After college, parents still pay

Most college graduates aren’t financially independent — at least not right away — reports a survey by Sallie Mae. Nearly 85 percent of parents plan to offer their children monetary aid after graduation.

Almost one-in-three parents plan to provide their grad with financial assistance for up to six months, and around 50 percent plan to foot bills anywhere from six months to more than five years.

Tough love will help young adults grow up — and protect Mom and Dad’s retirement, advises Dennis Miller on MarketWatch.

Nothing can screw up retirement plans like supporting adult children after you’ve shelled out tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition, shuttled them back and forth for Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and maybe purchased a new computer for all that research and writing they did (or maybe didn’t do) over four-plus years.

It’s not just the lousy job market, writes Miller. “Social norms have shifted so that accepting help from Mom and Dad well into your 20s is ‘OK’.”

Parents, do not borrow to pay for your child’s college education, advises Robert Farrington on Forbes. If it’s necessary to take out loans, the student should do the borrowing.

Via Cost of College.

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  1. Cranberry says:

    Dennis Miller’s children are in their 40s. I think his advice should be taken with that frame of reference.

    The book, _Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality_, by Armstrong and Hamilton, is worth reading. The college students studied in that book are modern students, not ’90s students. It’s an eye-opening read.

    The students who did the best from the cohort the authors studied were able to lean on parent assistance to get “launched.” This included the ability to travel to other cities for interviews, to secure a first apartment, etc. Being able to make rational plans for graduate study, with parental advice as to traps to avoid, made a difference. It was not long-term support, but it did give those women a launching pad for success.

    The gender of the students they studied could have made a difference, too. Being able to put off marriage or living with a boyfriend, rather than feeling that living together would make financial sense, makes a big difference in a woman’s life trajectory.

    As to Robert Farrington’s advice, well, I would be very wary of any loan which is non-dischargeable, for myself or my children.

  2. Crimson Wife says:

    We lived with my parents for a year while my husband attended grad school. We all sat down and figured out how much the additional cost to my folks to have us there would be in terms of higher utilities and miscellaneous household expenses and that’s what I paid them. It saved us nearly $20k in housing costs for not having to rent an apartment, and that was $20k in loans my husband did not have to take out.

    Frankly I don’t care what Dennis Miller thinks about the arrangement.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      When I was young, I thought that’s how everyone did things: gathered facts about the costs and benefits, monetary and otherwise; sat down and figured out what made sense, including paying the people who were putting themselves out.

      But I was generalizing from a pretty “middle class morality” “Protestant ethic” household. Nowadays I would guess that maybe 10% actually do it that way. Dennis Miller certainly isn’t talking abut a situation where “We all sat down and figured out how much the additional cost to my folks to have us there would be in terms of higher utilities and miscellaneous household expenses and that’s what I paid them.”

  3. cranberry says:

    Helping children deal with student debt promotes successful adulthood. As a parent, I have a selfish interest in my grandchildren’s parents being able to afford to support _their_ education.