MD’s Daughter/Son has student loans?

I was on a call with an MD that's heads the Chicago office at a larger CRE lender JPM/PGIM/Metlife/BOFA and she/he brought up that there daughter/son has student loans. I was surprised by this given that I'm sure there house hold income is Atleast $500k. Pretty sure the daughter/son went out of state to a school like IU/UWM/OSU so not Ivy League expensive. I guess in just surprised that the MD couldn't foot the bill given their income. I'm not a American so not super familiar with American norms.

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Comments (76)

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2021 - 1:46pm

I think It's also a cultural thing. I'm Asian, and I grew up in a comfortable household (maybe around $700-800k household income in a LCOL area), and my parents are paying for my education no questions asked, and just about all of my Asian peers have their parents paying for as much of their college tuition as they can. On the other hand, my girlfriend, who's white, is from a truly wealthy household (as in probably >$1.5m annual income), and her parents are refusing to pay for any more than $20k a year of her tuition even though they're easily able to pay for all of her tuition (she goes to a private Ivy League, zero financial aid).

I think among American households parents have a lot more of this individualistic philosophy towards their children where they expect their children to be able to support themselves and be their own person once they turn 18. I've seen this across my hometown, where a handful of white parents essentially shut off all financial assistance to their children after they turned 18. On the other hand, I think Asians have a very different outlook on family, where the vast majority of Asian households I know of don't see a child turning 18 as the moment they become independent, but rather expect the parent-child relationship to last forever (Parents will help take care of their children in the ways they can, and in turn when the parents are no longer able to take care of themselves the children must take care of parents). In line with the cultural familial norms, Asian parents see paying for their children's educations as an investment, where their children down the line will in turn financially support them.

  • Summer Associate in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2021 - 1:54pm

Definitely agree with the cultural aspects. My husband is Asian and his idea of family is pretty different from American culture. Even though his parents are more than comfortable and able to live independently with their retirement savings there was a mutual understanding between them that once he finally determined where to settle down his parents would move to a house either close to us or live with us, and they would play an integral part in our lives (help us with domestic tasks, take care of our children down the line, etc) and we would remain an integral part in their lives and support them when they need us. I remember he was horrified at the norm here in America of just sending your parents off to retirement homes when he learned about it.

Sep 12, 2021 - 6:12pm

More than a cultural thing I think the MD is just financially smart.

They can get 1% variable rate loan or 3% fixed then invest his money in his company's fund or broad market and get 7%+, while building his child's credit.

No brainer really.

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Sep 12, 2021 - 6:54pm

Lol yeah that's fair. I guess it's because my parents avoided lifestyle inflation so I always felt like we lived well below the norm for our income level and much closer to the average upper-middle-class household.

Sep 13, 2021 - 6:54pm

I can't think of a single wealthy or even upper middle class family, white or otherwise, who did not pay for their children's education. I think your gf's parents are just hard asses here. 

I mean I literally know dozens of these people and just about every single one had their education paid for. 

  • 2
Sep 15, 2021 - 2:21am

I make $2M-$3M a year and if my kid doesn't get into a good school, I'm not paying. And I won't be paying for any of his shit until he does.

My wife's little brother was a bum. Ended up in community college (not by choice, terrible SATs), then a horrific state school with a worthless major and he's a bartender. Her parents paid for everything. Fuck that.

If that's my kid, they would be struggling until they finally came to Jesus (figuratively), retook the SATs and got accepted to a decent school.  Then they get access to the gravy train. 

I'll put my kid in private school so the floor will be high. His version of community college will probably be Dartmouth. 

Oct 8, 2021 - 3:21pm

Theres different types of wealth. A lot of people like throwing money around and having no one know how close they live to the edge. I think everyone would be surprised to see the real levels of peoples wealth vs how much they spend.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 12, 2021 - 2:22pm

Cannot agree with the above commentator anymore. My family sees me as an extension of themselves and their efforts. I'm Hispanic and we immigrated together to the US a bit over a decade ago and we are already planning as to what we are going to do with the money I make in IB and the money they make and how we will put it towards growing our assets. When I turned 18 they paid what my scholarship didn't cover while I focused on getting a high paying job to build our family up. It is not my parents' money nor my money but rather, the family money. The only way to build forward and contribute to progression is by merging and building up together, not by playing these impractical, petty games of "individuality" where the parents will force the child to take on student loans and potentially ruin their credit scores and employment prospects, among other things, in the hopes that they learn some ambiguous lesson which the parents aren't even sure can be taught this way. This is a dichotomy I've come to learn exists between me and my American born peers which severely perplexes me.

