To help understand how families value, choose, and pay for college, as well how COVID-19 impacted college plans, Sallie Mae partnered with Ipsos to survey about 2,000 college students and parents of college students from across the country. The result is the 13th edition of “How America Pays for College.”
Here’s what the research showed:
Families spent an average of $30,017 on college in academic year 2019-20. Parents covered 44% of costs, or $13,072, using income and savings. More parents used income this year to help pay (70% in 2019-20 vs. 55% in 2018-19), and significantly more used a dedicated college savings account like a 529 plan (37% in 2019-20 vs. 21% in 2018-19).
Slightly more than half of families (52%) have a plan to pay for all years of college, up from 44% in 2018-19 and the highest percentage in the history of the study.
Nine in ten families (91%) agree college is an investment in the student’s future, and 80% believe attending college is part of the American Dream, up from 74% in 2018-19.
Here’s a look at some other interesting findings: