NU Online News Service, Aug. 18, 2004, 4:22 p.m. EDT

Most college-bound high school students want to help their parents pay for their college education.[@@]

Fidelity Investments, Boston, has published data supporting that conclusion in a report on a recent survey of 477 college-bound high school students between the ages of 14 and 17 and a survey of 376 parents of college-bound high school students with annual household incomes of at least $35,000.

The researchers who conducted the survey found that 95% of the teens surveyed say they feel an obligation to pay for some of their college costs, and only 26% say parents should pay more than half of the bill.

The majority of the high school students say they have started saving for college, and 67% say they are somewhat or very concerned about whether they will have enough money to pay for college.

Fidelity also found that about two-thirds of the parents say they will be contributing less for their children’s college education costs than they would like.

One problem is that only half of the parents started saving for college bills before their children were 6 years old, Fidelity says.

Although 87% of the parents surveyed say they are saving for college costs, only 34% of the parents who are saving for college costs are using 529 plans or other savings vehicles that offer special tax breaks, Fidelity says.