Well, if the daughters had skipped going to college altogether and instead had just gotten married at 17, their parents could have given that money to their husbands as dowry.
LW has three kids. Two daughters, one son. Two daughters went to expensive private colleges, parents paid the bulk of tuition so there were no loans. Daughters can't find work and are living at home. Son went to trade school and is doing well. So parents are giving him the same amount of money they spent on their daughters' college education.
And the daughters are FURIOUS.