We called our eldest son last night to tell him his University was cancelling his classes because he hadn't paid his tuition. This has happened before so we weren't surprised. However, when my husband spoke with our student, he was irritated to some extent but then said, "I don't want to pay for classes I don't need."
He needs six more units til he can graduate. He has been paying for college through student loans via the Federal Stafford loan program. It's cheap money but they have requirements, one of which is "half time enrollment" up to each school. In his case, I believe it's 10 units. But, for some reason, he's decided to take only the six units he needs even though he does not have the money to pay for them.
My husband's theory is he is afraid to graduate and start his life. We discussed this for a while, trying to remember how we felt. I remember graduating with my B.A. Liberal Arts in English Lit. I was very well educated but not trained to do anything. My husband took a B.S. in Child Development and went on, after a few years of marriage, to get his MSW so he could be a social worker. We struggled for a long time and I know how this feels.
My son will have to start his life regardless because the federal loan criteria requires ongoing presence in school or you start paying back the loans until you return to school. Son #2 is currently paying $101.00 per month for a small amount of loans he took during his two stints in college. Soon #1 will have a much higher bill, I'm afraid.
How do you guide your child at this point in their lives? He's 23 years old and has, for all intents and purposes, been independent from us and our financial help for over three years. We are very proud of him because of this. He scrapes by as a part time waiter. School funds give him the additional support he needs. He's studying Environmental Studies and we think there are many directions in which he can go. But, we think he's scared.
If anyone has gone down this path, I'd love to hear about it.