College Savings Foundation Releases New Analysis: High School Students and their Parents Save for a Broad Range of Higher Education Paths

Foundation Analysis finds Parents and High School Students on the same page on 529 savings and traditional and alternative higher education choices


WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - In recognition of College Savings Month, the College Savings Foundation is releasing an analysis of surveys showing that both parents of high school students and the students themselves are saving for college. In addition, they are both looking at how to apply those funds in ways that benefit the child's future career and reduce the prospect of student debt. Interestingly parents and students are looking at alternative strategies to simply attending a single four year institution straight out of high school.

"American families are taking a thoughtful approach to saving and planning for college. Higher education decisions are primarily made during a student's high school years and we see that both parents and students are thinking more broadly about their options," said CSF Chair Mary Morris.

The comparison of parents' and students' survey data shows a striking similarity in savings patterns, with roughly one-third utilizing 529 college savings plans: 32% of parents save in 529 college savings plans; and 30% of high school students report that they or their parents utilize a 529 College Savings Plan.

For both parents and high school students, the lines of communications are open for how they plan to deal with college costs, including students stepping up to take on some responsibility:

  • 92% of parents and 86% of students speak to each other about their responsibilities in paying for college.
  • 80% of parents expect their children to help pay for college and 89% of high schoolers said they would definitely or possibly help.
  • From the parents' perspective, the two closely-ranked top strategies their families use to help reduce the cost of college were to attend community college and then transfer to a four-year college (25%) and to attend a state school rather than a private college (23%).
  • Among the students who had to change their higher education choices due to costs, 65% are choosing community college, and 21% are choosing a vocational or career school.
  • 44% of parents still plan to borrow funds with education loans as the dominant source (74%).
  • 71% of students said they would borrow or possibly borrow outside of financial aid. Three quarters of them are worried about paying back loans. Most importantly, the parent survey showed that 25% of parents are still paying off their own student loan debt.

The report compares the findings of CSF's State of College Savings Survey of Parents of 800 parents across the country, with the CSF Youth Survey of 500 high school students across the country.

The College Savings Foundation (CSF) is a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit organization helping American families save for higher education.

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