No, not my resentment. I have noticed a common theme in my chats with parents of recent grads: resentment at the costs.
I was chatting with a volunteer at the Food Bank Thrift the other day. I mentioned that I was searching for some nice clothes for Frugal Son, a recent grad.
Her:Do you feel that you were paying to fund a small country?
Me: No. Frugal Son made use of TOPS, a Louisiana free tuition program. He also got some other scholarships. I'm so glad he chose to go to a public institution.
Her: My daughter didn't. She went to *** (some private college I've never heard of in Iowa??? It must be fairly obscure if I've never heard of it.).
Me: Oh, well at least she's done. I hope it was a good experience.
Her: She liked it. I paid for it all. Then she went to grad school for physical therapy and dropped out after a semester. She's working at the Y and living at home.
Me: It's great that she has a job! And a lot of kids are living at home, so that's OK too.
Her: No, it's not OK. I told her to figure out what she wants to do. She's going to have to pay for it herself.
WOW!!! I don't know if I managed to convey the resentment and even anger emanating from this normally sweet-natured woman.
Anyway, it's probably too late for the soon-to-be college students, who have already made their choices and paid their tuition. Still, the message to parents has been let your child follow his or her bliss. The message from colleges is we're worth it! The abysmal job market for recent grads has perhaps revealed to parents some unarticulated and unacknowledged expectations.