Financial Advisor – Study: More High School Students, Parents Saving For College

May 27, 2015


Unless presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Barry Sanders has his way, higher education will continue to present an enormous expense, and young people, together with their parents, will have to plan accordingly.

Luckily, today’s high school students display increasing amounts of financial awareness, according to the 2015 edition of the “How Youth Plan to Pay for College” survey by the College Savings Foundation.

Over half of 2015’s high school students, 51 percent, are already saving for their education, up from 44 percent last year.

“We are very encouraged to see that high school students are taking financing of higher education seriously and have already shown themselves to be active planners and savers,” said Mary Morris, Chair of the College Savings Foundation, in a statement on Wednesday.

This year, high school seniors plan on paying for a greater portion of their college costs: 71 percent of respondents plan on paying for over 25 percent of college costs, compared to 53 percent last year.

The survey found that 82 percent of high school seniors believe it is their responsibility to pay for at least part of their higher education, and three quarters of those students plan on paying for part of it.

The students were also saving more money in preparation for college, with 83 percent claiming to have at least $1,000 saved for educational expenses, up from 67 percent last year.

The College Savings Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, polled over 500 high school students online using Survey Monkey. This is the sixth year the foundation has conducted the survey.

The study also found that:

  • More students and parents are using 529 plans to save, 33 percent this year versus 24 percent last year. More (29 percent) also say 529s are their primary way to save than last year (10 percent).
  • More students are taking jobs to help pay for college expenses, 49 percent this year versus 41 percent last year. This year 59 percent of students said they will work while in college, up from 51 percent last year.
  • More students, 23 percent, will have to attend school part time, up from 15 percent last year.
  • Fewer students, 16 percent, are choosing private colleges, down from 21 percent last year.
  • Fewer students, 55 percent, plan on borrowing to help cover expenses, down from 72 percent last year.
  • Sixty-five percent of parents are saving for their children’s education, up from 58 percent last year.