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.