Parents are not required to pay for college [Letter]

March 11, 2014

In response to Susan Reimer's March 6 column, "An education is not optional," I say a college education is optional! As a parent, I have to feed, clothe, house and make sure my child attends school through grade 12. Anything beyond those basic necessities is at my will and is based on my economic situation and relationship with my child. As a loving, caring parent I have gone above and beyond those basic necessities. Like my parents before me, I have done without so my child could have those things that were most important to him. However, when or if my child should start making bad choices, then some or all of the luxuries may go away. Including, but not limited to a college education.

I think your statement that "you don't get to deny your child the opportunity for college because she won't dump her boyfriend and refuses to do the chores she is assigned" is a naive, simplistic response to a situation that is most likely very complex. Would it be OK to deny the college fund to a child who has started using drugs, is dating a gang member or has trashed your house by having a wild party when you are away? Is it ever OK to deny a child their college fund, which in most cases is money the parents have taken from their weekly paychecks? Where do we draw the line between necessities and luxuries?

Parents get to make decisions each and every day concerning their children, and the decision to pay for college or not pay for college is just another one of those decisions. Paying for college is a decision not an obligation.

Keely A. Morrison

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