Should parents finance grad school?
May 26, 2007 6:20 AM Subscribe
Should parents help their children pay for grad school if they can afford it? My parents are divorced, but both are in households considered in the top 1% of the US in terms of income and net worth. After limited financial assistance from them during undergrad, I am getting no help at all for grad school. Am I out of line to expect that I should?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (126 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am transitioning from undergrad to grad school (after taking a couple months off), and am now faced with footing $60K in tuition and living expenses over the course of the program. While I realize there are a number of funding options – like private loans, which I will be taking – I have developed an unhealthy resentment towards my parents due to a combination of their significant financial status/holdings and concurrent unwillingness to help me offset the cost of my education. I have given an elaboration on the relationships with my parents below. Do I have irrational expectations? If you could please offer your take on the situation or even general insight on how I can get the hell over the resentment, I would be most appreciative.
My mom is technically remarried, though not by ceremony. She and my “stepfather” (with whom I have an awkwardly disconnected, though very polite relationship) have lived as “man and wife” for 15+ years. They try to maintain something close to a balanced partnership, e.g. they own their house 50/50. Over the years, his success has become disproportionately greater: while my mom makes a bit over $100K/yr, my stepfather pulls $400K+ and recently sold his share of his company for somewhere between $7-10M in cash. Concerning school, my mom helped with exactly half of my undergrad expenses (disqualified from Federal financial aid and reluctant to take loans, I worked to make up most the difference). However, she is adamant that I should not expect any monetary help from her (or my stepfather) going into grad school.
My father runs a sizeable company (it has $50M in assets, limited debt, and he has a majority holding). On a weekly basis I watch him squander hundreds to thousands of dollars on, what seems to me, useless shit (nondurable goods and services). This has gone on for years. I have asked him repeatedly for even meager financial assistance, which he often promises, but has constantly failed/fails to deliver, despite his otherwise seemingly frivolous spending.
Additionally, I guess it doesn’t help that neither of my parents agree with my chosen career path. While I don’t think my particular field is important for this post, I’m going to a moderate-to-highly ranked school and the program will lead to a $55-75K/yr job when I am done (based on for average starting salaries for past grads). I also have one younger sibling who is in college.
I’ve also set up a throwaway e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you very much for your time and consideration.