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Research

More Burden for College Costs Placed on Students' Shoulders

man carrying large coin on his back

A growing number of parents expect their kids to pay at least half of the cost of college — up from 31 percent in 2018 to 38 percent in 2019. A survey of 1,501 American parents of college-bound students aged 16 to 18 found that fewer of them expect to cover the entire expense, down from 34 percent last year to 28 percent this year.

The survey was done by Dynata on behalf of Discover Financial Services, which writes student loans.

While most parents (65 percent) said they were worried about having sufficient money to help with college costs, an even higher portion (70 percent) said they wouldn't limit the choice of college based on price.

The majority of parents (58 percent) look to scholarships and grants to help pay for college, even as fewer said they'd use savings this year versus last year (41 percent in 2019 compared to 51 percent in 2018) or student loans (38 percent compared to 43 percent).

Eight in 10 parents said they'd already had conversations with their children on the subject of paying for college, many of them beginning that at the start of high school. And nearly a third (32 percent) reported that they believe they'll have to retire later in life to help pay for college.

The financial services company provides a number of calculators to help families compare options regarding paying for college costs.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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