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Daughter wants to drop out of college

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  • #849447 Reply

    So my daughter went to community college and then transferred to a university. Today she told me that she needed to talk. She aid that she didn’t want to go back to school and wants to move in with her BF of 4 months. He is 27 years old and still lives at home, my daughter is 22. He does have a decent job. We pay 100% of her college tuition due to a 529 account I started it when she was little. There is enough in the account to pay for her masters and she wanted her PHD in chemistry/physics. I have broken all the expense that she will incur if she decides to go through with this. She said if she had to she would get 2 jobs. She currently makes slight above min wage. She says that they want a small one bedroom apartment. I tried to explain to does she really want to work fast food for the next 40 years. She really doesn’t have any marketable skills. I’ve told her my degree has helped me advance in life a couple time. From i gather this relationship is his first serious one and my daughter to say the least is a fragile girl. Yes I know she is an adult should I just let her go or or should I be a little persistent.

    #849448 Reply

    I guess she was really jonesing for a serious relationship. She is an adult and says she will support herself, so not really anything you can do except wait and see how she feels after a semester or two off. I’m guessing the thrill of working two minimum wage jobs and living with her bf will wane fairly quickly. It’s her life and she gets to live it by her own standards, including making errors along the way.

    #849461 Reply

    am I right in thinking she has completed her degree and could now go on to do a masters/PHD? It’s not uncommon for people to have a break between one and the other, if it would be possible for her to resume her studies, a few years working minimum wage might really give her the impetus to work hard when she goes back to studying.Part time/holiday jobs are fun as a student but thinking it might be this forever does focus the mind somewhat and make alternative, better paid outcomes seem more appealing. If she went straight from school to study, it might be that a break will be a good thing in the end.Also, you won’t have opposed her wishes, and she will always feel that you’ve got her back if she ever needs you to.

    #849462 Reply

    I think you should let her do what she’s insisting she wants to do, because I don’t think you can stop her. Keep the money aside for her, keep being in her life and not saying I told you so, and then bail her out if/when this relationship doesn’t work out and she needs it, and don’t say you told her so.

    I’m coming from a place of having gotten married really young (I did finish school though), then getting divorced, and this is how my parents chose to handle it.

    She’ll learn the hard lessons, and she can finish school later.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by avatarKate.
    #849465 Reply

    Yeah, there’s not a lot you can do here. She’s in her early twenties and needs to start making her own life choices here. Some of those choices are going to be questionable.

    She might just need some time to figure out what she wants to do with a degree.

    Don’t forget though, that a college degree doesn’t carry the same weight it did 20-30 years ago. There are no shortage of masters degree and PHD holders out there driving Ubers and flipping burgers, just desperate to keep up on their student loans. A college degree doesn’t guarantee financial security, and financial security does not guarantee a happy life.

    #849466 Reply

    I’d tell her that you saved the money for her education and you will continue to save it for her education. You hope this all works out well for her and if and when she decides to continue with college the money will be waiting for her. Don’t tie it to her needing to dump the boyfriend. If this relationship should work, which is unlikely, you will still want her to go to college.

    Take the long term approach just like you did when you started saving the money. Don’t say anything that will make her not come back out of pride or feeling that she would have to admit an error if she came back. Don’t tell her you think this is stupid or she is ruining her life. Wish her the best. Sometimes as the parent you must be able to see the long term because your kids can’t.

    #849474 Reply

    Tell her she’s smart & capable and you trust her to make her own decisions. I’ve clung to many bad decisions (and people) because I was desperate to prove my parents wrong when they told me I was being an idiot. They were right, of course, but I had to learn the hard way. This relationship and plan to work 2 jobs is destined for failure. You don’t have to do anything

    #849495 Reply

    The wonderful thing about 529s is that you can transfer them to other people. If your daughter stops college and doesn’t ever go back, you can give the 529 to your grandchildren when they eventually come or to another relative.

    #849496 Reply

    I work with college students. I have plenty of students who don’t really want to be there or don’t want the particular major they are in. A lot of them don’t finish because they run their GPA into the ground due to lack of motivation. Or they graduate with the bare minimum (which means no grad school). I don’t know what her work ethic or grades are like, but be aware that if you convince her to stay, it’s very likely her attendance and grades may suffer. Someone who doesn’t want to be in school is not going to put in 100%.

    #849655 Reply

    OP – your view of people who don’t have a degree is not accurate. I have a two year associates degree and do well for myself as a paralegal, neither of my siblings have higher education and both do well. I have a friend who went to law school, hated it and now works a low paying job and are massively in debt and others who went to school all the way into the masters programs to work in their filed and still earn less then I do. There is no ONE path to education, employment or happiness.

    I do not think you should change the intention of the money, it was for education and should remain that way, but you need to (at least outwardly) support this decision. I can absolutely see this not being the path you wanted for your daughter, but 22 is just old enough to make dumb choices but young enough to learn from them and move on relatively undamaged.

    #849794 Reply

    OP – does your daughter at least have her associates degree? If not, could you speak to her about transferring back to community college to finish that and offer to pay her half of the rent if she stays in school. It is not ideal but at least a compromise. I would also suggest a month to month lease if possible since they barely know each other and being stuck in a one bedroom apartment with an ex would be a nightmare.

    #849806 Reply

    @PDX – unless she gets pregnant….

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