Parents pay less for kids in college

But they still think a degree is important


Alex Halperin
July 23, 2013 5:17PM (UTC)

Parents are giving their children less of their income to pay for college and in turn this is leading students to reconsider the undergraduate experience. "Parents shelled out an average of $5,727 from their income and savings for each child's college costs in the 2012-2013 academic year, down more than a third from $8,752 in 2009-2010, according to an annual report on college funding by student loan provider Sallie Mae," and reported in the Wall Street Journal:

To defray the cost of college, families are leaning more heavily on university scholarships, even as many schools are struggling with their own financial difficulties. Last year, 30% of college costs were covered by institutional grants, up from 23% in 2009-2010, the new report said. For the third year in a row, that was the largest source of funds for college costs.

At the same time, more students are rejecting college dormitories. In 2013, 57% of families reported a student living at home or with a relative, up from 43% three years ago. Students from low-income households have traditionally lived at home in larger numbers, but among families with incomes over $100,000, the share of students staying at home has doubled to 48% since 2009-2010.

At the same time, obtaining a four year degree is growing in importance, at least in public perception:

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The relative importance parents place on their children getting a college degree continues to tick up. In 2013, 85% of parents said a degree was an investment in the future, up from 80% in 2008.


Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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