This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ask The Readers: If Parents Are Paying For College, Are Any Majors Off Limits?

We are considering holding back some of the funds in her 529 plan, possibly rolling it over to one of her younger siblings. This is leading to conflict between us that I wish we could avoid at what should be an exciting time in her life.

What should Karen do?

It is certainly reasonable to guide a young adult toward a practical career when you are paying the bulk of the bill. New college graduates face a challenging employment landscape and should do whatever they can to increase their chances of finding productive work once they complete their degrees.

Parents do not “owe” their offspring a free college education, but those who have saved for college often understandably want to help their kids avoid as much debt as possible, and savings in 529 plans must be used for educational expenses to avoid tax penalties.

Karen's first option, paying the bills regardless of her child's concentration in college, preserves the right to say, “I told you so,” but should only be embraced if she believes that there is a way to turn just about any subject into a viable career.

If she's scrimped and saved for years and honestly feels that her daughter is dumping money down the drain, there is no reason to passively accept that fate. Karen could explain her concerns about the choice of major and insist that her daughter augment her education with coursework that Karen feels is appropriate. She might offer to pay for tuition, books, fees and living expenses in proportion to the practical courses studied each semester. The student would be expected to work and/or borrow to cover the proportion of expenses related to studies disapproved by Karen.

Ideally, Karen and her daughter will come to an agreement on a major that Karen doesn't mind financing. Whether that involves her daughter convincing her mother of the value of a film studies major, or both parties agreeing on some other course of study, doesn't matter.

2 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,672.60 -141.38 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.82 -11.33 -0.55%
NASDAQ 4,757.8790 +7.4820 0.16%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs