Study: Parents Paying Less of Students' College Tuition, Fees

Tim Goral's picture
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kaylee Ortega is piecing together ways to pay for college at the University of Colorado this fall: She's waiting tables and running the cash register at a diner, securing scholarships and taking out student loans.

Ortega, a first-generation college student who plans to major in integrative physiology, is entirely responsible for financing her education, acknowledging that her parents' modest-paying salaries earned through cleaning buildings and working with the elderly aren't enough to foot the bill for her tuition and fees.

College students are increasingly paying for their own higher education, according to a new study from college financing company Sallie Mae. The company, which teamed up with Ipsos Public Affairs, released its annual "How America Pays for College" report Monday. Among the key findings are that the current crop of college students are responsible for paying larger shares of their education, while their parents are picking up smaller portions of the tab.

Also, more families are ruling out schools that are out of their price ranges.

By factoring in their savings, income and loans, college students are covering 30 percent of the total cost of attendance, the survey shows. Their peers four years ago carried about 24 percent of the cost. Meanwhile, parents are covering 37 percent of the costs of college, down from 45 percent four years ago.

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