Feedback Friday: Why Parents Should NOT Pay for College

Are you a parent who struggles to give your child the best of everything, including a house that's not a home because you're losing sleep at night worrying about how you're going to keep it, vacations charged to credit cards that will take you the next 20 years to pay off, and a college education that you can't afford to pay for? If this is you, then I beg of thee to stop it...NOW.

I just watched CNN's Black in America: Almighty Debt, and I was greatly disturbed by the parents who were facing foreclosure, because they're 26 months behind on their mortgage, yet they're concerning themselves with how they're going to pay for their daughter's college tuition to Yale, Harvard or Princeton, while this young lady incurs $400 monthly cell phone bills. At first I was miffed at the daughter because of her misplaced values. But after some thought, I realized the WHOLE family's values are in the wrong place.

Where is it written that parents MUST pay for their child's higher learning? I told my children early (probably daycare) that they needed to get good grades so they could go to college.; I never led them to believe that Mama would be paying for anything. Now, don't get me wrong, I would have contributed in any way that I could, but as a single mother raising four children, establishing college funds for each of them on my salary was not realistic. Nor is it realistic for a couple sitting on the front steps of foreclosure to think they can pay for an Ivy League education.

The couple on Almighty Debt said that it's important for their daughter to be able to go to the college of her choice. Well, if her college of choice is Yale, Harvard or Princeton, then her grades should reflect such. And if not, then she's already made her choice to enroll at the community college around the corner, where she can get enough through financial aid, including work study, to pay her own tuition.

Feedback Friday Question: Should parents pay for their child(ren)'s college education?

Lisa Maria Carroll is a wealth strategist and along with Kim Crouch, is co-creator of the Millionaire Journey. To learn more about Millionaire Journey, go to or join us on Facebook at

1 comment:

UniquelyBeautiful said...

I think it's realistic for parents to say "Hey look, if you do your part, we'll help get you started"

My parents are of 2 different mindsets, and while both are supportive--My dad is more of a "this is how much I'll help you with" type of guy while my mom will find a way to pull money from anywhere even when she doesn't have money to pay her own bills.

My mom retired the year before I went to college and my dad, 3 years later. When he retired, I was going to school part-time, and I told them both to keep their money and I'll figure out a way to finish college.

They are both on fixed incomes, so there is no way I would expect them to bear the burden.

Working in my little podunk college town isn't the most fruitful line of work, but it'll be enough to keep me ahead of my school loan payments, with a place to stay, food, gas, and in school part-time (w/o having to take out more loans) until I complete my degree.

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