I have done many posts on whether a parent should pay for the children’s higher education. Taking a stand against it causes people to ask me the following questions:

1. if i have money what am I going to do with that?

2. what is wrong in paying for a kid’s education?

3. will YOU not pay for your daughter’s higher education?

4. is aspiring for higher education wrong?

5. is higher education not an insurance against a mediocre life? Is it not a passport to good quality life?

Honestly I do not have answers to ALL these questions. However, let me try.

If you have a tremendous amount of surplus OVER and ABOVE your own needs for retirement, you could  of course pay for their education. The assumption of course is that they deserve it, and you do not BUY it for them.

Nothing wrong paying for a kid’s education. In fact you MUST pay for a good school and college education. However once the basic education has been paid for, it is for the kids to decide how to fund the higher education.

I have no doubt that if my daughter were to study for a conventional degree – Accountancy, Engineering, Medicine, Law – what I understand, I will pay. I am still searching for an answer whether I will pay US $ 150,000 for a course in dress designing or hair designing – simply because it is beyond my comprehension. I may, I may not. Or I may be willing to pay say 100,000 but not more than that. Honest to God I have no clue.

Nothing wrong to aspire for higher education, but if you think a big brand education will help, I have my doubts. If a person actually interested in liberal arts is forced TO do her MBA or CA, these kids DO NOT MAKE it in life. I know too many well qualified men/ women act like rebels.

I do not think higher education is a passport to a great quality of life. ONLY competence is.

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  1. Right.

    In short, in terms of priorities 1) Retirement first and then 2) kid’s education.

    I believe , “financially independent parents” is much better gift to the kid than paying for the higher cost of education and then be dependent on the kid whos career may or may not flourish.
    The kid will surely appreciate it more, if not now but surely later in life.

  2. also, there is no way i am going to fund my son if he wants to study ‘gender studies’ or ‘creative writing’ degrees or any of those fluffy courses.the internet is awesome enough to teach such things for free.so,yes -liberal arts and ‘finding your own self’? do it at your own time and money,son.

  3. Subra,
    Not sure whether your daughter is reading your blog:)
    Anyways, message is pretty clear to the youngsters who are reading this blog. Children think that its parents “duty” to fund their higher education and when i talked to one my friends son about his higher education he simply said his father will take care of it and i am going to ask my friend to think twice about it

  4. Excellent point. I totally agree with it

    basic education is to be paid while higher is to be self supported so that the kids actually grow up and understand responsibility

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