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Student Sparks Drama By Correcting Relatives’ Assumption That Their Dad Is Paying For Tuition

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A good education can sadly come at a price.

Some people are lucky and have parents or family members who are able to afford to pay for their tuition, allowing them to enter the world debt-free and focus on their studies without also needing to work.

Others, however, need to find a way to pay their tuition, either through scholarships, working multiple jobs, or student loans, leaving them in considerable debt.

While the father of Redditor yeasothat was willing to pay for their college tuition, some stipulations resulted in their decision to pay for it themself.

Information the original poster (OP)’s father was not at all pleased they shared at a recent family gathering, claiming it “embarrassed him.”

Wondering if they did anything wrong by sharing that they paid for their own tuition, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for ‘announcing’ that my dad’s not paying my college tuition?”

The OP explained why they decided to pay their own way through college, rather than take their father’s help, and felt no shame in telling their relatives that they were doing so.

“My aunt and uncle are paying for my cousin’s college.”

“My dad had a college fund for me, but he had stipulations like he wanted nothing below a B for grades and to pre-approve any classes I take, weekly meetings to discuss grades, and a bunch of other stuff.”

“Which would be fine if you have a normal dad.”

“Mine isn’t.”

“My dad has a temper and I spent 6th-12th grade stressed out about grades and being screamed at or grounded over things that sometimes weren’t even my fault like a teacher not updating online grading and an assignment being marked ‘missing’ because of it.”

“And getting my backpack and locker randomly searched by him for no reason besides ‘to make sure I’m not hiding anything.'”

“I decided to pay for school myself because of not being stressed over getting screamed at and I didn’t feel like constantly worrying that he’d disapprove of a class or a grade and decide not to pay.”

‘Which I could totally see him doing.”

‘I’d rather be in debt than controlled for 4 more years.”

“I just finished my first year.”

‘Well my family got together on the 4th and, well sometimes they’re nosey.”

“They were talking about my cousin’s school and my uncle looked at my dad and said ‘well how much is, my name- school costing you?'”

“I said ‘what are you asking him for I’m the one paying for it?”’

“Later on my dad was pissed off and said that it was out of line to say that and I embarrassed him.”

“I didn’t do it to embarrass him, I was just being honest.”

“He doesn’t even know how much tuition is so he was the wrong person to ask.”


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 agreed that the OP was not the a**hole, and did nothing wrong by telling their aunt and uncle that they pay for their own tuition.

Everyone agreed that the only thing the OP’s father had to be embarrassed about was the way they treated the OP, and they applauded the OP for paying their own way.


“It’s embarrassing to him that you hate his control so much you’d turn down college being paid.”

“And rightly so, he should be embarrassed.”- rich-tma


“OP, it’s really admirable how you’re pursuing a college degree in spite of so many obstacles.”

“I wish you best of luck!”- mimoo47


“So what if he was embarrassed.”

“His emotions are not yours to manage.”

“You told the truth.”

“Sh*t, expand on it, ‘yeah, there were too many micro-managing strings attached to accepting money that I didn’t want to relive my anxiety-ridden high school years.'”

“Also, your dad sounds ridiculous and kinda scary.”

“Maybe LC is the way to go.”- bmoreskyandsea



“You are paying for your own college.”

“You said the truth, and that’s it.”

“Your father getting angry at you for saying the truth is his own damn fault because he made that decision to not pay for your college.”

“He made himself look bad, not you.”

“Also, props to you!”

“Continue to work and study hard and don’t worry about your father, since you’re going to have to be independent anyway!”

“Good luck!”- helpmeimscared0907


“It’s his own fault.”

“He is the one who decided to be an a-hole about grades and stuff.”

“Like Christ, it’s okay for a kid to mess up in a class at times.”- JudgeJed100

“Nope, NTA.”

“It’s the truth.”

“You are paying for it.”

‘If that bothers him, he’s welcome to write the school bursar a check.”- Dull-Status5016


“I feel like Daddy Dearest would’ve ended up feeling embarrassed if OP didn’t speak up.”

“For a controlling, tight-wad like him, he would’ve felt goofy if OP just glared at him.”-Bubbly_Satisfaction2

“NTA, obviously.”

