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The awkward negotiation over tuition fees and family

by AirTalk®

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Rachel Canning (right) sits with her friend Jamie Inglesino during a hearing at the Morris County Courthouse on Tuesday. Canning, an honor student who says her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18, is now asking a court to make them support her and pay for her college. John O'Boyle/AP

A court ruling this week has dealt a setback to a New Jersey teenager who's sued her parents for immediate financial assistance. Rachel Canning, 18, alleges in her suit that her parents kicked her out of their New Jersey home and she is unable to support herself financially.

The suit asks that her parents pay for her private high school tuition, her living expenses, and her future college tuition, among other things. The judge presiding over the case denied the request for high school tuition and living expenses, but will consider other remaining issues in April.

Do parents have a financial obligation to pay their kid's college tuition? While the case might seem a bit farfetched, it touches on a common personal finance issue many parents have to face: the emotional pull-and-tug involved in figuring out realistically how much to contribute to their kid's college education.  


Liz Weston, an award-winning, nationally-syndicated personal finance columnist who has been following the case. She is also the author of the national best-seller, “Your Credit Score” (FT Press, 2011)


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