworkers, electricians, mechanics and plumbers.

I guess we all just think we're doing alright because we lack an excellent education.
An education is about more than making money. It is about learning as much as one can in a myriad of disciplines, becoming well rounded. Trade school only teaches a trade, nothing more or nothing less. College allows students the oportunity to further their academic horizons.

I am happy to know that trades are successful for your family.

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#135 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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And I guess that we are two different people, because DS, DH and I would have worked part time jobs and sold lemonade, to pay for the trip to Greece
Yeah, well, I wasn't prepared to tell my other two children that we had to leave them at grandma's house all day, every day, to sell lemonade or work a part-time job (not terribly feasible for me, either, as I've been suffering pregnancy fatigue so bad that I have trouble even getting out of bed, and am done by dinner time every night), so their big brother could go on a trip. I also highly doubt that the 12 days from the time the school gave us the notice until the first installment was due was sufficient, yk? (We won't address the fact that dh was on pager the first week of that, and wouldn't have been able to fulfill any kind of part-time job commitment.

I don't think it would be all that healthy for ds1 to believe that his trip to Greece was more important than his siblings getting time with their parents, either.

The belief that a family could pay for a trip to Greece, just by getting a part-time job or selling lemonade, is also kind of snobbish. If I weren't pregnant, and if I didn't have dd and ds2, I might have been able to do it, logistically. We're almost at a point where we could do it, but that doens't mean that everybody who says "I can't afford that" could, if they just made it a priority. But, honestly...if ds1 wanted to go that badly, he could have looked for a job. I'm certainly not going to put the rest of the family out over something ds1 doesn't even care about that much himself. We've already told him that if he's interested in the next trip (12th grade), he can come up with half the cost - based on what this year's trip was - and we'll help with the rest, if we can (ie. dh hasn't lost his job, neither of us has died, etc.)

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#136 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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Nor will someone choosing to not go to college/other post secondary education prevent anyone from doing what they want to do in life...
Well, that's not exactly true. If I wanted to be a public school teacher in MA, I have to have Master's degree. Lack of degree would prevent me from getting my dream job (if teaching was my dream job, that is).

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#137 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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An education is about more than making money. It is about learning as much as one can in a myriad of disciplines, becoming well rounded. Trade school only teaches a trade, nothing more or nothing less. College allows students the oportunity to further their academic horizons.

I am happy to know that trades are successful for your family.
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An education is about more than making money. It is about learning as much as one can in a myriad of disciplines, becoming well rounded. Trade school only teaches a trade, nothing more or nothing less. College allows students the oportunity to further their academic horizons.
You don't necessarily have to go to college for this, though.

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#138 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Well, that's not exactly true. If I wanted to be a public school teacher in MA, I have to have Master's degree. Lack of degree would prevent me from getting my dream job (if teaching was my dream job, that is).
I think the point was sometimes dream jobs don't come requiring college.

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#139 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Well, that's not exactly true. If I wanted to be a public school teacher in MA, I have to have Master's degree. Lack of degree would prevent me from getting my dream job (if teaching was my dream job, that is).
But as I've come to find out, having a master's degree will prevent you from being hired as, say, an administrative assistant. As I so recently found out. You start to find out that you have to delete things from your resume so you'll be hired. It works both ways.

I think it all comes down to supporting your child's dreams as much as you can without doing damage to your own finances/retirement. That means something different to every family and every person.

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#140 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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I missed these, because they were inside my quote:

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I guess that you can thank my brick layer grandfather for my apparent snobbishness. He is the only person in my family that did not attend college because he wanted to make sure that his sister was properly educated since their mother could not afford to do so. He took great pride in his work, he loved his work, but he knew that with college education (and not just a 4 year degree) that life was easier, better. Yes he had a good life, but he knew that havign an education would have made it better.
How did he "know" that? My dad is the single person I've ever met with the most job satisfaction. I've met lots of people with degrees who don't have anywhere near the job satisfaction he had...and many with degrees who don't have even close to the life satisfaction of many without degrees. Since he didn't have a degree, and didn't live life as someone with a degree, this was a belief - it wasn't knowledge.

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Why is the idea of a child attending college such an anathema? Obtaining a college degree will not prevent anyone from doing what the want to do in life.
The idea of someone attending college, because that's what someone else wants them to do, is what's an anathema to me. Obtaining a college degree absolutely would have prevented me from doing what I wanted in life...because what I wanted was to get the hell out of the formal education system. I hated everything about it, and barely managed to stick it out long enough to graduate from high school. (Yes - that was "expected" in our family, but I'm the only one who did it.) I'm 41 years old (in 5 days). I've been poor. I've been in a bad marriage. I've worked in plenty of jobs where people with half my skills made more money than me, partly because they had degrees or certifications that I don't have. I've still never had any interest whatsoever in spending 4-5 years of my life on a campus. That would be 4-5 years of my life that I could never get back...and someone else's expectations aren't a good enough reason for me to give up 4-5 years of my life. I don't think it's a good enough reason for anybody else, either.

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#141 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rootzdawta View Post
I think it all comes down to supporting your child's dreams as much as you can without doing damage to your own finances/retirement. That means something different to every family and every person.
I agree wholeheartedly with this!

