College students and control.


Our 21 year old son is on a full ride academic scholarship at an out of state university. When he was born, we set up a UGMA account for his college education, but he hasn’t needed it. He has $44,000 in his name. When he started college he planned to use the money for grad school. We’ve continued to pay for his medical, dental, auto insurance, his cell phone bills, his travel expenses, and medical expenses. He lives at home on breaks at no cost to him. Basically, he has no living expenses other than clothing and personal entertainment.
At the end of his 1st year he had a 4.0, end of 2nd year 3.82, and this year he’s making B’s and C’s. The change we’re most concerned about is his character and attitude. Academics are no longer a priority but social activities are important. Some activities seem meaningful such as being elected to the student senate and joining a mock trial team. However, we’re not pleased that he’s joined a fraternity, started drinking, and accepted a job working late at night. He frequently skips class and church.
We were so concerned we went to see him about 3 weeks ago, but he insists he’s fine. Our conversation with hasn’t produced in any changes in his behavior. We told him if he joined a fraternity there’d be a consequence, so we know we need to impose some sanction. We’re considering removing our financial support of his cell phone. Due to his other poor choices, we’re thinking of dropping him from our medical and auto insurance policies and requiring him to cover his medical and other living expenses from his college fund.
For him to obtain insurance coverage without us will be quite expensive. Another option might be to keep him on our policies but require him to pay his share. Also, that would make it easier for us to resume paying these expenses if he were to act responsibly, but we’re not sure how we can monitor his actions from afar. We’re sure he’ll think our withdrawal of any support is unfair. What do you suggest we do based on his age and the situation?

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