The latest national study on how Americans pay for college is out from Sallie Mae and Ipsos. The 2014 breakdown:
Student borrowing and parent borrowing were at 18% and 9%, respectively, in 2013–so that’s a pretty big decline in borrowing. Other key findings:
- A strong belief in the value of college. 98 percent of families agree that college is a worthwhile investment and more than eight in ten families indicate they are willing to stretch themselves financially to obtain the opportunities afforded by higher education.
- Making deliberate decisions to meet college costs. Virtually every family took at least one step to make college more affordable, and on average families took 5 steps. This year, families reported the highest enrollment in two-year public colleges since the survey began (34 percent, up from 30 percent last year).
- Nearly 70 percent opted to attend institutions in-state this year.
- More than 65 percent cut back on entertainment/vacation costs
- More than half chose to live at home or with relatives.
- Greater out-of-pocket spending. Families spent more out of pocket (42 percent of college costs) while overall borrowing (22 percent of college costs) was at the lowest level in five years. Low-income students, in particular, reduced their reliance on borrowed funds when paying for college last year.
Read the full report.