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Fewer Parents Helping Pay For College

Poll QuestionMore kids are on the hook for their college tuition.

Discover Student Loans’ third annual survey found that only 77% of parents now plan to help with their child’s tuition costs, down from 81% in 2013.

It’s not that parents don’t want to help – they’re concerned about having enough money themselves, the survey of 1,000 parents of teenagers 16 to 18 years old who are planning to attend college found.

This annual survey has consistently revealed that parents are either “very” or “somewhat” worried about being able to cover college costs. Only a quarter of parents don’t have this stress.

Parents are also worrying about the effect student loan debt will have on their child’s adult life. A full 85% are afraid it will affect their future college grad’s ability to buy a home, car or other major purchase.

Unfortunately, all of this worry about college isn’t leading parents and teens to make logical decisions when it comes to college choice.

Nearly half of parents say that tuition costs aren’t a factor when it comes to choosing a college or university. Amazingly, that’s an 8% increase from 2013.

We say it should be at the top of the list for 100% of parents.

And so does Discover Student Loans.

“We hope that this annual survey brings to light the need for families to review all of their options when going to college. We encourage students to always use free money first when financing a college education and then, if needed, determine what lending options work best for their needs,” said Danny Ray, president of Discover Student Loans, in a statement.

Finding free money, in the form of scholarships and the like, should be an integral part of choosing a college.

Because let’s face it, college costs are going nowhere but up.

Making smart decisions about getting through with as little debt as possible is College 101.

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