“He should be embarrassed.”- LegendaryOutlaw

“Psssh NTA.”

“My wife is still dealing with her father’s bullsh*t from letting him pay for her school, so I feel ya.”

“The stress isn’t worth it and could even cause you to not finish.”

“Good on you for cutting that crap out.”- underwatermario2


“You are doing the work of getting loans and taking care of the potential nightmare that can be college financing.”

“Your father didn’t help, he gets none of the credit.”

“Maybe if he hadn’t been so terrible to you over the last several years, you wouldn’t have felt the need to take on debt in order to make him leave you alone.”

“That’s what he *should* be embarrassed about.”

“That he hounded you so much you don’t even want his money.”

“Sorry.”- pdxflwerpwer

I’m going with NTA.

“That said, if I were you I would have totally waited to see what my dad said.”

“If he made up some BS to try to impress my uncle I would have played the ‘how would you know? I’m the one paying for it.'”

“At least given him the option of saying something like ‘Your Name decided to pay their own way’,  and if he didn’t, throw him under the bus.”- Saint_Thomas_More


“He wanted to control and dominate you over grades and personal freedom.”

“You earned your right to declare your independence openly by paying yourself.”

“You had every right to say what you said.”

“You weren’t announcing anything, just correcting your uncle at his false assumption.”

“I would say tread carefully though since with parents like this it turns into a slippery slope.”

“Soon he’ll throw it back in your face and say if you can pay for college, you can pay rent.”

“Then you have to follow XYZ rules to stay there.”

“Then rent and rules or you’re kicked out, etc.”

“I’m sure that confrontation is in your future.”- ThisIsTheNewSleeve


“This comes under play stupid game, what your dad was trying to pull, win a stupid prize.”

“His comeuppance; totally deserved.”- Bansidhe13


“You told the truth.”

“He may not have liked it but it still doesn’t change the fact that you are paying for your own education.”

“Honestly I would too.”

“It’s bad enough you may get stressed out with a class or 2 plus exams and projects and the finals but all of that is all normal.”

“Now throw your dad in the mix of all if that would be way too much to handle and no one needs that type of pressure.”

“So good for you for taking control of things.”- CODE_NAME_DUCKY

“Father of three who are in university right now and I am paying.”

“As a father, I don’t feel I have the right to make any of the calls your father is trying to make.”

“My kids want to take a film course, women’s studies, marine biology, or greek literature, it ain’t my call.”

“Now I might not agree with the choice but you want your kids to find their passion, even if doesn’t wind up making a career.”

“Education doesn’t guarantee success but it does require and instills responsibility and thought.”

“So if you graduate with a degree in European agrarian economics in the 16th century you might not find a job in your field, whatever that is, but you have learned process and discipline and I would be proud of my kids regardless.”

“Now I don’t know about you or your dad.”

“But I do take pride in that I am able to get my kids off on the right foot so they don’t incur debt.”

“I worry about this generation’s future because of the uphill battles they will face in buying a home, saving for the future, finding meaningful employment.”

“Your dad could have given you this gift but you decided you didn’t need the hassle, and I have mad respect for you for that.”

“And if I was your dad I would have no right to be pissed because you wanted to do it on your own.”

“I can see how he was embarrassed.”

“Obviously he feels he has fallen short as a father because he didn’t foot the bill and that was communicated to a family member which exposes the stressors between you both.”

“But you did nothing wrong per se but you might have been better off letting him answer.”

“That could have been embarrassing too but you wouldn’t have been part of the equation.”

“Regardless you answered truthfully and there is nothing wrong with being truthful.”

“So NTA.”

“But one last comment, I am proud of you.”

“You have stepped up and are pursuing education on your own terms.”

“Stay ahead of your debt and enjoy your time in school.”- criminalworld

It’s tough to imagine why the OP’s father, or anyone, would possibly be embarrassed by the OP so valiantly working his way to pursue an education in the field he wants.

It’s through nurture and encouragement that people flourish, not unfair pressure and unrealistic expectations.

Hopefully something the OP’s father will realize sooner rather than later as if he doesn’t, their relationship might continue to weaken, until it becomes entirely non-existent…

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'.