I am a 28-year-old older sister to a 21-year-old who is currently living with me and has for the past three years. She has been attending community college (which I have gladly been funding) and will be transferring to a university this fall. She’s eligible for an automatic transfer to two highly regarded state schools, one in town, the other a couple of hours away. The school in town is more competitive, and she will more than likely be stuck with a liberal arts degree, which she is not excited about pursuing. The other school would be a more reasonable choice for her because she has a much better shot of pursuing the degree she is actually interested in (engineering) and in a much more supportive environment. The problem is her boyfriend. She met him at her part-time job, and while he’s a nice guy, part of the reason she wants to choose the less desirable of the two school options is because she’d like to stay closer to him. What can I do and how much can I push her to accept the other offer, the one two hours away but with so much more promising potential for her future? I don’t want to harm our relationship, but since I’ll be ponying up some of the money, I figure I should say something.
—Sister’s College Choice