There’s an unwritten rule of parenting in today’s society and it goes something like this: All good parents pay for their child’s college tuition.
This rule was most recently exemplified in a headline from The Telegraph, which read, “Parents ‘expected to pay up to £5,372 a year’ towards university costs,” an amount which translates to roughly $7,000 in the U.S.
But while it’s a kind and generous gesture for parents to pay for their child’s college, is it a practice their children might be better off without? I would tend to say yes for several reasons.
1. Job Experience
Students who go to college on their parents’ dime have less incentive to go out and find a job to pay their own way. Although their time is freed up to focus on school, the absence of a job causes them to miss out on the hands-on experience so valuable in landing a post-college position these days.
2. Greater Value
It’s often said that we appreciate something much more the harder we work for it. In the same vein, a student who has to work to put himself through college is much more likely to appreciate the opportunity to learn and will therefore seek to get the most out of his studies that he possibly can.
Additionally, a student who pays his own way is more likely to pick the college which offers the most bang for his buck, thus eliminating the tendency to choose a college by the look of the campus or the level of party life.
3. Reduces Entitlement
As evidenced by the demands for free college and safe spaces on campus, many of today’s students are beginning to treat a college education as a right. Paying one’s own way, however, helps a student understand what a privilege education actually is.
In recent years, many complaints have been made about the coddled millennial generation. If more parents made it a practice to back off and let their students pay for their own college, would we see a generation more equipped and ready to face adulthood than the one we are currently dealing with?
Image Credit: Karen Chu bit.ly/1iowB8m
Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.