Mar 1, 2011

Most Students Expect to Cover Some Part of College Expense

According to the second annual How Youth Plan to Fund College survey conducted by the College Savings Foundation (CSF), most college-bound students expect to contribute to the cost of their education and are making more economical college choices as a result.

Similar to last year’s survey findings, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of high school students believe it’s their responsibility to help pay for their college education, and 65 percent are planning to use their own funds to help with some part of the overall expense.

This year, however, 58 percent of surveyed students indicated that they expect to cover more than a quarter of their college costs, compared to 52 percent last year. And nearly 20 percent plan to contribute more than half of their college expenses—up from 12 percent last year.

New survey questions for this year suggest that a majority of students are eager to learn how to deal with college costs. Although 43 percent of students had access to high school classes on planning for college, less than a third felt their high school had adequately prepared them.

And parents agree. In CSF’s annual survey of parents, The State of College Savings, 90 percent thought there was a need for financial literacy in the classroom.

“Today’s high school students are tackling the escalating costs of college by saving and becoming more educated about their costs and choices,” said CSF Chairman Roger Michaud. “There is a clear demand for greater financial literacy among students and their parents.”

In fact, local school systems in both Maryland and Virginia are responding to this demand by either considering or implementing programs to provide new financial literacy courses required for graduation.

Other CSF survey findings:
  • 79 percent said that the costs of school influenced their further education plans and 83 percent of those said costs are a factor in which college they plan to attend.

  • 51 percent are looking at public colleges—up from 44 percent last year.

  • 45 percent have already started saving: 19 percent have saved over $5000, 43 percent have saved $1000-$5000, and 35 percent have saved less than $1000.

  • 72 percent would rather receive money for education on special occasions than tangible gifts.

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