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PARENTS WANT TO HELP TEENS THROUGH COLLEGE BUT UNSURE HOW, SURVEY SAYS

     Home  >  Articles  > CHILD RAISING
by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: college loans for parents, putting kids through college, setting up college funds, how to help teens through college,


A national survey of parents conducted by Discover Student Loans found that three out of four families in the U.S. want to help their children pay for college but worry they will not be able to come up with enough money.

Seventy-four percent of adults with teens considering college want to help finance their child’s education in some way, but just as many are worried about how they will pay for it, according to a survey commissioned by Discover Student Loans.

“We see that families want to help their children receive a college degree and are knowledgeable about the funding options available.”

In an independent survey of U.S. parents with college-bound teens 16 to 18 years old, 81 percent of parents reported that college was very important to their child’s future. However, 75 percent are very or somewhat worried about being able to offer enough help. Another 17 percent are not very worried about having enough money to pay for college, and 6 percent are not worried at all.

“Parents overwhelmingly agree that a college education is an important investment in their children’s future,” said Carlos Minetti, president of consumer banking and operations at Discover. “We see that families want to help their children receive a college degree and are knowledgeable about the funding options available.”

Parents and Children to Share the Cost of College

Gift MoneyParents were asked how much of their child’s education they can afford and 29 percent reported they can pay up to a quarter, while 15 percent can pay half and 23 percent can pay up to three quarters or all of college costs. One in four families responded saying they can not afford to pay for any of their child’s education.

When it comes to sharing the cost, 39 percent of parents expect their children to take responsibility for all or most of tuition costs, while another 48 percent expect their children to be responsible for some of the cost, and 10 percent do not expect their children to pay anything.

More than half of parents expect to help their children repay student loans: 22 percent said it is very likely they will help, 33 percent were somewhat likely, 28 percent were not very likely, and 13 percent are not likely at all to help pay off loans.

Financing Education with Family Savings

The main source of funds for many families will be savings, but a considerable amount of parents think student loans are an inevitability to cover the remaining cost of college.

When asked to choose from a list of options, 36 percent of parents said most of the money to pay for their children’s educations will come from savings accounts – 24 percent from family savings and 12 percent from 529 savings plans, followed by:

  • Student loans............................28%

  • A second job...............................5%

  • Retirement funds.........................4%

  • Second mortgage or refinance.......3%

  • Some other source.....................13%

  • Not sure...................................11%


Most parents feel like they know what funding sources are available, with 42 percent feeling somewhat knowledgeable about their options, 29 percent feeling very knowledgeable, 24 percent not very knowledgeable, and 4 percent not at all knowledgeable.

Financial Aid Offices Trusted Most for Information about Paying for College

The survey found that parents put a significant amount of trust in financial aid officers, many of whom are attending the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators convention in Chicago July 22 to 25.

When asked to choose from a list of the most reliable sources of information on paying for college, 47 percent of parents put their trust in financial aid officers, followed by:

  • Personal financial advisors.............11%

  • Guidance counselors in high school...7%

  • Friends and family..........................6%

  • The Internet..................................6%

  • Banks and other lenders.................3%

  • Some other source.........................8%

  • Not sure......................................11%


The national survey of 800 adults who have children 16 to 18 years old that are planning on going to college was conducted July 2 to 8, 2012, by Rasmussen Reports, an independent survey research firm (http://www.rasmussenreports.com). The margin of sampling error was +/-4 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

This article is courtesy of Businesswire.


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