NU Online News Service, March 14, 2003, 11:25 a.m. EST – Fewer than 15% of working U.S. parents know the average cost of earning a four-year degree at a public university, according to results of a new survey by Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, N.Y.

The researchers who conducted the survey, which was sponsored by Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, came up with that figure after polling 1,654 adults who work for U.S. companies with 10 to 1,000 employees.

The actual average cost is now between $40,000 and $49,000, Principal says in a discussion of the survey results.

One-third of the parents in the survey sample gave cost estimates that were too low, and half gave estimates that were too high.