Here’s how a typical family financed a college education in 2016-2017 according to the latest annual report, How America Pays for College, from Sallie Mae:
- Scholarships & grants: 35%
- Parent income & savings: 23%
- Student loans: 19%
- Student income & savings: loans: 11%
- Parent loans: 8%
- Relatives & friends: 4%
There was little change in the breakdown from last year – just a 1 percentage point difference up or down in all categories except for parent income and savings, which fell by six percentage points, and student loans, which rose by six percentage points.
Neither saving less nor borrowing more is good news, and they are related.
“When parent income and savings are less available, the funding gap appears to be bridged by borrowing, more student borrowing than parent borrowing,” according to the study, which is based on telephone interviews with 800 parents of undergraduates, ages 18 to 24, and 800 undergraduate students, ages 18 to 24, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.
(Related: 30 Best Paying College Majors: 2017)
Forty-two percent of families surveyed borrowed money to help pay for college this year, according to the report. The typical loan amount was just over $9,600 for students and almost $3,900 for parents, and federals loans were the most popular for both.