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How America Pays for College -- Sallie Mae Releases its Annual Survey

Financial services giant Sallie Mae® has released its annual survey report, How America Pays for College. Now in its sixth year, the survey reports data based on conversations with American families and addresses "important questions about how they meet the cost of higher education and how they view the value of that investment," according to the report

 
Among the findings in this year's survey:
  • Families have been reducing how much money they invest in college since 2010, and contributions by parents toward their children's college education has seen a marked decline.
  • Student borrowing has increased to make up for the reduction in family and parent contributions.
  • Grants and scholarships are now the largest contributor to covering the cost of college education.
  • College savings plan use increased to its highest level ever in 2013. 
  • Almost all families surveyed took some action to reduce the financial impact of college, including filing education tax credits, having the student live at home, and increasing work hours or taking a second job. 
  • Parents expressed more optimism in 2013 about the value of college, despite the challenges involved with paying for it in a tough economy.
 
In addition to in-depth information about the breakdown of college spending, the full report also offers information about student attitudes about college majors, planning to pay for college, and use of credit among college students. It is available for PDF download here.
 

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