With student loans weighing heavily on some recent graduates and stunting the financial independence of many young millennials, it's no wonder moms and dads are committed to picking up more college costs.
In fact, the number of parents saving for college is at an all-time high. About 72 percent of American families are putting money aside for their children's higher education, according to Fidelity Investment's College Savings Indicator Study. That's a 24 percent increase from 2007, the first year Fidelity started tracking college savings.
On average, parents hope to pay for 70 percent of their children's total college costs, Fidelity said.
To that end, families reported saving a median of $3,000 last year, up from $1,500 when the survey was first conducted. Many more families are also now investing in 529 plans, which offer tax-advantaged investments to pay for qualified education expenses, Fidelity found, and those parents are contributing even more — saving a median of $3,500 last year.
Altogether, 529 savings plan assets rose to a record $242.7 billion as of June 30, a 3.4 percent increase from a year ago, according to a separate report by financial research firm Strategic Insight.