My parents were very supportive of my education from the time I was young. They could not financially support my college expenses, as I was the oldest in a family of 6 children with a stay at home mom and a modest family income. But, with both my undergraduate and graduate schooling, they never hesitated to let me know how proud they were or to encourage me to proceed with my education.
Frankly it was never a question in my mind that I would go to college, but some of that influence came from my peers as well. I also knew from the start, I would have to pay for my education on my own and that actually served to make me work harder and develop independence (and responsibility) in terms of taking care of and looking out for myself.
I lived in a small, rural Southern Illinois town, and higher education opened up the world to me and changed my life dramatically. (One additional twist I will throw out there: I graduated in 1968. High schools encouraged girls with good academic records to pursue a college track, but they also were quick to push us toward careers that were very female dominated such as teaching, nursing, and social work. They also never hesitated to remind female students that they needed to learn homemaking skills because the prevailing thought was that we would all be wives and mothers, eventually. Guys were directed more into higher salaried type professions, and girls were directed toward low paying service careers.)
That said, I loved my career as a librarian and educator, but I also worked my way up the ladder to a senior administrative position.