The children will label themselves "independent" because they are living out of their home state and in a dorm (peak individuality to many of these kids whose version of "busy" includes getting drunk at football games and going out on Monday nights), yet almost exclusively pay Ubers, DoorDash, eat out and spend on other things I consider to be luxuries with their parents' credit cards. The second it comes to paying tuition, however, they label themselves independent and proceed to proclaim about how they are "doing it on their own." The American dynamic is very strange and perplexing to me in this sense, as if anything, the only financial assistance parents should be giving their children should be intuition and forcing students to cover their recreational expenses on their own, rather than vice versa.

Sep 12, 2021 - 7:34pm

Agree with this 100%. I'm Pakistani and my family views money much the same way. Except that at this point I can't use their credit card for luxuries, as you put it. However, they help me with tuition and plan on helping with other big purchases down the line even though I won't need it most likely. I guess for us as a family, it's about growing our wealth together because at the end of the day it is the family money and we each play our parts to the extent we can. Disagree (severely disagree) with them on some things but overall I think it's a better to go about doing things than purely individualistic way way I've seen among my American (mainly well off white) friends.

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Sep 12, 2021 - 3:06pm

My parents made 7 figures and told me they wouldn't pay a dime for tuition because they both put themselves through school via loans and scholarships and they wanted me to have the same work ethic.

I understood - it was their money, not mine - but it would have been nice to have a little more optionality. Interestingly they were more than happy to pay living expenses (personally I probably would have switched those)

Sep 12, 2021 - 3:20pm

That is the mentality of an asshole or a moron. I am sure when they went to school, the cost was a fraction of what it does today.

I just can't understand the mentality of you can afford to help pay for your kids school, and choose not to because you think some sort of forced struggle is needed.

I paid for all of my school, but I am saving money now for my 1 year old son, because I don't want him to struggle with that.

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Sep 12, 2021 - 7:15pm

I think this is an extreme take. There are many 18 yr olds that don't understand the value of a dollar, and take college tuition (and other expenses) for granted. I am terrified of that with my kid. When I paid for school, I worked my a** off, because I was taking on ~$50k of debt a year and I didn't want to screw things up. That being said, there are many ways of teaching your children the importance of an education without having to struggle with debt, but it can be a tough thing to balance. I had friends on both sides, some that just saw it as a "right" (parents paying) and others who had parents that made it clear that education was the only thing they had, and that they would pay for whatever was necessary, but there was no pot of gold coming their way. You could see how the attitudes impacted the results. I personally will pay for my child's education and will look for ways to (hopefully) raise them with the right attitude about all of this. But I can see how having them pay (especially if the kid is one who has a poor attitude about this) can be a fine path (and you usually need a lot more context to make blanket statements about the parents - the situation and context matters a lot). 

Sep 12, 2021 - 3:53pm

I get this logic but out of interest did your parents compare cost of tuition in their time vs today? My dad put himself through college by working part time during the academic year and full time during summer. That isn't really viable today unless you're also getting significant financial aid, which if I understand correctly isn't available to children of wealthy parents in the US? 

  • Associate 2 in PE - Other
Sep 12, 2021 - 4:29pm

They were acutely aware of the increased costs, but held firm on the philosophy.

I ended up going to a state school on merit scholarship (I didn't qualify for need-based aid) and getting a desirable job in finance, so the end result was fine, but it did make the recruiting process substantially more difficult

Oct 1, 2021 - 2:10pm

Financial aid if wealthy parents only after the first year of claiming independent on tax returns post 18 years old. At least in California this is how it works.

Sep 12, 2021 - 7:40pm

I see you're in PE now so it all went well, and it's none of my business anyway but don't you think it would have been better to be on a sort "scholarship program" where if you maintain a certain gpa, plus get internships your parents would pay tuition, if not you'd have to pay them back the tuition money for that year or semester. You still build work ethic but still have options.

