There was a little gem that popped up in the media recently that really got my goat. Not real news. That crap that is called “news”, but is just crap.
The girl who sued her parents for college tuition. And won.
Caitlyn Ricci, now 21, moved out of her mother’s home in February 2013. While it is unclear whether she left of her own accord, or whether she was thrown out, Ricci was able to move in with her grandparents. She then sued her parents for college tuition. Initially, in August of 2013, the courts ruled that the parents did, indeed, have to pay for community college tuition of $906. Apparently Ricci THEN decided she wanted to attend an out-of-state university. Temple University. She then pursued legal avenues for the Temple tuition of $16,000.
Without knowing the specifics of either side (because no-one is willing to agree on what caused the initial move, let alone anything that has transpired since that point), I’ve got some thoughts. And opinions.
1. She’s 21. She’s been a legal adult for 3 years, now. It should be self-explanatory.
2. Woe is her! Her parents aren’t paying for her to attend an expensive, out-of-state college! One: college loans. The rest of the country has them. It’ll be okay. (the fairness of college loans, in general, is for another day. Right now I’m just saying it is a valid, common option to persons who don’t have cash on hand) Two: some parents can’t afford to clothe their own children with winter coats. They’re stretching to make ends meet on a daily basis and put food on the table. Yet she is allowing her grandparents to foot the bill for lawyers… to SUE her parents… to foot the bill for school. I was going to put #firstworldproblems, but this goes beyond.
3. College tuition is $16,000!!! (A quick visit to Temple’s website indicates that is likely for a single semester, not a full year) The 4-year higher education that most employers feel is mandatory costs (based on the amount quoted in Ricci’s legal proceedings) $112,000. Plus books. Plus room and board. The notion that children are told they “should” go to college, but then have to fork over a hundred grand to do so, is INSANE. It’s either a privilege and a perk, and can cost it, or it becomes more accessible so the notion that college is a “must” makes sense.
Even if Ricci’s mother threw her out, and had always promised to pay for college, and Ricci was blindsided by suddenly having to consider the bills on her own… come ON, people. That’s life. Things don’t work out perfectly every time, and parents are NOT responsible to financially support their children indefinitely.
This ish is cray. All of it. Ricci. College tuition. Lawsuits. With all of the REAL problems going on, it just kind-of makes you want to throw something, doesn’t it?** Goat photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc