Sunday, July 30, 2006

Colleges try to hunt down deadbeat dads

State family courts decide parental obligations up to age 18, and there is no obligation to pay for college in most states. Nevertheless, many colleges conduct their own bogus family court analyses in order to facilitate price discrimination! A NY Times article says:
Financial aid directors say they have been seeing more blended families, and unraveling these complex relationships has become increasingly difficult. In deciding which parents should contribute and how much, directors try to get an overall picture of family relationships. Does the student have a room in both homes? Does a remarried parent have the expense of stepchildren? Has the custodial stepparent had a long connection with the student, or has he or she just married into the family?

Sarah Lawrence College collects information from all four parents and takes a particularly close look at the stepparent the student lives with, because he or she may have a strong financial effect on the household. "We look at them to be more supportive of household expenses where the student resides, thus freeing up the biological parents’ resources for paying for college," says Heather C. McDonnell, the college’s director of financial aid.
I can understand colleges trying to charge a market rate for their services, but they've got no business prying into private lives in order to extort extra fees.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely ridiculous. If it's not in your divorce decree that you are going to pay for a college education, then boo hoo. Lots of kids with married parents take out student loans because their parents can't pay for their education.

And going after step parents. That's completely out of control. They have no responsibility whatsoever for someone else's bio child.

What a messed-up world.

Anonymous said...

Dear Angry Dad-
I am 31 years old, I have an 18 year old brother who is supposed to be off to college in less than a week. We have the same parents, but they have been divorced since my brother was 2 years old. Our father, decided to "abandon" us somewhere in these last few years. Our father has tried numerous times to prove my brother isn't his son and has failed, he is definitely my father's son. Anyway, my brother has a lot of learning disabilities etc. and it was told him to early on that he probably would never get into a "real college", well he has. My mother and I are so proud of him!! He has applied for financial aid and received many scholarships and grants, but there is still a balance due that needs to be paid in order for him to attend school. He has tried contacting my father to ask him to please help him out, whether it be to co-sign a loan for the remainder of the balance, or help him pay out the balance father refuses to help out. Refuses! What kind of parent would deny their child a higher education???Especially a child who was pigeon -holed not to succeed! My point, there should be a way to get my father to pay for his son's education. The child deserves it, more than anyone I know. He has worked hard his whole life to prove his teachers wrong, he is a good kid, never been in trouble. But he/we have, unfortunately, a father who refuses to acknowledge, or help out his children. It's pretty sad and pathetic there isn't some law in this country that has to make a financially ept parent pay for their child's education. There's just no excuse.

An Angry Daughter/Sister

George said...

You are 31 years old, and your brother is considered an adult. Why don't you pay for his college education?