  • Associate 2 in RE - Res
Sep 12, 2021 - 3:26pm

There is a kind of collective action problem for white people here. Kicking the kids out of the nest at 18 works well enough if everyone does it. But if suddenly your kids have to compete with kids whose parents don't do this, they're at a disadvantage that they wouldn't be at otherwise.

I see this happening in my area in the affluent inner suburbs with good schools. You have couples in, say, their early thirties with a couple of kids. The husband and wife both have degrees and good jobs, but the houses are really expensive. My observation is that the Asian and Indian couples are often outbidding the white couples because their parents throw in a lot of money and then live with them.

You could say that the white boomer parents are stupid and self-centered, and maybe that's true. But I think a lot of the issue is they didn't face these competitive pressures when they were young, and they haven't really wrapped their minds around the fact that the world is different for their kids.

Sep 12, 2021 - 4:55pm

Just because someone is making $500K doesn't mean they can afford to send their kid to private college. We can't judge someone for what they choose to do with their money or can/cannot do with their money.

$500K per year household income is a huge amount, but you have no clue how they are spending it. For starters, $500K gets whittled down to $250k-$300K post tax. They still need to save for their own retirement. Plus you don't know what else they spend - maybe they spend money every year supporting an ailing grandmother. Now, add college to that for one kind - it's $50K - that's 20% of their take home pay, post tax (assuming $250K post tax). Add another kid and you are at 40% of your take home pay. You can't judge someone / comment based on cultural norms or what you perceive they have because you have absolutely no idea what's going on in the background. 

Sep 12, 2021 - 5:10pm state school at $30K, that's still more than 10% of the take home pay I referenced. That's huge. Being that you seem young because your profile references 'analyst 1' - I am going to assume you're 22-24. I don't think you have a grasp quite yet of how expensive life really is and you are judging this person on how they chose too/are able to, spend their money. Just because it sounds like they should be able to spend the money doesn't mean they can. And I know you're saying to yourself right now, well I'm never going to do that to my kids, but it happens all the time. You think one way until you arrive and realize holy sh*t, I never realized how this would really be. 

Here's a great example article (from one of my favorite finance websites) on how, while although $500K per year is definitively rich, it can still lead to not really having much left over at the end of the year in a HCOL city.…

  • Director in RE - Comm
Sep 12, 2021 - 5:35pm

If only they had had some way of knowing that their was this large expense coming. Crazy how colleges suddenly became expensive as soon as their kid graduated. 

of course it would be a big chunk of their current  single year income, but they could/should have set some money aside over their child's lifetime. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 12, 2021 - 5:40pm

lmao exactly why defend this family making HALF A MILLION dollars a year and clearly doesn't give a shit about their kid when there are families make 1/5th of that who still try to contribute something

  • Director in RE - Comm
Sep 12, 2021 - 6:31pm

Then their beliefs make them an asshole? Or at least I am free to believe they are assholes. People are free to have their beliefs and I am free to judge them for their beliefs.

Sep 12, 2021 - 6:52pm

Sure, you are free to judge them however you want. But you're ill informed and don't have all the facts. So judging them is a poor choice, in my humble opinion. What if you found out the reason the MD in this discussion can't pay for college for their kids is because their spouse had/has cancer, and the funds which were supposed to go towards college went towards saving a life and dealing with the after effects. Are they still an asshole now?

Sep 12, 2021 - 5:53pm

You're saying they could/should have. That's judging them for what you believe to be correct. You (nor do I) know nothing about their situation yet you're sitting here saying they should have been planning better. You can't sit here judging someone for how you perceive it to be the correct way they save / spend their money. For all you know, they did save, and life happened, and they had to spend their savings, so now they can't help their child. It's not our place to judge or pontificate on how someone saves / spends their money. We do not have all the facts. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 12, 2021 - 5:37pm

Dude if you're making 500k consistently annually and can't afford your kid's tuition there's a serious spending problem somewhere. No other way to slice it c'mon. As for living NYC, then I guess you are right, but why the hell do people continue to subject themselves to NYC when they could get nearly the same opportunities and social experience in several for half the price in several other cities in the country?

