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|Discover Student Loans Annual Survey: Majority of Parents Worried about Long-Term Impact of Student Loan Debt|
Survey Reveals Parents are Worried About Covering the Cost of College But Are Split When Factoring Price Into Decision-Making Process
Although parents are concerned about student loan debt, they appear less likely to include the price of a university in the decision-making process. Forty-eight percent of parents said that cost would not be a factor when choosing a college, an 8 percent increase from 2013. Forty-four percent of parents said they were planning to limit college choices based on price and 9 percent were not sure, both decreases from the previous year.
“It is promising to see families recognize the investment in a college
education and are considering their children’s long-term financial
health beyond graduation,” said
Parents Still Worry about Cost
Seventy-seven percent of parents said they plan to help their child pay for college, a slight decrease from 81 percent in 2013. Sixteen percent of families don’t plan on contributing anything.
While families want to help pay for college, parents routinely said they are worried about having enough money. Throughout the last three years, numbers have remained fairly consistent with three out of four families saying they are very or somewhat worried about having enough money to cover college costs. A quarter of parents are not very or not at all worried about having enough money.
Parents also are not limiting their financial support based on what course of study their child chooses. More than half of parents, 53 percent, said choice of major and earning potential played no part in their decision to fund their child’s education, while 33 percent of parents plan to limit funding based on their child’s major.
Parents Shift Repayment to Students
The number of parents who say their child should pay for most or all of their college education has increased for the past three years. In 2014, 15 percent of parents responded saying their children should pay for the entire cost of college, compared to 12 percent in 2012. Thirty-two percent of parents think their child should pay for most of their schooling, compared to 27 percent in 2012.
Parents also are split on whether they will assist their child with repayment. Only 52 percent say they are likely to help their child repay loans, with 24 percent saying very likely and 28 percent say somewhat likely, compared to 58 percent in 2013.
When asked about student loans, 52 percent of parents said their child plans to take out student loans to pay for college, with 48 percent planning to use both federal and private student loans.
“As students prepare to enter college this fall, it’s important for parents to have clear and honest discussions with their children about how they’ll pay for college,” Ray said. “Students need to understand the financial responsibilities they take on and, more importantly, who is responsible for repayment of loans upon graduation.”
Financial Resources at College
As parents seek to determine the right mix of funding for their child, 44 percent cite college financial aid offices as the most trusted resources for information-the third consecutive year where they have ranked the highest. Fourteen percent of parents turn to personal financial advisors and 9 percent to friends and family. High school guidance counselors rank slightly higher than the internet when gathering reliable information about college, at 7 and 6 percent respectively, according to the survey.
About the Survey
The Discover national survey of 1,000 adults who have children 16 to 18
years old who are planning to attend college was conducted
National survey of 1000 adults with children 16 to 18 years old who have children planning on going to college
* not asked in 2012
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