1

I now "pay your way through" means paying for your expenses yourself or maybe parents can do that as well. Like:

His parents payed his way through the college.

But can it be used to mean "paying for someone who isn't smart enough,so that the person isn't held back; in other words bribing....?

Same sentence:

He wasn't really smart enough, but his parents payed his way through the college.

His parents payed his way through school.

His parents payed his way through the tenth grade. (Or any particular class..)

(They payed for him, that is the reason why he wasn't held back and was able to graduate from the college.)

2

No. Paying your way through (or paying someone else's way through) just means paying expenses.

Confusingly, "paying your way into" would imply a bribe or that you would not have gotten in without the payment.

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