Sep 12, 2021 - 5:59pm

If you're living in NYC, or many of the HCOL cities in the country, it's unfortunate but $500K doesn't go as far and it's crazy, but it gets eaten up real fast. It's just a reality of these expensive cities. As to why someone doesn't leave because of that - I can't really answer that but there are a plethora of reasons. For some, it's the job - they won't make as much elsewhere. Others have family ties and want to stay. More people just punt and hope they earn enough to fix it. And the last one I can think of off the top of my head - these HCOL cities are sometimes a lifestyle choice. And if you choose to stay, have two kids, need to get a three bedroom in NYC on the upper east side (or west), life gets really expensive really fast. I would love to hear some of the other older users chime in on here, but I would wager the 22-24 year old crowd just doesn't realize how quickly life's expenses add up. Especially if you want to be in the city you work in, or life in a suburb close enough to keep your commute under an hour. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 12, 2021 - 6:44pm

Every family approaches college and tuition differently and while there's no right answer, the approach will determine if/where the kid goes.

Some examples of family friends + my own family:

1. Grandparents pay 100% of what's not covered by FA. The expectation of each generation pays for their grandkids tuition. Family has a decent chunk of money and it's inherited later in life to avoid college tuition/ungrateful children.

2. Parents pay full tuition to state school (or out-of-state tuition exchange schools) or private schools of the same amount. Kids are expected to qualify for the highest automatic merit scholarship. This family will also pay for med school/law school. 2 kids in this family are currently in med school.

3. You can go wherever you want (full pay family with 8 kids) but you have to pay me back mentality. The parents in this family can't figure out why none of the kids want to live on campus (parents want an empty nest). Kids are guaranteed a job at the family business if they graduate college (business pays well, would guess 80k/year first year in a LCOL city)

4. Family does not qualify for FA and refuses to pay for college. They live in a nice house and paid 15/yr for catholic prep school in grades 7-12 (they live in the #1 school district in the state). I feel bad for this girl because she graduated in 2020 and did 1 semester of online school and then dropped out because of the wasn't learning + hefty price tag. Parents are upset she dropped out of college. Everyone is kind of confused why the parents put the kid in this position.

5. Very religious family and have 3 biological sons, 1 biological daughter, and adopted 5 kids (3 boys, 2 girls). Parents only pay college tuition for the boys. 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 12, 2021 - 8:22pm

I'd be comfortable betting my soul that at least two of those adopted kids are black

  • PM in HF - Other
Sep 12, 2021 - 11:11pm

Confused why you guys think "student loans" are such a boogie man. As others mentioned usually these families take care of all other costs and if the child has extensive loans needs help down to buy property they are there.

You acting like this MDs kid is paying for all their own rent, food, colthes, trips to visit schools, schools apps etc..They aint I bet you. 

Lots of parents take loans as a tax arb/financial planning tool. This kid is prolly fine and their dad aint making him eat rament and pay massive loans out of school dont worry.

It is true asian families and so on like to not put anything in their childs name and worry them. I find stupid, if you gonna pay to help your kid and can get tax arbs for whole family why not get them to sign some forms.

Sep 13, 2021 - 8:46am

So I have seen both sides of this, some friends that their parents wouldn't foot the bill for anything but school and vice versa. The way may parents did it for myself and my siblings seemed like a pretty solid system. Low 7 figure household income and my dad made my siblings and I take out fafsa loans for whatever they would give and then they covered the rest including rent. The kicker was that depending on out gpa at graduation they would either pay those off immediately or they would be out responsibility. I had a good bit of scholarships and graduated with a high gpa so my loans were paid off. One of my siblings went to a large out of state school and gpa wasn't at my dads threshold so they were on the hook for repayment. Fully had the means to pay for all up front but used the partial loan as an incentive to actually do well not just waste 4 years.We had the option of going anywhere we wanted and if we did well there would be no cost outlay on our part. Definitely seemed fair and either way the entirety of the cost was not on our shoulders.

Sep 13, 2021 - 9:44am

100% cultural. It's very common in North America for parents of all levels of wealth to tell their kids to get a job as soon as they turn 16, and to only offer a limited amount of support to cover schooling (anything from nothing to covering undergrad but not contributing towards any post-grad degrees).

