This has been sort of a hot topic, so I am going to share my thoughts on it from my experience.
I was fortunate enough to be at the top of my graduating class and as a result I received a full tuition scholarship to a great college. My parents were generous enough to pay for my room and board. So here I was going to college and didn't have to worry about anything except for some discretionary spending money.
It didn't take me long to start screwing everything up.
Drinking, drugs, partying – you name it I probably was doing it. It's an area of my life that I am not particularly proud of because I basically lost some valuable months of my life. I am also lucky that I didn't die or have something horrible happen to me because I was just asking for it by my actions.
I probably don't have to say it, but my grades were horrible. A 1.9 GPA my first quarter and a 0.75 GPA my second quarter. I was on "academic probation." Then I received a letter stating that one more time on probation and I would lose my scholarship and be kicked out of college. At the same time, my mom and dad couldn't afford to pay more room & board (unrelated to my grades because I tried to keep that hidden from them). Everything I was relying on to be able to party and have fun was being taken away from me.
Long story short - I did end up getting my act together and I didn't get kicked out of school. I don't want to make it sound like every kid that gets his or her college education paid in full is going to screw things up. My point is that with my experience - I took advantage of the situation and didn't appreciate what I had in front of me. I wasn't paying my way so it didn't mean as much.
I want the best for my son when he's old enough to go to college (if he wants to). I think a valuable life lesson is learned when you contribute to something that you want to do instead of having it given to you. It means more and you value it more. I want my son to have a good life, but he has to want it and be willing to work hard for it.
Mom and Dad will definitely help, but he will need to do his part with paying for college. I think he will be an overall better person for having to do so.