Children should bear some college costs

June 25, 2013

A reader responds to an article describing ways to save for childrens' college expenses.

Joel Greenwald, MD, CFP’s answer to the question about how to pay for a child’s college education (“Financial Strategies-Advice From the Experts,” April 10, 2013) had some glaring omissions. His advice wrongly puts all the burden on the parents.

I submit that in most cases it is not appropriate for parents to cover the entire cost of college for their children. My wife and I are in the process of helping three of our children get through higher education through a combination of efforts. All of them worked very hard to excel in high school. They also took preparatory tutoring for these exams, and their resulting high scores netted large scholarship rewards.

Furthermore, all our children worked through college, including holding research assistant positions, student teaching, tutoring, and summer jobs.

As Greenwald suggested, we started 529 plans for each of our children when they were toddlers, but I think all parents should encourage their college-age children to take an active role in funding their own educations..

 Jay W. Grosse, MD

Clyde, North Carolina