Friday Financial Tidbit-Should parents have a say in a child’s college major?

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My wife found an interesting article the other day that piqued our interests and I wanted to share my thoughts and get your thoughts on it as well. The article comes from MSN Money and is titled Should Mom and Dad choose your major? Having a two year old and another child on the way, college is something that is always at the back of our minds and this article attempts to tackle a tough topic.

The premise of the article is whether or not parents have a right to help choose their child’s major in college. The argument for letting parents have a say in what major their child chooses is that since they are footing most, or all, of the bill, they don’t want to be paying $30,000 a year for their child to earn a degree that only allows them to earn $40,000 and still leave them with $50,000 in student loan debt.

On the other hand, there is the view that as parents, you don’t have the right to force a certain major on your child, especially if they don’t have a desire to pursue it. Instead you should support your child in pursuing their dream.

From my perspective I’m perfectly OK with my child selecting their own major. But . . . as parents my wife and I have the right not to financially support that major if we disagree with it. We definitely will not be co-signing any loans for them and we won’t paying for all their school. That’s because I think it is good for college students to find a way to pay for part of their school. But as long as they are getting good grades, working towards graduating in a reasonable time period, and getting a degree that will enable them to get a job, we will be more than willing to help support them financially. So in summary, I don’t believe that parents should choose their child’s major. But I do believe in withholding support if your child’s decisions don’t match up with your values.

That’s my take; now what about you? Do you believe parents should choose their child’s major? Which conditions does your child have to obtain to continue to receive your financial support?

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