My parents practically begged me to go to state school. They both went to state school. Our state had a large selection of good ones to choose from. And it would have been way cheaper for them. But I didn't want the size and feel of a state school. I was, unfortunately for them, a small liberal arts college girl through and through.
Even so, they strongly urged me not to apply to Ivy League schools. On the off chance I got in, they wouldn't be able to afford it. And because they were helping me pay for college, that made sense to me. I found the small liberal arts college of my dreams, worked hard for some scholarships and had a pretty great college experience. My parents were reasonable about it. The parents in this Reddit "Am I the A-hole?" post? Not so much.
OP explains that their 18-year-old daughter was accepted to Harvard. That's a big deal! Although they say they're very proud of her, they don't want her to go. She was also accepted an an in-state school that would be much cheaper.
On top of that, she would be able to live at home, and they don't want her to go into "mountains of debt" for Harvard when she'd get a very good education at an in-state school. And sure, that kind of makes sense. But that's assuming they're helping her pay for school.
They're not. At all. "No, my wife and I are not directly paying for her school," OP wrote, "but if she gets sick or injured or she needs to come back home, we'll be both financially and emotionally paying for it."
So, to recap, they are upset that she's choosing to go to Harvard, her dream school, even though they are not paying for any of it, because in the off-chance that she gets injured (??) while there, they will have to pay for her care. Do you understand their logic? Because I sure don't. Wouldn't they also care for her if she got injured at state school?
It makes no sense. They also write that their younger daughter, age 12, would be "robbed" of her older sister when she "needs that guidance from someone closer to her age." Sure as heck seems like they want to keep their older daughter around just to parent their younger one.
"I think it's a rather selfish decision and told my eldest so, but that just made her even more angry," OP writes. Uh, yeah. Of course it did. Her own parent isn't excited for her to go to her dream school, one that she's planning to pay for entirely on her own. Commenters sided with the daughter.
"YTA. 100 percent," one person wrote. "If this is her dream and it's doable, let her do it... She clearly wants to move out and begin a life elsewhere and you have no right to deprive her of that, ESPECIALLY if you are not the ones financing her education. It is not a selfish decision whatsoever on her part."
Here's the thing: Choosing your college should be a selfish decision. It should be all about you. If you are privileged enough to have a choice about where you go to school, and especially if you are the one paying for it, you should make the decision for yourself and no one else, not even your parents.
In an edit to their original post, OP writes, "I see now that I am TA. I won't stand in the way of my daughter going to Harvard, but I do stand firm that I believe it isn't a good idea." So basically, OP is OK with being the a--hole here.
The decision about where their daughter goes to school is not about them. If they were paying for it, you could argue that they should have some say, but even then, they should have done everything in their power to realize their kid's dream. That's what parents are for.