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Dad refuses to pay for daughter's English degree; is called 'worst dad ever.' Updated!

Dad refuses to pay for daughter's English degree; is called 'worst dad ever.' Updated!


'AITA for choosing not to pay for my daughter's university fees despite paying for her brothers?'

My (57M) daughter Jane (21F) has recently been accepted into the university of her choice, now me and my wife (55F) are glad with this news , the only thing is that Jane got accepted to do an English degree.

Now Jane, compared to her two brothers Mark (28M) and Leo (30M) was quite late in applying to university. When me and my wife asked her to start at 18 she claimed that she was not ready and wanted to have a 'little rest,' a little rest being going out with friends and traveling the whole of last year with her boyfriend.

It should be noted that I supplied Jane with all the money needed for her little rest .

Now me and my wife have nothing against Jane doing what she did, she's young and young people live to explore and do what they do, however before me and my wife allowed for Jane to do her thing we made her promise that when she did apply to university it was for a degree that was worth it - Jane was going through a weird phase where she wanted to be many things that were more on the creative side.

Fast forward a year later we find out that Jane's gone behind our backs and applied for an English degree.

Both Leo and Mark took medical degrees and are now very good, well payed doctors. One would think that this would motivate Jane to go on the same path but instead she has decided to be 'herself.'

I sat down Jane last night and told her that if she decided to go through with the English degree, I would not support her at all and that she would have to take out her own student loan, at this she began crying claiming that I was the 'worst dad ever' and had always favoured her brothers over her (because I had paid for their university fees) - now this is totally incorrect I did literally paid for her travel all of last year.

My sons think that I'm being too harsh and that I should simply support Jane regardless of what she chooses, but is it too much to ask of my daughter to follow through with an actually useful degree?

Info from OP:

My daughter's year of travel does not add up to her brothers tuition fees, not even close. For those wondering I work as a cardiologist.

Me not wanting my daughter to do an English degree is not because I'm sexist, but because I want her to do something useful which she can live off instead of depending on me for the rest of her life.

I don't even know if this is something she really wants to do or if it's another way of trying to rebel against me.

Here's what people had to say to OP:

your-yogurt writes:

YTA. if it was because you paid an equal amount to her travels as her brother's education i would say n t a. but because she chose a degree you 'disapprove' of, you are punishing her.

also, i have an english degree. sure, i dont earn as much as a doctor, but ive been a librarian for ten years and have helped thousands of people. my pay is enough to keep me housed, fed, and comfortable.

Brainjacker writes:

Did you specify, exactly, what 'worth it' meant, or was it subjective so that you could arbitrarily deny her education funds? My English major a** made over $200K this year and if you were my father I'd burn it in front of you before spending on your elder care.

EVERY industry needs communications. Hedge funds, venture capital, biotech are some of the higher $$$$ areas. If you can carve a niche translating content between different groups of experts, all the better. Research is ubiquitous but doesn’t generally pay too well without a terminal degree in something else. If you can write well you can work anywhere.

Veritamoria writes:

Signing off as another English major who made 160k last year. I'm a program manager for a software company. Turns out my English degree helps me tremendously in remote business. YTA for not being more clear about what a useful degree is or isn't. Underwater basket weaving, maybe there's an issue. English is a nice degree.

Update from OP 3 weeks later:

I would like to start by saying that I appreciate all the comments that were given however unpleasant they were. They helped me understand that I was in the wrong and some provided me with advice on what I should do if I wanted to keep in contact with my daughter.

I realised that I was living too much in the past and wasn’t taking into consideration how much things have changed in the last 30 years. My father worked as an artist (paintings) and had little to no business, the only thing that saved my family from absolute poverty was my mother working in a supermarket. I guess I was afraid of such things happening to Jane.

Now I hadn’t talked to Jane about her degree until the last thursday, when I brought the topic up she confessed to me that she was ready to take one of the degrees I had recommended to her. I told her there was no need to and she looked at me as if I was playing a cruel joke, I reassured her that I was being serious and she began crying (due to happiness).

I realized that I may have been favouring my sons due to their obedience to follow what I asked of them and was punishing Jane for being herself rather than fitting into whatever I decided to make of her.

Jane will be attending Oxford Uni later in the year to take her degree and the relationship between us has never been better.

I am highly appreciative of all the comments on my previous post, they helped me see how much I was prioritising financial gain over my daughter’s well-being, something which should have never been a question in the first place.

Here's what people had to say after the update:

danzeman2308 writes:

This is what I love to see, A**holes taking the judgement they've been given and deciding to change for the better rather than staying stubborn. Wishing you and your daughter the best OP.

Alarmed_Jellyfish555 writes:

Yeah, it's refreshing to finally see an a**hole who acknowledges their mistakes and tries to set things right. Also, an English degree from OXFORD?! Yeah, his daughter will never have any issues with employment.

PersistentWitch writes:

How did OP not mention Oxford in the first post?! She could major in Antarctic bird calls and still get a job on the strength of the alumni network alone.

Desirsar writes:

'Unpleasant' is a weird way of saying 'correct'. Guess it works out, even if you're only grudgingly doing the right thing.

Impressive-Mix-31 OP responded:

My apologies, by unpleasant I meant some comments that although correct were insulting and used harsh language. Worked out for the best though.

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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