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Parents Use Daughter’s Tuition Money To Remodel Kitchen After She Drops Out Of School

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Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents who both have the means and are willing to pay for their college education.

Leading one to assume that those in such a position wouldn’t take advantage of it.

Unfortunately, some people are oblivious to how lucky they are that they don’t have to work or take out student loans in order to attend college.

And find themselves surprised by the unpleasant reminder that having their tuition paid is a privilege that can easily be taken away.

Redditor Particular-Bar9216 and their wife set aside enough money to pay for their daughter’s tuition.

When their daughter dropped out of college, the original poster (OP) and his wife decided to put the money they set aside to a different use.

Which did not please the OP’s daughter one bit when she decided to return to school.

Wondering if they had made a mistake, the OP took to the subRedditt “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for spending my daughter’s tuition money?”

The OP explained how their daughter found herself surprised by the fact that after deciding to return to college, her tuition fund had disappeared.

“Our daughter is 20F and she recently decided to go back to college after taking a year off.’

‘She dropped out of college a few months saying it wasn’t for her.”

“We adamantly advised against it but she ended up moving in with her boyfriend and started working in his family’s restaurant business.”

“There was still a little north of 30k set aside in the account I set aside for her tuition money.”

“My wife and I had been wanting to remodel our kitchen for a while so decided to go ahead with that money.”

“Well, now my daughter has decided to go back to college because it didn’t work out with her boyfriend and she didn’t like any of the jobs she had following that.”

“She was shocked that we had used her college money towards the house even though we had this conversation before she left.”

“She asked if she could have access to her college tuition account before she moved in with her boyfriend to which we explicitly said no and said that was saved for her tuition only and nothing else and that if she left we’d use it for something else.”

“She said she thought we were bluffing and didn’t actually mean it and that we need to help her pay for college since we are still paying for her younger brother’s yearly tuition.”

“I told her she needs to work part-time and go to a cheaper place like community college rather than a state school.”

“She’s been angry over this and ignoring her mother’s phone calls.”

‘Her mother has said maybe we can still help her out financially but we’re nearing our retirement age and a little behind our retirement goals so I don’t want to take away from our savings just because my daughter made some bad choices.”

“I feel like I have given her good alternatives and even offered to let her stay at our house free of rent so she can just focus on paying for college.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community was somewhat divided as to where they felt the OP and their wife fell into using their daughter’s tuition money to renovate their kitchen.

Some felt that they had every right to do so, as it was their money, but they probably should have waited a little longer, as there was always a chance that their daughter might return to college.

“You know that kids are dingdongs.”

“A then-19-year-old is immature and boneheaded and the likelihood of her going back on her decision was high.”

‘Lots of kids take gap years.”

‘And ask yourself if loving parents who truly want the best for their children wouldn’t have at least held onto the money for a year in hopes that their immature kid would come to their senses.’

“Are you an AH?”

“Technically no, because you did tell her.”

“But are you a WISE parent who acted in the best interest of their child?”

“Also no.”

“Honestly, to have jumped on redoing your kitchen so soon was like you knew your kiddo might come around, so you had to use the money while you had the chance.”

“I know that sounds mean, but the alternative is that you truly didn’t foresee that an immature 19-year-old might change her mind, which then questions your intelligence.”

“So, your options here really are only between AH and dimwit.”

“This is a sucky situation all around.”

“Because whether or not you’re an AH, you’ve permanently damaged your relationship with your daughter and also set up resentment in her relationship with her brother for the future.”

“This is just not great parenting all around.”

“Hope the kitchen was worth it.”- SupoDupo

“Behind on retirement goals, but spent 30k on remodelling?”

“I dunno, man.”- Waerfeles

“Whether you think you’re right or wrong be prepared for the consequences.”

“Just like others are saying your daughter made her choice so have you.”

“Don’t be surprised if she cuts contact.”- Delicious-Half-7684

“If you’re behind on your retirement goals, why did you spend 30k on remodeling your kitchen?”

“I mean, it’s your money, but what you’re saying is a little confusing.”- ComprehensiveBand586

“Why were you so quick to spend your daughter’s tuition money?”

“You know people that age make stupid mistakes.”- montrasaur009

Others felt that the OP and their wife did nothing wrong, and this taught their daughter a valuable lesson that actions have consequences.

“This situation is harsh on your daughter, but NTA.”

“She made a decision to drop out, and with that came you telling her that you’d use the remaining college fund money for something else.”

“I also presume that at the time of her dropping out, she presented her decision as permanent since she said that college wasn’t for her, meaning that you don’t know how long she would’ve taken to go back to college if she went back at all.”

“‘But I thought you were bluffing’ is a feeble response.”

“You don’t get to use that line when you’re making a life-changing decision and are given conditions by the people financing you.”

“She just learned a very expensive lesson.”- tofu_deluxe

Others, however, felt the OP and their wife were being heartless, and should not have used the money to renovate the kitchen.


“‘You did not do it the way we told you so now you do not get any ever’.”- kaosi_schain

“In other circumstances, I’d probably lean not the a**hole, but the tone of your post sounds very angry and vindictive.”

“It seems like spending that money was as much about revenge and anger over your daughter’s decision to drop out and live with her boyfriend as it was about anything else.”

“Because that’s how it reads, to me, and because that attitude is small and childish, I’m going to say YTA.”

“In a vacuum and without the emotions it’s very possible for your actions to have been reasonable.”-NuketheCow_

“Jesus dude it’s your kid, YTA.”

“Sad you gotta ask.”

“And damn dude you waited a whole entire year to blast her whole future away.”

“I hope you don’t feel incredibly magnanimous.”

“This post made me sad.”- dryj

“I’m going against the grain here to say YTA.”

“Yes, your daughter initially made a bad decision by dropping out, but given her age at the time and your maturity as a fully realized adult, it seems like you took advantage of her poor decision-making to spend a fat chunk of money you spent years saving for her education just to make a point.”

“Obviously it’s your money so you can do what you want with it, but the best decision for her would have been to wait to make sure dropping out was what she really wanted.”

“That would have caused you no heartburn whatsoever.”- LadyDouchebag


“I don’t know man.”

“I’m a parent too and this just seems so cold.”

“You saw your child struggle with college, make a really common boneheaded young person mistake and really, from the bottom of your heart, didn’t think that there was any chance she would regret it and change her mind?”

“I’m not saying that you needed to hang onto the money forever, but I couldn’t imagine spending it so quickly.”

“I’d have at least waited a couple of years to see if she was really committed to skipping college.”

“Some kids just aren’t ready the first time but can really thrive as returning students.”

“Presumably you saved that money over a long time to give your kid a head start at a strong education.”

“It seems a little weird to be so comfortable taking the opportunity back because she was struggling.”

“You’re going to get a lot of very black and white legislators in here going ‘f*ck your kid!”

“‘It’s your money: build ten kitchens if you want!’

“And, I guess, but I just couldn’t do it.”

“Not that fast.”

“Not without being sure.”

“And definitely not out of anger.”- KittyKatCatCat

Actions have consequences, and people certainly deserve to spend their money however they so choose.

But seeing as the OP and their wife tried to discourage their daughter from dropping out of school in the first place, one would think that they would have kept her tuition fund in hopes that she might return.

One can only assume that the OP and their daughter will think much more carefully when making decisions going forward.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.