Personally, I've noticed the degree of support kids receive tends to vary depending on what generation of wealth the family has reached. If someone's parents came from poverty and are completely self-made, they tend to value work ethic much more and expect their kids to learn it.

Sep 13, 2021 - 10:58am

It's his money, he can spend it how he wants and raise his kids as he sees fit. I wouldn't impose values on others or assume. Maybe he co-signed the loans or knows his kid is going to party 24/7 and doesn't want to fund that or even better is betting that Democrats are going to forgive the loans or suspend interest payments long enough to arbitrage the cost of capital

Sep 13, 2021 - 12:03pm

Interest rates are so low right now. Who wouldn't take a loan? If you can grow your money faster than student loan interest rates, makes more sense to take a loan. 


Sep 13, 2021 - 1:40pm

I'm white and completely agree with you. I simply cannot understand why you would make your children take tens of thousands of dollars of debt when they're just starting their adult life. I think education is one of the most important things in life and should be encouraged if you can afford it.

As for people who say it's to teach their children some life lessons and teach them the "value of money", why the fuck would you wait until they're 18 years old to do that?? I'm sure there are some valid cases, but if your child is such a shit head at 18/19 to warrant not paying for their schooling at all then maybe you did a bad job educating them.

Sep 13, 2021 - 6:38pm

Plus there are still plenty of ways to teach them the value of money without making them go into student loan debt. My parents deal for me and my siblings was they paid for undergrad and we had to pay for grad school. And even while they covered undergrad, I didn't get anything else, if I went over my meal plan budget I had to cough up the rest from savings, if I wanted a new computer I had to pay for it myself. I learned pretty quickly how to budget my money from the first year of school and got an on-campus job I had for 7/8 semesters. 

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 13, 2021 - 1:53pm



Sep 15, 2021 - 3:18pm

It's selfish to have kids, then "invest" in them by paying for their education, only to expect to be taken care of by them later in life.

My life is my life, I take care of my shit. I don't want my kids to be responsible for taking care of me or guilting them into that kind of situation.

If my kids are achieving, I'll pay for their shit, if they're not, I won't. No strings attached. If they end up liking me when they're adults and want to spend time with me, great. If not, I don't care. I don't want to burden them at all especially if they've worked hard to build a great life for themselves.

  • Intern in IB - ECM
Sep 17, 2021 - 1:11pm

Dead end ideology. The relationships that matter most in life are those maintained by blood, interdependence, cultural background, and spiritual beliefs. Believing that you should live life on your own will cause you to become socially atomized.

Sep 13, 2021 - 7:52pm

Many other Asians have chimed in and I will essentially rehash what they said in my experience. My parents are comfortable and had me take out a small loan (5-10k) my freshman year so I would "Understand what a dollar is". They've been incredibly supportive of my academics similar to many other Asian posters here.

Sep 13, 2021 - 8:22pm

Md is obviously divorced and getting owned in settlement fees and alimony by his ex wife.   No other reason.

If his network knew he was not paying for a kids college, he's lose some social clout(srs).  Not going to go over well to tell the country club friends about it.  surprise he even mentioned it.  He's probably a very not well connected md

Sep 14, 2021 - 3:24am

Bro my kids are going to have all the advantages I didn't have. Why the fuck would I want them to work for minimum wage while going to uni? or pay student loans 5% interest? 

Nah bro they gon get some nice ass car, big apartment and shiny shit. Granted they have to "work for it" by getting the grades, jobs or sports related achievements and stuff. In a nutshell, it aint gonna be free but it aint gonna waste their life either 

  • Associate 3 in RE - Comm
Sep 16, 2021 - 1:47am

Ya'll bunch of spoiled monkeys. What kind of soft kids are you, expecting to have your parents pay your way through college?

My parents immigrated with nothing but the clothes on their backs and washed dishes for 2 decades. I studied my ass off for scholarships, worked in college, and took out loans to bridge the difference. 

All ya'll with parents who make "high 6 / low 7 digits" per year are fed with a golden spoon. Jeez, your parents didn't pay for college? Boo fucking hoo. You grew up in safe ass neighborhoods, had high quality food on the table, and all the schooling resources you could ever want at your disposal since the time you were in diapers. You'll likely inherit millions of dollars in assets when your parents die. And Ya'll complaining about have to pay for your own college? 


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