Majority of Parents Plan to Help Kids Pay for College, Despite Concerns About Cost, Retirement

By Brittany Hackett, Communications Staff
While cost is a significant factor, most parents consider a college or university’s academic program to be the most important factor when looking at potential schools for their children, according to a recent survey conducted by Discover Student Loans.
The survey, which is the sixth annual one conducted by Discover, found that 31 percent of parents said that an institution’s cost was the most important factor when deciding where their child will enroll, compared with 50 percent who said the school’s academic program was most important. 
Eighty-six percent of parents said that their child should share in the responsibility of paying for college. Seventy-four percent of parents said they plan to help their child pay for college, though nearly one-third said they would only be able to afford up to 25 percent of the costs. When asked how they plan to help pay for college, 29 percent of parents said the money would come from student loans, 27 percent said they would use family savings, and 13 percent said they plan to use a 529 savings plan.
Fifty-five percent of parents also said they are somewhat or very likely to help pay their child’s student loans, which is consistent with findings of the past three years. However, 74 percent of parents said they are very or somewhat worried about having enough money to help pay for their child’s college education, and 59 percent are somewhat or very worried that helping pay their child’s student loan debt will impact their retirement plan.
Most parents reported that their child understands how much debt they will graduate with, and 82 percent said they are very or somewhat knowledgeable about the cost of college. Ninety-two reported that it is very or somewhat important to include their child in discussions about paying for college and financial literacy.


Publication Date: 6/8/2017

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.

Related Content

New Report Questions Impact of Scaling FAFSA “Nudge” Campaigns


Student Aid Tips for Unique Student Populations


View Desktop Version