How do any of you parents afford university?

STILL on the subject of money (sorry), I’m marvelling at how many parents are somehow finding the cash to support their children through university. But they are.

Some lunatic parents are even ringing around the universities for their offspring. Really. I was in a uni office once and heard a woman ringing in to try to get a place for her daughter. The person who took the call asked if the potential student could perhaps ring herself? After all, at 18 she was an adult. Turned out the daughter was 28, but still had Mummy running around doing her dirty work. And this wasn’t unusual. Jeesh.

A  seasoned university don told me that he sometimes has parents who insisted on being in the student’s interview. He refused, of course. And the reason isn’t because they are paying for it, and therefore want to know everything. No, they just can’t bear to allow their little darlings to grow-up and think for themselves. No wonder we have such a generation of useless, needy wretches on our hands.

The announcement that universities can charge what they like for courses is staggering. I’m not sure many parents even realise what they are forking out £3,500+ a year for as it is.

Just having a degree hasn’t been a guarantee of a good job for a couple of decades. If you are paying for your offspring to study, for goodness sake, make them understand they can’t treat it like a three-year holiday and scrape out with a third. A waste of their time and your money.

The idea of trying to help my four children go university in the future terrifies me. We just won’t be able to afford it.

My own parents couldn’t afford it, and that was back in the days when tuition was free – or at least, paid for by your local authority via taxes. If your parents couldn’t/wouldn’t support you, you got a bar job, or stacked shelves.

Now you are positively encouraged to take out enormous loans and end up owing thousands, with no certainty that there will be a job at the end of it.

Inevitably, the only people able to support their children through higher education will be the rich, even if their kids aren’t actually bright enough to deserve the place.

1 Comment

Filed under Parenting

One response to “How do any of you parents afford university?

  1. Hilary,

    I found this article after clicking on “E for Effort” and nosing around your site. Paying 3500 quid a year doesn’t get you very far over here in the U.S. towards a college education! It was interesting to read about how parents are still “parenting” their older children.

    I found that when I was at university — some friends couldn’t make a big decision without calling mom and/or dad first. I try to keep in mind the importance of independence in raising my child, helping her think for her own in the future. I’m not going to always be here for her!

    It was interesting to read your view on the topic from the UK.

    Veronica Samuels

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