Support for Children Attending College
Pennsylvania law does not mandate that a parent pay support for a child to attend college. Child support in Pennsylvania is paid until a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later (Exceptions may be made for children with severe disabilities that would prevent them from being employable). Although Pennsylvania law previously provided that courts could order parents to contribute to an adult child’s college expenses, Pennsylvania courts have found this law unconstitutional.
However, courts will uphold clear written agreements between parents regarding contributions to college costs and college support, but cannot order a parent to contribute absent such an agreement. If you are going through a divorce you may include a provision in the marriage settlement agreement that provides that a parent contribute to the college education of a child. However, it is usually a good idea to also include provisions regarding how much money should be paid and for how long, what programs are covered and minimum grade expectations.
If your child resides outside of Pennsylvania, you may be bound by the laws of that state. Some states do specifically provide for support for children attending college.