"I can't pay for my kid’s college tuition.”
Don’t beat yourself up. “It shouldn’t be all up to the parents,” says Dr. Walfish. “Young adults should be expected to chip in.” Walfish says she worked with a 19-year-old client who earned an athletic scholarship, took public transportation everywhere instead of buying a car and got three jobs.
“You can also take out student loans and apply for financial aid,” says Blaylock. “Just because you can’t pay for all four years of college doesn’t make you a bad parent.” And having your own financial situation in check is actually a higher priority: Remember, you can’t borrow for retirement but you can borrow for college, so talk to your child’s guidance counselor about all possible resources.
Besides, some research shows that paying the whole price tag for college (as opposed to covering, say, just tuition) can actually make students less motivated.