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Two-Fifths of Parents Expect Children to Cover All or Most College Costs


The Chronicle of Higher Education - July 23, 2012

If you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, then you surely don’t need a survey to know that many Americans are fretting about paying for college.

But how prevalent is that anxiety? According to a new survey, 74 percent of adults with teenagers considering college want to help their children pay to enroll, but 75 percent are either very worried or somewhat worried about their ability to do just that.

The survey, commissioned by Discover Student Loans, also found that 39 percent of parents expect their children to pay for all or most of their college education. Nearly half (48 percent) expect their children to cover some of the costs. If their child had to rely on student loans, 22 percent of parents said it was very likely that they would help repay the loans, and 33 percent said it was somewhat likely.

And where will most of the money for college come from? Twenty-eight percent of parents said the bulk would come from student loans; 24 percent said they would rely on family savings; and 12 percent cited a 529 savings plans.

Respondents were also asked about the reliability of various sources of information about paying for college. The big winners—picked by 47 percent of parents—were college financial-aid offices.