husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

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espresso
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husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby espresso » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:01 pm

Please can someone tell me that I am not being unreasonable. My eldest went to uni last year to do engineering. We pay the fees, accommodation etc. and help out with some fun money too.
It transpires that my husband has very different plans for our daughter who wants to do a liberal arts degree. He thinks she should load herself up with debt as she is unlikely to pay it all off and it will be written off down the line.
I think that smacks of favouritism, sexism and to be honest very poor parenting. He thinks it is prudent use of our finances. I am beyond cross but I can't get him to come round to my way of thinking. Can anyone please help me get him to see sense.
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waltzer
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby waltzer » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:22 pm

Not sure that your husband has this quite right, I think that you have to treat them equally. In addition I'm not sure that the everything just gets paid off? 
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HenryHoover
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby HenryHoover » Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:20 pm

With Waltzer. I'm not sure that things just get written off. You have to earn very little over a long period to have your fees written off. Is your husband honestly wanting to give your daughter the impression that she won't earn very much before she even sets out on her career path? He needs to do the same for both children.
 
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mrsbfrombalham
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby mrsbfrombalham » Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:57 pm

While I could unpack the many elements of your husband's thinking that are sexist and ethically questionable (patriarchy well and truly alive...), none of those would potentially be helpful to you in terms of convincing him to change his mind. One thing though that you might want to bring to his attention is: how do you think your daughter would feel about being treated like the "less important" child. She will wonder why her and her education are worth less than her brother in your eyes. That is likely to lead to a lifelong of resentment. Surely neither of you wish that for any of your children. All the best.
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Skyyyyy
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Skyyyyy » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:37 am

I was your daughter many many years ago.

In my case I was doing an engineering degree but I was the oldest child and he didn’t want me to move away. His reasons were similar (doesn’t make sense financially.) He went on to support my brother financially after.

It was a real shock as I had always adored him.

You can tell your husband than 20y later I still dislike my dad. I visit to see my mom and brother but I am not sure I would if it wasn’t for them. I am actually proud I managed without his help. But as I told him once when he was trying to make amends “you got the relationship you chose to have with me”.

This brings a lot of raw emotions so many years later. Your husband should be ready to deal with what happens with his adult child who will have choices.

I am sorry you are in this situation

I
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Zombiedmummy
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Zombiedmummy » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:34 am

Mathematically your husband is right not to pay the fees in advance for your daughter. The only thing is he probably shouldn’t have paid them for your son either.

If you don’t pay the fees up front there is a chance that you will not earn enough money to pay back the fees at all or only in part. Net, financial advisers say that no one should pay the fees in advance - regardless of degree choice.

Now if you are certain that you will be a high earner there is a case for paying - if your starting salary was £55,000 you would pay £137,000 over 25 years. However, the uncertainty around pay means that it’s better to put the money towards a mortgage instead.

There’s lots of information on money saving expert - they couldn’t be clearer about this. Their advice is blunt - don’t pay in advance, even if you can.
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Needcoffeenow
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Needcoffeenow » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:13 am

The problem is that the student loan company are able to change the terms. They have already done this (regarding threshold of repayment) and may well do so again. And I agree with the other posters - it is almost bound to cause resentment and division that will affect you all as a family. You may, when you are elderly, need your children’s support and creating division between them now could come home to roost when you need them to work together.
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Greyskies
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Greyskies » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:23 am

There is a lot of advice on the financial pages saying it does not make sense to pay fees in advance unless you know the student will turn out to be a high earner. 

But the thinking there is that you would then invest the money on the student’s behalf in another financial instrument which would grow more quickly than the interest on the student debt. So if you are able to do so, this could be a sensible path. Your daughter could then have a lump sum to help buy a property.  But you are gambling on interest rates on the debt v returns on your investment.

But I think that this advice does not take into account the stress of the student debt hanging over you, the impact it has on ability to borrow to get a mortgage and the hit on disposable income once the student starts work. So we have done what we can to help meet our children’s costs as we would like them to start their working lives debt free as we did ourselves. 

 
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:14 am

Student loans do get written off after 30 years. Maybe those who aren't sure shouldn't be commenting?

A good explanation is here: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/stude ... s-changes/

In many ways, student loans work more like a graduate tax than a loan, in the sense that who earns more pays more. I can't think of many loans which get written off after 30 years, which grant you payment holidays if you earn below a certain threshold, and for which the payment holidays do not affect your credit rating massively - e.g. if you earn below the threshold for repayment, you can still get a loan from a bank.

The same website also has a calculator: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/stude ... alculator/
Of course it is based on a set of assumptions, but it gives you an idea of how it all works.

