Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Son's School Choice Irks Parents

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When our son graduated from high school last year, he decided to take a year off from school, earn some money, and then go on to college. He had decent grades throughout high school and earned credits for three AP classes.

We told him we would help him out with his expenses when he heads to college this fall, but he would have to come up with most of the funding himself, through savings and loans. We also asked he not chose a school too far away that would involve plane fare to get to and from, as that would be an additional expense. He has chosen a very common major that is offered at most schools, so he had a large choice of colleges within driving distance to apply to.

Well, he decided to go to school on the West Coast. We live in Massachusetts. He tells us he wants to experience life in another part of the country and assures us he can afford it. We told him since he picked a school so far away, against our wishes, we won’t help him like we said we would. Why should we? --- EAST COAST PARENTS

DEAR EAST COAST PARENTS: I get your disappointment. It isn’t easy having your kids so far from home. But I also think you should honor your original offer of support to the extent you would have provided if he’d chosen to stay closer to home. Just be sure you make the limits of your contributions clear. Your son made his choice. Now it’s his job to make it work.

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