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


attend college in their home state to lower costs


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


work at least part of the year


cut down on personal spending


live at home


are working toward earning their degree faster

When choosing a college, cost ranks third


Academic program


Personal choice

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


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


Parents save 3.5 times more than non-planners


Students borrow 1/3 less than non-planners

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Get answers about how families are paying for college. Stats on stats. #HowAmericaPays sallie.cc/howamericapays

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).