I see 4 issues:
  • Does it make financial sense to pay the fees upfront if the child is likely to end up in a career which doesn't pay that well? The calculator can give you a sense, but in many cases the answer is a clear "no"
  • What else can you do with that money? Eg you could donate that money to your daughter and she could use it as a deposit for a property, to study abroad, to set up a business.
  • How will the child react if you make it so adamant that she will earn less than her brother? Many people will think this is bad for self esteem. I disagree - it is better to be realistic and to burst any illusion sooner rather than later. Anything is possible but, in general, if you study a liberal arts degree you will earn less than if you study engineering. Our opinions on whether that's fair or not are not going to change this fact. In fact, earning potential should be a key factor in your daughter's decision-making - which doesn't mean she must discard liberal arts, it means she must be realistic about her future earning potential (any decision can be a good decision if informed). I would add that any parent who lets a child delude themselves that a certain career path will not result in lower earning potential than another, or than what they are used to at home, does their children a huge disservice.
  • (probably the trickiest): is the financial support given to the two siblings likely to be very different? For reasons I will not get into here, I received less financial support than my siblings but I am totally fine with it - I received more than enough and it just so happens that my siblings needed more.

OP, obviously I do not know your husband. For all I know he may be a misogynistic sexist dinosaur, I have no idea. But, in abstract, worrying about whether paying the fees upfront is a very reasonable and sensible point which has nothing to do with sexism!
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chorister
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby chorister » Mon Sep 20, 2021 10:42 am

Anecdote isn't evidence but ...

My brother (younger than me) and I both went to a very expensive public school.  It must have been a nightmare decision for my parents but after a year he was removed because they could no longer afford it for both of us because of a change in circumstances.  Our relationship is fine and today I don't think you would be able to tell which of us had which education.
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nvmof3
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby nvmof3 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:07 pm

Greyskies makes a good suggestion. 
You could find a compromise. 
Your husband could tell your daughter that since committing to pay for your son, he has read a lot of financial literature that explains that it makes more financial sense not to pay up front.  He could then commit to invest exactly the same amount of money that he is spending on your son into a fund for her, which she can put towards her first house, or pay back her debt or whatever she chooses.  That way, if she doesn't earn enough to have to pay back the debt, she will have some cash instead which will be useful to a low earner.  And if she does earn enough, she can choose to accelerate the pay back schedule using the cash.  He then has treated them fairly, and keeps the option for her not to have to pay it back if she goes on to be a low earner. 
Any outcome where he has treated her unfairly will come back and bite him. 
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Melwatk
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Melwatk » Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:14 pm

Sounds like an interesting dilemma!

Personally, I find the assumption that she will not access a lucrative career very dangerous. Help your daughter find some inspiring mentors who will show her how she can make some serious money once graduated in liberal arts...

The idea of alternative investments should solve the perception of unfair treatment...

Hope it helps!!!
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Tilly100
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Tilly100 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:04 am

Your husband is right. If she is taking an art degree the chance of her having a high income turnaround quickly is lower than an engineering degree and not all debt is bad. Student finance debt is low interest and possibly a write off for your daughter, especially if she wants to be self employed, travel or have kids. (Favouritism aside)
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Pastnappies12
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Pastnappies12 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:37 pm

Hi, There is a really good article written by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis updated 17 May 2021, which sets out the financial position in various different scenarios. Student finance is not considered the same as normal 'debt' so |I would advise you to read the article carefully.
Regardless of what you already did for your son, I don't know any parents, myself, who are paying the fees. Some of these both parents are professionals. There is no 'shame' in having a student loan, or else how would the majority get educated. It wasn't the idea of the change to university fees, that parents pay for everything.

Anyway, there is still a lot to pay for, aside from the actual fees - for example, the maintenance loan doesn't fully cover rent and in some cities student accommodation is like London prices.
Parents have different ways of covering it, depending on the way you prefer. Many students work a little at Uni nowadays which isn't ideal if your course is intense. But not all degree courses are.
To cover course fees/rent/transport/food/holidays I don't think is the best interpretation or what most people are doing.
The amount the student pays back is automatic and capped and completely regulated.
|I suggest a compromise since he (or you both) paid everything first time round. Do read the article.
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Monion
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Re: husband not willing to pay for daughter's uni fees despite paying for our son

Postby Monion » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:53 am

Liberal arts is a well-structured course offered by most of the top universities, in which students can access teaching from different faculties - in some cases this even includes sciences - and gain skills such as critical thinking which make graduates attractive to employers. It’s not an art degree and there’s no reason to think she won’t be able to go into a highly paid career with it.
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