Increasing sizes of college freshmen classes is one reason financial aid packages are declining. That’s putting pressure on parents to find ways to pay for their kids’ education.
A new study from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. suggests some may be overlooking an obvious source of help.
Hartford, which manages West Virginia’s 529 college savings plan, found that 65% of grandparents plan to contribute financially to their grandchildren’s college education. Yet only about a third of them say they are coordinating college savings for their grandchildren with their adult children.
Hartford found that grandparents’ contributions can be significant. Over 50% of grandparents say they plan to contribute more than $10,000 to their grandchildren’s college education, and about 25% plan to give over $30,000.
Over 40% of grandparents spend more than $2,000 annually on their grandchildren, Hartford also found.
The findings suggest that advisors can provide key support by getting these relatives together. Grandparents are equipped to help, and parents just have to ask them, Hartford, Simsbury, Conn., concludes.
Another recent study appears to support the conclusion that advisors may need to help coordinate college saving efforts within families. The College Savings Foundation, Washington, found that only 22% of parents expect grandparents to help with their children’s education.