Study: Majority of Families Neglect to Plan for College Costs

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The majority of US parents expect their children to attend college, but most neglect to budget for the costs associated with higher education, national survey data shows.

“Despite the wide array of approaches families might take to build a plan to pay for college, most don’t have a plan,” according to this year’s How America Pays for College study. “Although nearly nine in 10 families have anticipated their child’s college attendance since preschool, fewer than half that many agree they had a plan to pay for all years of college before the student enrolled.”

Nearly 1,600 college students and parents of undergraduates were interviewed for the study, which was commissioned by Sallie Mae — a leading student loan provider.

Most families surveyed (87 percent) said they were willing to “stretch themselves financially” to make college possible. But money matters still weigh heavily on the minds of prospective students and their families.

“More than two-thirds eliminated colleges from their consideration due to cost, and nearly three-fourths chose an in-state school to reduce cost,” the report notes.

Read the full report and learn more about paying for college.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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