When parents set up a college fund for their children, they do so with the intention of helping them pay for their education. However, there are some cases where parents may use the money from the fund for other purposes.

A netizen recently asked, Am I a jerk for spending my daughter’s tuition money? We leave it to you to decide. 


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OP’s daughter is 20F and she recently decided to go back to college after taking a year off.

She dropped out of college a few months saying it wasn’t for her. OP and his wife adamantly advised against it but she ended up moving in with her boyfriend and started working in his family’s restaurant business.

The Fuss About OP’s Daughter’s Tuition Money

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There was still a little north of 30k set aside in the account OP set aside for her tuition money. OP and his wife had been wanting to remodel their kitchen for a while so they decided to go ahead with that money.

Well now, OP’s daughter has decided to go back to college because it didn’t work out with her boyfriend and she didn’t like any of the jobs she had following that. 

What Did She Find Out

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She was shocked that her parents had used her college money towards the house even though OP and his wife had this conversation before she left.

She asked if she could access her college tuition account before she moved in with her boyfriend, to which they explicitly said no and said that it was saved for her tuition only and nothing else and that if she left, they’d use it for something else. 

What Happened Next 

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OP’s daughter said she thought they were bluffing and didn’t actually mean it and that they need to help her pay for college since they are still paying for her younger brother’s yearly tuition.

OP told her she needs to work part-time and go to a cheaper place like a community college rather than a state school. 

What Happened Next

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She’s been angry over this and ignoring her mother’s phone calls. Her mother has said maybe they can still help her out financially, but they’re nearing their retirement age and a little behind their retirement goals so OP doesn’t want to take away from their savings just because his daughter made some bad choices. 

“I feel like I have given her good alternatives and even offered to let her stay at our house free of rent so she can just focus on paying for college. Am I the jerk?” Asks OP. 

Your Daughter Learnt A Very Expensive Lesson But Looks Like It Was Necessary

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“This situation is harsh on your daughter, but you ain’t the jerk here. She made a decision to drop out, and with that came you telling her that you’d use the remaining college fund money for something else. I also presume that at the time of her dropping out, she presented her decision as permanent since she said that college wasn’t for her, meaning that you don’t know how long she would’ve taken to go back to college if she went back at all.

‘But I thought you were bluffing’ is a feeble response. You don’t get to use that line when you’re making a life-changing decision and are given conditions by the people financing you. She just learnt a very expensive lesson.”

You Didn’t Need To Jump To Use That Money

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“You spent all 30k on a kitchen remodel? That’s not retirement goals and she only took a year off. Have you spent all of it already?? Idk… I actually think you’re the jerk for not having the foresight or consideration that she might regret the boyfriend thing and spending the money that quickly. 

A lot of kids make mistakes during college especially because it was just a year off. You didn’t need to jump to use that money.  I get she made the choice and the mistake over a boy but you could have been a safety net for her. Parents are supposed to account for the fact that kids make stupid mistakes/choices. You took it as an opportunity to make sure she can’t bounce back quickly over something cosmetic/superficial,  and you did it really quickly. Which is kind of gross.” 

Community College Doesn’t Sound Like A Bad Idea 

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“You laid out what would happen, and it happened.  I understand her sadness over it, but I also don’t think it’s insane to have her complete her associates at a community college, and then maybe revisit the matter.

Might turn out that college just isn’t the right fit for her, and a trade school or just entering the workforce suits her better. Better to find out paying community college rates.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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