Mother Refuses To Pay For Stepdaughter’s Student Loans. Says, “You’re Eligible For A Waiver”, Netizens Are Confused.

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Many students find it difficult to manage student loans. The interest accumulates, and students may default on repayments. So, wouldn’t it be great if you could be eligible for a tuition waiver? 

A user asked on a Subreddit, “Am I wrong for telling my stepdaughter I’m not paying for her college tuition when she can avail benefits like tuition waiver?


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The original poster (OP) is the stepmother to D, who is graduating high school. Her 44-year-old husband is a 100% total and permanently disabled combat war veteran. He has been separated from D’s mother, P, since 2011. The OP and the husband met in 2013 and got married in 2015. She has been in D’s life ever since.


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D’s mother, P, has a degree she doesn’t use. She has over $120k in student loans and had to “struggle.” So naturally, D thinks she has to take out student loans and struggle too. 


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The OP is a School Certifying Official at a community college, certifying Veterans and Military Education benefits to the Veteran Affairs. “I KNOW what benefits are out there for my stepdaughter due to her father’s service-connected disability.

My stepdaughter is eligible for CH 35, or Dependents Education Assistance benefit, which is a monthly stipend paid to my stepdaughter, plus a state benefit that is a tuition waiver for up to 8 semesters/4 years. It covers all tuition & fees, just not books or campus housing or food plans,” she says.


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Since Dependents Education Assistance benefits take anywhere from 45-90 days, she has urged her stepdaughter to apply after her 18th birthday. This way, her applications can be processed before she starts school at the university of her choice in August. 

“She has been accepted to a $25k per semester university, where freshmen must stay on campus and have a meal plan, etc., ” says OP.


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D has asked her stepmother and father to cosign on student loans because her mother refuses to. 

“We have spoken to her time and time again about applying for these VA Educational Benefits, and she claims her mother is telling her that she would not qualify for them., which is false. This is my job; I know the ins and outs of these benefits like the back of my hand,” says OP. 


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Says the OP, “My husband and I are not in a place to cosign student loans because my husband is still fulfilling his child support obligation until D has finished her undergrad. D has said that it is a “waste of her time” to apply for these benefits, despite the fact she is eligible for it.

My husband and I have told her no; we will not cosign on student loans when she could have her tuition paid for.”


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“She is just refusing to listen to us and is listening to her mother, which will bite her in the butt. Her mother tells her that I/we are wrong when I have worked this job for 12 years and know what I’m talking about,” says OP.

Now D is unbelievably angry at her father and stepmother. “Claims we are “ruining” her future, how she will afford college, etc. I feel for her, I love her, but I am also not about to co-sign on loans when she has these benefits at the will ready for her to use due to her father’s time in the service,” says OP.

Asks the OP, “Am I wrong for telling my stepdaughter I’m not paying her college tuition?

Here’s what Redditors think.


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“You are not wrong, but is there any chance her mom did something sketchy that could have screwed up her eligibility, and she (D’s mom) isn’t telling her/you? It seems weird that D and her mom are adamant that she isn’t eligible. The application can’t be any more complicated/effort than applying for student loans.”


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“As someone who generally works in this area, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is an ongoing sketch. I’ve seen students pressured to take out the maximum amount of loans every semester, then give the parents the amount they get back over tuition. So, a student who only needed $3000 for tuition would take out $5000 and give $2000 to the parents. It ends up with students graduating with hugely inflated student loan amounts.”


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“You are absolutely right. Your stepdaughter is being willfully ignorant. She’s a (young) adult, and unfortunately, it sounds like she’s about to get a big lesson in consequences.”


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“Have you and your husband sat with D’s mother to discuss this? They should have had some sort of plan in place before the divorce, but that’s a moot point now.

This sounds like the four of you should sit down together. I would suggest all of the parents sit down together first to be on the same page. Then, the four of you sit down to discuss.”

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Anika is a CPA and founder of What Anika Says. She shares simple and actionable frugal living, money management and money-saving tips to live a debt-free financially independent life. She has been featured on popular websites like Bankrate, Forbes, Mint ,and Authority Magazine. Byline: MSN