I'm in a similar situation as you in the sense that I have also built my career on my own, served in the military, still have student debt, married a woman with two kids, and the father of my step-daughter is a real piece of work. That being said, I completely disagree with you that you don't feel any responsibility to at least help your kid out with some of the cost for college. Pushing your kid into the military is a terrible idea. Just because I chose the route of serving in the military doesn't mean I would want to encourage anyone else to do that. Given all of the hardship I went through, I am happy to make my step-daughter's experience even slightly less difficult than mine.