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How America Pays for College 2016

A snapshot of the national study by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos

This annual report looks at undergraduate families' attitudes toward college, how much they spent, and the sources they used to pay for it.

Families pay less out of pocket for college as scholarships and grants cover more of the cost

 

Average percent of total cost paid from each source

34% scholarships and grants
5% relatives and friends
12% student income and savings
29% parent income and savings
13% student borrowing
7% parent borrowing

98% of students are taking steps to make college more affordable

4 out of 5

attend college in their home state to lower costs

 

1 out of 3

are attending community college as the first step toward a bachelor's degree

 

77%  

work at least part of the year

 

49%  

live at home

 

1 out of 3

are attending community college as the first step toward a bachelor's degree

 

62%  

cut down on personal spending

 

49%  

live at home

 

27%  

are working toward earning their degree faster

 

When choosing a college, cost ranks third

 31%

Academic program

 31%

Personal choice

 27%

Financial considerations

90% of families expect their student to earn at least a bachelor's degree

 

Here's how the numbers add up

36% expect a bachelor's degree
54% expect a graduate degree
10% expect an associate's degree or certificate

Having a plan pays off


2 out of

families created a plan to pay for college

(includes saving, anticipating and researching costs and expenses, and identifying sources of funding)

In families who plan

 3.5 X

Parents save 3.5 times more than non-planners

 1/3

Students borrow 1/3 less than non-planners

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College Ahead Plan for College
 
 

How America Pays for College 2016, by Sallie Mae, the nation's saving, planning, and paying for college company, and Ipsos, the world's third-largest market research company, reports the results of 1,598 telephone interviews conducted by Ipsos in March-April 2016 of 799 parents of undergraduate students and 799 undergraduate students between the ages of 18 and 24. Data and years shown reflect academic years (July 1 to June 30).