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#142 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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For real? What if he had met someone he wanted to spend his life with and she was going to be working making enough for them to live on and he was going to be the stay at home parent? What if that was the thing that would make him happiest in life?
No matter how hard I try I can not answer that question without possibly getting a few warning points.

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#143 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
I want to make sure my kids are able to fully support themselves without relying on a spouse/partner. If they should find themselves in a crappy relationship or if that breadwinner spouse/partner dies I want my child to be able to take care of themselves.

I do not have a college education (I have some college credits but they are so old they probably don't matter). If my husband should pass away or leave me, I have no way to support my three kids. All the money I would make would barely cover their daycare costs (assuming I make what I made when I last worked 3 1/2 years ago). I don't want my children to be put in a position like this with their own adult lives.
OK but how does one ensure that? If the child doesn't want to go to university/college/trade school as part of their plan... isn't that their call to make?

I have always wanted to be a Mom and a midwife... those have always been my callings. I am going to be able to do that thanks to hard work and some luck.

My partner when it comes right down to it would be more than content to be "just" at home with our children. It helps me because I'll be able to trust who is with them and be able to go and do what I feel called to do. It wasn't how I saw my plan playing out but...

And this is why we carry life insurance. To try and bridge that gap if one of us were to pass away. In terms of him leaving me... that would mean that I would have to find a job doing something I liked much less and I'm not even sure what that would be. The same is true for him. If I left him with the kids and just disappeared I'm not really sure how he'd make ends meet with daycare etc.

The solution is not to throw money into a degree one doesn't want though that may or may not translate into a full time stable job that pays enough to cover everything right out of school... let alone once it's been sitting unused for years and years.

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#144 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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What does the cost of your sister's education being more than yours have to do with my question? I'm talking about how I'd feel if my parents basically told me that what my siblings wanted was worth spending their money on, but what I wanted wasn't. It has nothing to do with how much money is involved. I have no idea how you even got that out of my post.
In the quote you say it would have made you feel awful if your sister got money for something your parents approved, and you didn't receive the same amount for something you wanted (education vs. house).

In my reply, I was simply mentioning, it doesn't really matter to me how much my parents give to either one of my siblings, nor do I care what they give it for, nor do I expect the same amount to be given to me. I don't feel awful about it. I don't think that they value my sister's career more than mine, just because they paid thousands more for it, and I do not expect a check to match, you know?

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#145 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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No matter how hard I try I can not answer that question without possibly getting a few warning points.
So basically you want what you want for your son and anything he wants that is different isn't good? Am I understanding this right?

I am wondering if this carries over into his career choice. Do you also expect him to major in a certain thing?

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#146 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peppermint View Post
Sorry, I cross posted and also must have completely misunderstood your point. As I took it the same way Oriole did.
Oops - this thread is flying so fast, I only just saw your other post. It has nothing to do with the amount of money. It has to do with my parents saying, "well, what your sister wants is worth spending money on, but what you want isn't".

I have trouble with the braces thing, because I've never seen anyone with purely cosmetic braces. It's hard for me to imagine.

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#147 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
In the quote you say it would have made you feel awful if your sister got money for something your parents approved, and you didn't receive the same amount for something you wanted (education vs. house).
WHERE did I say anything about getting the same amount?? I was responding to Peppermint. I have no idea if I'm right, but I actually assumed that there were probably differences in tuition between engineering, banking, law school and an education degree. She never suggested that her parents were spending equal amounts in the first place.

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In my reply, I was simply mentioning, it doesn't really matter to me how much my parents give to either one of my siblings, nor do I care what they give it for, nor do I expect the same amount to be given to me. I don't feel awful about it. I don't think that they value my sister's career more than mine, just because they paid thousands more for it, and I do not expect a check to match, you know?
Neither do I, and I never said I did.

If you wouldn't be at least a little hurt that your parents thought that what your siblings wanted from life was valid, and worth putting their money into (note - I'm not talking about ANY PARTICULAR AMOUNT), but what you wanted wasn't valid, that's great. I would be, and I honestly think most people would be, as well. I'd really rather my mom and dad didn't tell me that my dreams and aspirations didn't meet their standards. It would hurt.

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#148 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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An education is about more than making money. It is about learning as much as one can in a myriad of disciplines, becoming well rounded. Trade school only teaches a trade, nothing more or nothing less. College allows students the oportunity to further their academic horizons.
You do realize that a person who loves learning is perfectly capable of accessing everything that has been written- in a myriad of disciplines- without paying many thousands of dollars for the privilege? This has been my experience. Certainly my grasp of history, literature, biology, anatomy & physiology, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and linguistics is far stronger than many of my peers who finished their 4 year degrees. I consume information voraciously, as do many self educated people.

I think you may eventually find that those people who yearn to know will find their own ways there, whether or not their parents pay for school. Those who are happy in their own little sphere, content to get by and with no interest in opening their minds will manage that, as well, whether or not they stick it out for 4 or more years in our present institutions of higher learning.

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#149 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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I don't think that the pro-college fund folks are saying that they're forcing their kids to go to college. Nor that there are no other career choices. We're/they're saying that they want to support their kids in case they do.
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#150 of 324 Old 06-09-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I think the point was sometimes dream jobs don't come requiring college.
I agree. I was answering a particular post.

I do believe that people who have a passion should pursue it, whether it requires degree or not.

I also believe, that if you don't have a passion, getting a degree will at least open doors.

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