Graduating college without loans is a blessing. So, if your parents offer to pay for your education you should show nothing but gratitude.
However, some of that money comes with strings attached.
Redditor snnsbsbssb encountered this very issue with his parents. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for refusing to pay my sister’s college tuition/fees?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My (21M) parents are paying all of my college tuition.”
“I am going to a college far away from home which is much more expensive than colleges closer to my home. I have no financial aid or scholarships. My parents were the ones who encouraged me to attend this college and not worry about the money.”
“I have to take a four hour flight and a two hour bus ride to travel between my college and home. My parents have been booking my flights in first class rather than economy class. I will be working towards an even more advanced degree after graduating with the current degree I am on track to earn and my parents will pay for my education then as well.”
“I always thought my parents were paying for my education out of the kindness of their heart so that I could have a stronger future and not have to worry about student debt/loans. And I thought they’d do the same for my younger sister (15F) when she goes to college, too.”
OP’s parents had a different idea.
“Turns out, I was wrong.”
“I was speaking to my parents on the phone today and the conversation soon went to college and the advanced degree I would be earning. My parents made it clear that they would continue to pay for my education with the expectation that I pay for my sister’s education when she goes to college.”
“With our age gap, my sister would be starting her first or second year of college by the time I graduate with my advanced degree.”
“My parents had never told me that them paying my college tuition came with strings attached prior to today. I wasn’t expecting to pay for my sister’s tuition at all.”
“Had my parents told me about this beforehand, I might have considered going somewhere cheaper and taking loans as opposed to paying for my sister’s education. My sister wants to attend expensive, prestigious universities (they’re called ‘Ivy league’ in the United States) so taking loans for my own education would have been a better financial decision as opposed to paying for hers.”
OP did not accept the trade.
“I told my parents there was no way I was paying my sister’s college tuition.”
“I asked if she would be at least be expected to pay me back half of what I spent on her education and they said no. We don’t have any other younger siblings whose tuition my sister would have to pay so clearly my parents were favoring her.”
“My parents told me that my sister was – and always will be – the baby of the house and asked if I even loved her.”
“I asked them why they couldn’t pay for my sister’s tuition and they said that college is expensive and they already funded my education. They said any good brother would help his sister have a good life. They then called me an asshole.”
“Am I an asshole, though?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. I felt like I was in the twilight zone reading this. It is bizarre logic that seems like should’ve been discussed when you were picking a university.” ~ Mean_Macaroni59
“The logic is sound if you don’t try to assume good intentions on their part; using completely made-up numbers, they wanted to obligate OP to pay $200,000 for her sister’s education by investing $100,000 in OP’s education.”
“They favor the sister, even when they were doing something nice it was with the expectation that OP would provide a multitude more for the ‘baby of the family.'” ~ DepressingHumanity
“NTA. To solve this if he wants to and only if he wants to, OP could just pay towards the sister’s tuition the cost of his education.” ~ kreeves9
“But that then means that the sister gets a (mostly?) family-paid education, and OP has to pay for all of his.”
“In that sort of situation, it would be fair to ask OP to pay half of the cost of his education towards the sisters education, on the assumption that the parents had X amount of money to spend in total and it would then be split equally between the siblings.”
“That still doesn’t account for the different choices that might have been made, if this situation was made clear up-front.” ~ KahurangiNZ
Some were trying to figure out how OP can help without losing all his money.
“Or the OP refunds half of the cost of his education to his parents, then the parents can deal with the cost of his sister’s education.”
“The parents might have also thought that once he graduated he would be pulling in the big bucks and so paying for the sister’s education would be a small drop in the ocean for him at that stage.” ~ Plastic_Man2021
“Why would parents spend all this money on the first kids education and have no money left for the second? It’s an idiotic plan.”
“Parents should stop paying for his college so they have money left for sister.” ~ methreezfg
“I actually knew someone where the family plan was first child graduates and pays starts paying the 2nd child’s loans while the 2nd child is still in school and pays their own loans. when the 2nd child graduates, the 2nd child will takeover their loan payments and the 1st child’s loan payments for a period of time.”
“Shockingly the 2nd child never paid the 1st child’s loan payments.” ~ rak1882
“NTA. Are your parents loons?”
“Why would they assume you can even pay for your sister once you graduate? That’s a lot of money. You can start applying for loans and tell them to keep their stupid strings-attached tuition.” ~ Moggetti
“Especially when right out of school few people can be guaranteed of getting a well paid job straight away. Often it takes a few years to get a career and start to make decent money.” ~ TheZZ9
Higher education is way too expensive.