Sallie Mae

How America Pays for College 2013

A new study from Sallie Mae, How America Pays for College 2013, evaluates how families view and manage the cost of a college education today. Among the findings:

  • Increasing optimism about the value of college. A higher percentage of parents than in previous years — 85% — express an unwavering belief that college is an investment in their child's future.
  • A post-recession cost consciousness. Parent out-of-pocket spending has decreased 35% since 2010. Overall, parents now fund approximately one-quarter of college expenses, down from a peak of one-third.
  • A growing reliance on grants and scholarships. “Free” money is filling part of the gap left by lower parental contributions.
  • Larger student contributions. Students are funding more of the college bill through borrowing and savings/income than they did five years ago.

And for more analysis of the survey, see "Holding the Line" in today's Inside Higher Ed.



November Financial Aid Checklist for Seniors

This is the third installment from college advisor Alice Kleeman in our monthly series for seniors on what you should be doing with regard to financial aid. Remember, while in most families it is up to the parents to provide the bulk of the money for college costs to the extent of their ability to pay, it is the student who applies for student aid. Read, save and use these monthly reminders!


*             All students applying for financial aid -- whether you are considering attending two-year or four-year colleges—will complete a FAFSA. Familiarize yourself with the form. BUT DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR FAFSA BEFORE JANUARY 1—it will not be processed for the correct school year!

*             Work with your parents to collect the documents you will need to complete the FAFSA—including tax returns for the most recent year, Social Security numbers, driver's license information, student and parent W-2 forms and other records of money earned, current bank statements, etc. The FAFSA web site lists the documents you will need here.