Financial Advisor (FA) covered CSF’s survey of high school students across the country.

June 5, 2018


Advisors Should Check With The ‘Kids’ About Saving For College

Advisors focus a lot of their college savings strategies on parents, but a new survey suggests that the “kids” are also playing an active role in planning for college costs.

Eighty-six percent of high schoolers said they are planning to pay for at least part of their higher education costs, with 85 percent saying they plan to work during college and 62 percent planning to cut costs by living at home, according to a survey by the College Savings Foundation (CSF) released on Tuesday. In fact, 51 percent of the high schoolers said they’re already taking on jobs to save for college.

The survey also found that 75 percent are taking costs into account when deciding on a college, and that 57 percent of the high school students have already started saving for college.

“High school students are taking responsibility for their education choices and making decisions early in life to support them,” said CSF Chairman Richard J. Polimeni in a prepared statement. “We’re encouraged to see that saving is already an important part of their education planning process.”

The survey found that high schoolers are primarily using savings accounts and 529 college savings plans, and 65 percent of the respondents have already saved $1,000 or more for college costs.

The results were based on responses from 500 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors through Survey Monkey, the foundation said.

Sixty-seven percent of high school students said they would rather receive money for education than gifts on special occasions, and 52 percent said their parents are also saving, primarily in savings accounts and 529 college savings plans. Fifty-nine percent of those whose parents were saving said their parents have saved more than $5,000 and 35 percent said their parents have saved more than $15,000.

High school students also indicated that they are well aware of the nation’s mounting student debt load, with 54 percent very or somewhat concerned about their ability to pay back student loans. Sixty-five percent think that they will or will possibly borrow money outside of a financial aid package, with 43 percent expecting to borrow more than a quarter of their education costs.

The College Savings Foundation is a Washington, D.C.- based, not-for-profit consortium of 529 plan providers whose stated mission is to help U.S. families achieve their education savings goals.