Parents Begging Other People to Pay for Their Kid's College Are Tacky

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saving moneyI'm not going to lie. I try not to think about sending my kid to college. It's not just that I'll have to face empty nesting and the end of her childhood and all that mushy gushy stuff that makes mothers weep into their Ben & Jerry's. I'm not ready for the financial hit of college tuition.

I know I will have to get creative to pay for college. But there's at least one new parenting trend I just can't get behind. Crowd-funding your kid's ride to the school of their choice is just a little too tacky for me.

You've heard of crowd-funding, haven't you? It's becoming a popular way to raise money for just about everything these days -- from helping a bullied bus monitor get the money she needs to escape the nasty brats at work to giving a reality star the funds she needs to pursue her dreams as a pageant girl.

All you need to do is write up your plea, upload it to one of the (growing number of) crowd-funding sites on the Internet, and wait for big-hearted people to give you their money.

It's not the worst way to raise money. I've been known to donate a time or two on sites like these, usually for sick kids whose families are struggling with bills.

But a sick kid surprises a family.

College doesn't. So the "sudden" need to reach out to the world to help pay for your child's education is a bit disingenuous.

Most of us hope from birth that our kids will one day go to college. For many American kids, there is no other option. The children are told, "You WILL go to college, no ifs, ands, or buts about it."

That means you have 18 years -- give or take -- to save for college. If you don't do that, well, that's on you! It's not up to the rest of us to fund your kid's college dreams. As the old saying goes, "Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency."

It isn't just the lack of class that bothers me here, quite frankly. It's the message you're sending to your kids.

Throwing up a website and saying "gimme all your money" tells our kids that it's OK not to plan, that they should expect people to pick them up when they fall.

Sometimes there are nice people who will do that. But more often than not, there aren't. Life doesn't work that way.

Life is about planning. It's about working hard to get what you want, not resting on your laurels and expecting it to come to you.

Still thinking about crowd-funding your kid's tuition? You might want to look at loans instead.

Would you donate to a college tuition site or do you think it's tacky for parents to ask?


Image via Phillip Taylor PT/Flickr

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since... sincerelyjessxo

That's why there is also government aid and student loans. I can't imagine asking people on the internet.

jhslove jhslove

The only way I would donate to something like this would be if there were a truly extenuating circumstance. Like if the parents saved money for tuition, but then had to use it to pay for a life-saving surgery. Or if a high school student were suddenly orphaned and the parents didn't have a will, so he couldn't access the money to pay for his education.

But in the case of parents who were just too irresponsible to save and then suddenly realized that they wanted their kid to go to his top choice college? Sorry, no.

hopef... hopefulmommieLW

I think that maybe you should stop generalizing in your articles. Maybe some people are irresponsible and don't plan well, but maybe there are other circumstances, I would really like to see this website do a little research once in a while.

jalaz77 jalaz77

We have 4 kids of our own. I am not footing the bill for anyone else's kids unless its my neice or future neice and nephews from my only sibling and his wife, IF the parents...god forbid, died. Or a child raised by me example, adoption. There are no excuses. My hubby paid his way cause his parents had nothing and he is doing awesome cause he did it all in his own. I had help from my parents but went back to school again and did loans. Loans SUCK but at least I finished school. Next time I go back it will be zero student loans.

nonmember avatar Cass

I don't know why everyone gets so butthurt about this. Nobody is stopping you from doing the same and there's no guarantee they'll get funded. Pride isn't cheap.

Shandi80 Shandi80

There are so many college-educated people now days that can't get jobs in the area they actually went to school for, I don't see why anyone would even bother going to college with the way things are right now.

lulou lulou

no, I but I would pay them to weed, mow lawns, or babysit

the4m... the4mutts

We dont believe in paying for education when our kids are old enough and able bodied enough to pay for it themselves.

If they want college, they can start at community college, paid for with their own part time job, and then work on getting grants, or scholarships. I will NEVER co-sign on a loan for a first year college student, even though they're mine. If they showed responsibility, and went to jr college first, got as much money saved and applied for all scholarships and grants that they could, I would consider co-signing.

So, I think we know where I would stand on giving some stranger college money.

nonsa... nonsanctimommy9

What's tacky is illegal immigrants and their children getting free rides to college just because they exist and broke the law. It's more than tacky, it's disgusting. I much rather give that portion of my tax dollars to one of the begging, middle class LEGAL parents than to criminals. Criminals who already ride the system by giving fake ss numbers and then pay no taxes yet collect welfare and Medicare. 

nonsa... nonsanctimommy9

Just for the record, I paid my own way for college. I got loans and worked full time while taking classes full time. 

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