University of Washington Alumni Association
Meet. Learn. Cheer. Travel. Act.
Columns Votes - December 2006
Comments on Parental Support
I know how lucky I was to have my father pay for school. I could not have done it myself.
My parents paid for my four undergraduate years of education and I received a B.A. in French as well as a provisional certificate to teach. I paid for all coursework after graduation in 1971 that included a fifth year program to get my standard teaching certificate. I also paid for my master’s of librarianship degree that I received in 1979.
Knowing that my parents were paying four years, and only four, made it a HUGE priority to get the classes I needed and to stay the course. I was able to focus, have fun, and enjoy a first rate education on a beautiful campus. It also helped that my parents were alums so they knew the experience I was having and the moments were a once in a lifetime. I had four years to create those moments.
My parents paid tuition, books and rent, and I was responsible for working to pay for the rest of my living expenses. I also used credit cards to pay for living expenses, and ran up about $5,000 in debt. My father paid it off when I graduated.
Anything given to a person is not nearly as valued and appreciated as when you work for it. My arrangement with my parents was they’d match me 50%. I worked very hard in the summers for most of it, and a part-time job in the school year. I believe it made me a strong person from it.
My parents planned and saved to be able to cover all of my and my sister’s tuition. I never had to juggle work and homework, for which I am very grateful. My husband and I followed the same example with our two children, through their B.A. degrees. Grad school financing is up to them.
The money to attend college was from the proceeds of Social Security benefits that I received after my father’s death.
Grandfather had purchased stock in United Grain Growers when I was a baby; tuition was low enough at the UW in the 1970s, so that the stock dividends paid for tuition.
While I did work several jobs throughout my undergraduate college career (many at the same time), they were solely for spending money. My tuition/housing/books were covered by my parents. Made for stress related only to my classes, not money.
My graduate tuition was covered for the first half by tuition exemption because I was working on campus as a staff member. The second half of my graduate career was covered by tuition exemption because I had a GA position.
I think that paying for my own education made me value it much more. I did borrow money from my parents at no interest to help with the first two years and with a year of study abroad, but I paid back every penny, even though it took me many years.
I was lucky that my parents were able to pay for all of my tuition and room and board. During my last three years of college I worked to pay for books and any extras. Working helped me to balance my time better and be better organized.
While I worked during my time at the UW, I had the privilege of knowing that my parents would support my education. Also, tuition was $188/qtr and I lived at home. There is no doubt in my mind that I was blessed by not having the stress of having to support my self while going to school, enabling me to concentrate on my studies and my work.
My parents paid for most of my undergraduate college (I had a couple of small scholarships, and also worked student jobs), and I paid for graduate school mainly with loans and work-study. I am very glad that I didn’t have to take out loans for both my undergraduate and graduate work, otherwise I’d probably be paying them off until I was near retirement age and they would have created a significant monthly financial burden.
My family paid for my tuition, cost of books and rent while in college. I kept a part-time job to pay for food/bills/entertainment, etc. I didn’t have to worry about tuition or a place to stay, but I still took care of myself a little bit to learn some responsibility and have things to balance my life outside of college. I also received a competitive, full scholarship from the classics department for $12,000, which basically paid for my senior year.
I was extremely lucky to have my parents pay for almost all of my education. It allowed me to have enough time to join clubs, participate in intramural sports, and obtain volunteer internships. If I had been working 30 hours a week to help pay for my education, I would not have had the true college experience.
One thing my parents did was give me the money for college and then left it up to me to pay for it and manage the money. That ended up meaning I had to work some because I spent the money on other things but still needed money to pay for school. This taught me to be more frugal with my spending and careful with my finances.
I had a trust fund set up to pay for all educational expenses by my grandparents and administered by my father. This was a wonderful gift, and I used it to the fullest extent. The fund is in my name, and so I technically paid for school, although my father was the executor of the fund.
My father had to work his way through university, which didn’t allow him to enjoy fully the university experience. Because of that, he wanted to make sure that I got to enjoy that time of my life as well...all five years’ worth.