By Aisha Sultan
If the case of the New Jersey 18-year-old who moved out and sued her parents for living expenses – and her college fund – has any child confused, here’s some clarification on parental responsibility:
No one owes you an iPhone.
No one owes you a car when you turn 16.
No one owes you a wedding.
No one owes you a ticket to the college of your dreams.
And no one has an obligation to pay your bills once you move out.
Many parents choose to pay for many of these expenses out of love. If they cannot afford to pay for any of the above, they do not love you any less. That said, parents do have a responsibility to children for their education, but it may be different than the child’s expectations.
We all know someone, perhaps ourselves, who managed to graduate college with little to no financial support from their parents. But the system of getting financial aid has changed. Costs are astronomically greater than when most of us attended school, and a college degree is much more important than it used to be.
Now, a student under age 25 cannot apply for financial aid or be eligible for loans or grants unless the parents fill out the application and share their financial information. Even if the parents decide not to pay a dime toward college, the student is still considered a dependent. The parents’ resources (income and assets) are still taken into account when determining how much a student receives in grants and loans.
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