Scholarships and grants covered a greater share of college costs, making up 35 percent of costs in 2016-2017. On average, scholarships and grants paid $8,390 of the expense. That's up from $331 from the prior year. Nearly half of families use scholarships for college.
The report interviewed 800 parents of children ages 18-24 enrolled as undergraduate students and 800 undergraduate students aged 18-24.
Here are the highlights:
- 23% of costs are covered by parent income and savings
- 19% of costs are covered by student borrowing
- 11% of costs are covered by student income and savings
- 8% of costs are covered by parent borrowing
- 87% of families who use scholarships get them from the college
- 84% of students with loans expect to be solely responsible for repaying
Broken down by region:
- Students from the Northeast are most likely to attend a 4-year private college, paying $35,431 on average
- Students from the South are most likely to attend college in their home states, paying an average of $20,953
- Midwest students are most likely to work more hours to make college affordable, paying $21,577 on average
- In the West, students have the high rate of part-time enrollment, paying $19,181 on average
How are 529 college saving plans being factored in? According to the report, only a small portion of families are taking advantage of these funds to pay for college. Only 13 percent of families used 529 plans, using an average of $10,031.
However, college planning by parents may not be taking into account of cost beyond undergraduate years. Sallie Mae says 59 percent anticipate students will enroll in graduate school.