Father sparks outrage for wanting to sell daughter’s car to pay for other child’s college tuition

‘If you sell that car the youngest will resent you forever,’ user writes

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Thursday 11 April 2024 14:36 BST
Commenters were quick to tell the father that he and his wife were handling the situation in the wrong way
Commenters were quick to tell the father that he and his wife were handling the situation in the wrong way (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A father sparked outrage over wanting to sell one daughter’s car to pay the other’s tuition.

In a post shared to the Am I The ***hole forum on Reddit, a 55-year-old father wrote about how he wasn’t sure how to handle a tense situation between his two daughters, ages 21 and 17 respectively. He began the post by writing: “My oldest is finishing up her junior year of college at a very good school. We are all very proud of her. She has a full-ride academic scholarship that is dependent on her GPA.”

However, the eldest sister’s GPA “will dip below the cutoff”, leading her to, unfortunately, lose her scholarship and putting the family in a tough financial spot. He added, “If she gets her GPA back above the threshold next semester, we can apparently ‘readdress’ the situation to determine if her scholarship can be reinstated for the final semester of school.”

The father of two continued, “When I tell you we bent over backward trying to find a solution before we came to the one we did... we’ve done the math, and she can’t get her grades up with how much of the semester is left. She also can’t take enough credits during the summer based on how the summer classes are structured to raise her GPA high enough even if she got As, and the school refuses to make any exceptions.”

He explained that he and his wife aren’t happy about their eldest daughter’s grades, but have decided to cut her a break since “she’s a very smart kid who really struggled with her mental health from sophomore year into junior year, and it affected her grades”.

“Under no circumstance did we want her to leave college with only one year left,” he added. “That just truly would not be fair to her after how hard she has worked.”

He and his wife have come up with a solution, but it would be at the expense of their 17-year-old birthday gift from a couple of months ago, “a brand-new Toyota Rav4”. The father noted that since they understood that “the car was a big deal”, they “sat her down and told her that, ‘We’re very sorry, but if we can’t find another solution, we have to sell your car to help cover [oldest’s] tuition.”

Although selling the car would only cover “probably 1/3 of the tuition for one full year”, so far, it’s the best solution that he and his wife can come up with for now. However, the couple’s youngest daughter said that she felt hurt by the whole situation, noting that she felt slighted in favour of her sister.

“She became extremely upset and told us that it was unfair we were ‘rewarding’ our oldest for failing and ‘punishing’ her for succeeding,” she added. The father noted that he “never wanted her to feel punished, or for our oldest to feel rewarded. It’s just the reality of what we need to do right now. If the same happened to her, we would do everything in our power to help.”

Commenters were quick to tell the father that he and his wife were handling the situation in the wrong way.

“Your oldest child is 21 years old,” one commenter pointed out. “She can take out loans, transfer to less expensive school, work while attending school, etc., to cover tuition. She lost her scholarship. Your youngest works hard and was given a gift for her hard work. You can’t use it to bail out the oldest.”

Another added, “I commend you for understanding that your oldest has struggled with her mental health and wanting to help her get back on her feet. However, helping your oldest and the expense of your youngest is fucking unconscionable. You and your wife need to take out a loan yourself or have your 21-year-old take out a loan and help her pay it back.”

Many noted that taking from their youngest to benefit their eldest would cause irreparable harm to their parent-child relationship, and set a precedent. “You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul,” someone else commented. “If you sell that car the youngest will resent you forever.”

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