'I made over $800,000 last year. I still refuse to pay my daughter's university education.'

Andrea Mac will not be paying for her daughter's higher education.

The mum of four children aged five to 19, is a growth strategist from Chicago and she's a business owner too. Over the past seven years she says she has managed to create an annual income for herself of approximately US $550,000. This is equivalent to about AUD $826,200.

Despite her hefty income, she says she will not pay for her child's college tuition, otherwise known as higher or university education in Australia. Her reason why has sparked plenty of conversations online.

"My husband and I have not agreed to — nor do we plan to — pay for the college tuition of our oldest daughter. Stating that feels vulnerable and unpopular because, within our network, this is an uncommon or less commonly talked-about choice. But we didn't make this decision lightly," she wrote for Business Insider this week.

Watch: 5 money lessons your parents told you, that you should probably forget. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia. 

She says there are a few reasons behind their decision.


One is to make sure their children are in control of their own academic journey, rather than relying on their parents stepping in and making the big calls. She hopes her kids learn that attending university isn't a "rite of passage" but instead a privilege that not every young person gets to experience.

Another very interesting factor is Mac and her husband's desire to maintain their own financial security, especially as they head into retirement.

"We've worked very hard to achieve economic mobility. I've worked, and continue to work, diligently to provide for our family of six," she said.

"Committing about US$800,000 — an average of US$200,000 per child for a four-year university degree — could jeopardise our future financial security. Paying for college for four children would stretch our finances beyond what we're willing to risk. For example, investing $200,000 over four years into scaling my consultancy firm could produce more revenue and provide more significant long-term benefits for our family."

This story isn't isolated.

Previously one woman wrote for Mamamia about her experience of having to pay back her dad after he loaned her money for her university HECS debt.

"After graduating university, a few years later, I received an email from my dad. It was a spreadsheet, listing all the money that I had asked for over and above the university fees and the rent. It was dated, itemised, and calculated. He wanted his money back. And rightly so. But at the time, I was in shock," she explained.


"So many parents help but where do you draw the line? When is it time to call it a day on the financial connection and cut the monetary umbilical cord?"

It's this sentiment that Mac echoed in her interview with Business Insider.

"By making them responsible for their college expenses, we hope to instill a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility in our kids. We also hope our choice will help them understand the value of hard work and the importance of making prudent financial decisions," she wrote.

One study previously showed that the more money parents pay for their kids' college educations, the worse their kids tend to perform. And according to the experts, they tend to agree with this study's findings.

As psychotherapist and parenting writer Joyce Marter wrote recently: "When kids contribute to paying for their education, it's an opportunity to see how hard work leads to financial reward and possibilities. Not only will it improve their career and financial trajectory, but they also can develop the mindset of a hard worker, which is something that will benefit them for a lifetime."

What are your thoughts on parents paying for their child's higher education? Tell us in the comments section below.

Feature Image: Canva.

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