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Redditor Upset After Parents Spent $100k To Get Stepsister Diploma And Left Nothing For College

High school graduate
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Redditor sarahmarie0 recently took to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) with a unique quandary.

The Original Poster (OP) is one of multiple siblings – a family they self-describe as “a big blended family”.

One of their stepsisters joined their family with a low education level when she was just months from her 18th birthday.

After pulling numerous resources from their personal network, the OP’s parents were able to secure their stepsister a college education if she could graduate from high school.

This proved to be a particularly difficult feat considering her education level at this point, but a private school in the area offered to put her on a catch-up year, provided a hefty donation.

This donation won the OP’s sister a slot at the school but cost them and their siblings financially when it came to their turn to pay for college.

On the sub, the OP asked:

“AITA for reminding my parents that my stepsister ruined our family’s future?”

They went on to explain:

“I grew up in a big blended family where we all consider ourselves siblings and I consider my stepmom my mom. All of us kids are close except for one: my stepsister Liana [fake name].”

“My parents think it’s just because she didn’t grow up with the rest of us but that it’s fine, and it’s not.”

“Yes, by the time she came to live with us, she was almost 18, but it’s not because of that. It’s because she cost the rest of us our futures.”

“See, when she came to live with us, she had been ‘independently’ home schooled.”

“She was said to be very smart, but testing revealed that she only had about a 9th grade education and no transferable credits.”

“Neither our school or the public school were willing to place her above 9th grade.”

“Since she was only about a month from turning 18, this would mean she would be in high school until her 21st birthday and would more likely than not have to drop out anyway.”

“The only other option was to have her get a GED.”

“They were devastated, especially because she had an offer from family friends to get her into and through college if she did a specific program that she DID have advanced education in.”

“If she didn’t graduate that year, they would question how bad it was and likely rescind the offer.”

“The only other option was for her to get a GED, which would force the family friend to rescind the offer even if they still wanted to help because she could never get accepted with a GED.”

‘My parents worried over this, until someone they knew who was the admin of another private school offered to help out.”

“They offered to enroll her as a senior and she could spend the year ‘catching up’. Provided they saw it in their hearts to give a donation, of course.”

“~100k later, she ‘graduated’ from an accredited high school and moved on to college.”

“My family is just normal middle class, so paying that meant that the rest of us had to take out massive student loans, and my youngest siblings even had to switch to public school.”

“My older brother got some help before this, but there wasn’t a dime for the rest of us.”

“My parents justify it by saying that they had to do it because it was their job to give all of their kids as close to an equal start to their lives as possible, and this was the only option to do that for her.”

“My mom asked why we all have strained relationships with Liana, and it finally came out that truthfully, we resent her for the huge financial load on us and the entire family that she caused.”

“It’s been 10 years and she’s never even tried to apologize or make amends, and it’s grating.”

“Now my father says that mom has fallen into a depression because ‘nobody loves Liana but her’ and that we ‘weren’t a family despite everything she’s ever done’.”

“We are a family, just not with Liana. Are we really in the wrong?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“YTA I kept waiting for the point in the story, where Liana did something terrible to you and your siblings to make you hate her. That point never came.”

“Someone clearly did Liana very wrong by homeschooling her rather than sending her to a real school, and it’s really sad that your parents had to stump up so much money to rectify this damage.”

“You said she graduated and moved on to College so clearly she didn’t piss away the money your parents spent on her.”

“I can understand how it feels unfair that this money was spent on her and you didn’t get it, but realistically all that it did was get her to the same place that you got anyway without it.”

“That is a high school diploma. They didn’t pay for her College.”

“Finally, it doesn’t sound like your future has been destroyed because you went to College too and if you really had ‘massive’ loans…”

“…then your small share of that hundred thousand would’ve barely made a dent. Your resentment dripped from your post, and is entirely misplaced. Grow up.” – ExistentialistTeapot

“It’s not Liana’s fault she was home schooled and so poorly at that.”

“Your siblings had to switch to public school?  Oh, the humanity!”

“I don’t understand what you’re saying about taking students loans – you mean for college?  $100k divided by 4 is $25k each.  That wouldn’t have paid for even one year if you’re in the USA.”

“YTA.  You have a hate-on for Liana that isn’t justified.” – Longjumping-Lab-1916

“YTA. I have no idea how old you were when Liana showed up, but unless your parents gave you a detailed history of where she was and what she had been through the last 18 years…”

“…she may have had a lot more going on than you realize.”

“You also said you’re a normal middle class family but that your youngest siblings had to switch to public school.”

“If they were attending private school their tuition would likely cost more over the course of their primary schooling than Liana’s did, no?”

“It doesn’t sound like Liana asked for this, or purposely held herself back at a 9th grade level. If you love your stepmom like a mom, go talk with her like she’s your mom.” – bingewatch-

“Ehhhhh. I think your anger is misplaced, and you and your siblings should be mad at your parents, not your sister.”

“Yeah, your sister was in a bad spot, but as far as we’re aware, Liana didn’t ask, beg or expect to have to have $100,000 spent on her to get her a high school degree.”

“I don’t know what Liana’s life looked like before she came to live with ya’ll, and maybe there was some abuse or trauma there…”

“…or just the lack of a proper education (which I doubt was up to Liana).”

“It’s your parents who wanted to keep on her this specific track of their (getting her into college on a specific timetable), and they had to know what spending this money would do to the rest of you…”

“…and they still chose it. That’s on them, not Liana… gentle YTA for holding something against your sister that wasn’t her fault.” – fallingintopolkadots

“I don’t believe a word of this, it’s just too bizarre.”

“So Liana mysteriously appeared as age 18 with this inadequate education but a shadowy ‘family friend’ who somehow could guarantee her way into and through college…”

“…provided she graduated in time.”

“And then a very dubious private school came into the picture offering help for $100K (which middle class families don’t keep in their back pockets)…”

“…and somehow your parents decided that free college for one kid was worth that, leaving all the rest with nothing?”

“That not only makes no financial sense it makes no common sense and would require at least two unfathomably crooked educational institutions to be conveniently placed.”

“‘…my youngest siblings even had to switch to public school.’ Oh, boo hoo.”

“I went to public school and got a scholarship to college and I know plenty of people who decided in colleges that would saddle them with small loans only.”

“I don’t think any of this ever happened. Your parents would be massive a-holes if it did, and also incredibly stupid.” – Icy_Blueness1206

“What future do you speak of? Are you guys getting college educations? Sounds like it.”

“Are you applying that education to get jobs and start careers? If so, I don’t see what the problem is, except you sound like you all felt entitled to going to private schools debt free.”

“If your family is middle class, you weren’t all going to private schools and would have had to take out loans regardless.” – JoeyShabadoo79


“That’s not your stepsisters fault.”

“Who was responsible for maintaining her homeschooling? The parents. Who was responsible for choosing to spend the money. The parents.”

“Who was responsible for all of these choices. The parents.”

“This isn’t on your stepsister. This is on all of the adults surrounding her” – Disastrous_Cress_701

Well, Reddit certainly had a lot of feelings about this one and how the parents deserved to spend their funds. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)