Dropping out of college

My friend is going to drop out of college, but she hasn’t told her parents, which I think is a sin. While her parents believe she’s going back to school, she’s planning on returning to the college, starting the process to drop out, and remaining in the area.

My question is whether she’s technically sinning. It is her education, after all. Even if she told her parents, it’s not as if they could force her to remain in school. I do realize there is a monetary concern since her parents are the ones taking out the loans. However, if she drops out before classes start, the parents won’t be charged. (There is the matter of the money spent up to this point, however.)

There are a lot of factors at play, so I’m not sure if she’s technically obligated to tell her parents. My question is about sin and salvation. Sin or no sin, the best thing to do would be to include her parents, I know. But is there anything in Catholic moral teaching that indicates what she’s going to do is a sin?

It seems a bit sneaky to go about dropping out in such a manner. The parents really need to know why as it may be a moral issue or academic problem. Not knowing all the factors it is anyone’s guess as to her decision. Peace.

I think it would be sinning, yes, if for no other reason than she is lying to her parents by making them think she is returning to school.

My guess is she is probably afraid to tell her parents. But she needs to. It’s not going to go better if she drops out while she’s away. And if she’s been doing poorly in school, they may well be relieved. My fiance’s son was failing half his classes but my fiance felt obligated to keep paying for his college. When he finally came and told him he had no interest in college and wanted to drop out, my fiance was relieved, not mad. He was tired of paying for classes that his son had no interest in taking. His son is doing fine, making $50K a year as a manager of a local chain restaurant.

College isn’t for everyone.

If she is lying to her parents to get them to pay for something they wouldn’t normally do (moving costs, rent, etc.) then yes it is wrong.

Remember we are all sinners though. This sounds like an adolescent/family matter that you should probably not get involved with. It sounds like she and/or her family have some pretty big issues. Probably bigger than you can help. Don’t spend too much worrying about it. Is this really a “friend” or just someone you know? If she is that manipulative I would reconsider calling her a friend.

I think the bigger question is if it is your place to get involved in the family dynamics of your friend. It is really none of your business.

It’s not on that level, rest assured. It isn’t a con. In which case, what is your opinion?

I don’t think you could possibly know all the dynamics here. If you are advising your friend you could point out that getting money under false pretenses is wrong.

dropping out is not a bad thing always.
Fraudulently getting money from your parents might be.

Do her parents have a right to know?

If so, purposely withholding information from someone that has a right to it is a form of lying, and lying is a sin.

I would strongly encourage your friend to tell her parents the truth. Framing it in terms of sin or not sin isn’t even relevant to that point. The very fact that she is unwilling to level with them, but willing to be very open to a mere friend, is in and of itself a bad sign, IMO.

Part of respecting and honoring one’s parents is to, at a certain age especially, seek out their wisdom and their advice when it is pertinent to one’s circumstances.

I think that refusing to do that, without objectively reasonable mitigating factors, can be venially sinful.

Families should be much closer than this sort of smoke-and-mirrors hiding of true intentions and real plans.

There’s circumstances under which defrauding one’s parents is morally licit?

Lol. No. Good catch.

I got confused. :stuck_out_tongue:

It all comes down to money. Not right to know. My parents don’t have a right to know if at 40 I wish to not get my third graduate degree or not. ( I don’t) Because they are not financially tied to it. In this case I think that they probably should know so they can make the best financial decisions.
But it sure is not for the op to decide, though the op can counsel the friend. I’m not sure what that counts for though.

Dropping out may be the best financial decision for all involved!

This sounds like an adolescent/family matter that you should probably not get involved with. It sounds like she and/or her family have some pretty big issues. Probably bigger than you can help.

No, this is not a sin, and furthermore, that is none of your business.

If she is in college, it is likely she is 18, at which she should be considered an adult. Her family dynamics, which are also none of your business, may be part of her failure to confront the issue that for whatever reason, she does not wish to continue on.

Your friend sounds very immature. That, last time I checked, is not sin, but does cause untold grief over poorly made decisions. She may be making a good decision to not continue on, or a poor one, but that is her problem, not yours. She may fear her parents’ reaction (and may or may not be correctly surmising how they would react), but that, too, is not your business.

You might want to suggest to here that she is taking a very immature approach to dealing with her parents. This may be a point of which she is already aware; and it could be a point she does not want to hear, and that might cause a strain or more to your friendship.

On the other hand, it might lead to making friends who make more mature decisions.

Catholic moral teaching includes the Ten Commandments. One of those commandments says, “Honor your father and mother.” Another moral teaching found in the Bible that may relate to this is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I believe she owes her parents the truth, sooner than later.

Does she owe it to them because of the money or because they are her parents.

College is harsh, but the natural life is better. Do have some time for them, if my understanding is correct, for they need a conceptual theory to understand themselves. Get lighter load, for this mission could be harsh.

She deceives her parents by dropping out without their knowledge. (Unless she has paid for every penny herself and is living under her own roof.)

She’s sinning in not telling them (unless she is completely self-sufficient) not in the dropping out. But if she drops out, even if she’s honest, her parents may send her on her way and expect her to be self-sufficient or have a plan in place to be so.

The last time I checked the qualifications of a sin, there were three: it had to be a wrong; one had to know it was wrong, and one had to have the intention to do wrong. I don’t see anything getting this to the level of a mortal sin. Maybe you have a different set of commandments.

This sounds like a kid who is between a rock and a hard place; for whatever reason she does not want to continue to go to college, and she for some reason appears to feel either that she cannot communicate this to her parents, or possibly feels she is being coerced to go to college.

In all likelihood, she is doing nothing with the intent to sin; far more likely she doesn’t know how to confront the issue - and the parents - and is trying to resolve it without a major family fight.

So you would suggest that in the alternative she have a family fight with her parents? And you call this sin, would you call that sin? And if both are sin, then apparently the parents coercing her to go to college is sinless?

People are more than a bit quick to judge someone else’s action as sinful without knowing and understanding what is prompting the actions.

According to the OP, the parents are not going to be out money - it is not as if she is simply failing to go to class, or going and not participating.

It is an immature way to resolve the issue, but immature resolutions are often simply the product of not being mature enough to know how to properly resolve them. Calling that a sin is a bit of a stretch.

I never said it was a mortal sin.

The OP asked my opinion, that’s what I gave. If they want another (and probably more accurate) answer they should ask their priest. :slight_smile:

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