Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Parent wants in-laws to finance kids' higher education

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I are parents to three college-age children. All three are good students that attend flagship state universities. Of course, as parents, we think they are great and well-rounded young adults. They have never given us a lick of trouble and have no trouble speaking and holding conversations with other adults, teachers, bosses, etc.

We own our own home and drive old cars, but still struggle to pay our kids' tuition. We have saved money since our children were small to help defray their university costs, but even with the kids each taking $5,000 per year in loans it is still a struggle.

My in-laws have always recognized birthdays and Christmas with modest gifts, and they always compliment us on how we raised them. That's the problem!

We recently became aware that the in-laws have already given tens of thousands of dollars to a local junior college foundation!

We are hurt terribly by this, as it seems to us that they would rather give to kids they don't even know, than support their own grandkids' educations. (They also give to multiple animal charities).

They are in their early-80s, and, although they seem to be relatively sane, we think they are being taken advantage of.

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Without coming across as greedy, how could we approach this?

-- Wondering

Dear Wondering: Inquiring about this isn't greedy. Judging your in-laws' financial decisions does make you sound greedy, however.

You and your spouse could approach the in-laws with a proposition: Perhaps they would be willing to invest in your kids' educations by offering these students no-interest loans, so that they could complete their educations without owing money (and interest) to an outside entity.


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