Report: College is worth the cost, but planning is key

State Point Media | 10/25/2018, 12:19 p.m.
Despite rising college costs, a clear majority of families believe higher education is well worth the investment, and most students ...
College graduate/graduation Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

Despite rising college costs, a clear majority of families believe higher education is well worth the investment, and most students and parents are willing to stretch themselves financially to make it happen, according to a new study.

The national study from Sallie Mae and Ipsos, “How America Values College 2018,” found that 66 percent of college-going families believe they are getting a good value for the price they’re paying for college, and 20 percent say college is worth every penny.

Even those willing to stretch financially are taking deliberate, resourceful and concrete steps to make college more affordable. Forty-five percent of college students are working year-round to earn money for school, and 37 percent of students live at home with parents or relatives to save on housing costs.

“Families resoundingly shared that college is worth the cost, and their resourcefulness made it more affordable,” said Raymond J. Quinlan, chairman and CEO of Sallie Mae

What other ways are students saving on college costs? Sixty-seven percent of students are cutting back their spending and 24 percent are taking classes over a shorter period of time to graduate sooner and reduce costs.

Although many families are making such significant strides to prepare for college costs and save money, Quinlan points out that there’s still work to do when equipping more families with tools and information needed to create a plan to pay for college.

Planning, and ultimately paying for college, also involves terms and jargon that might leave many scratching their heads. Indeed, when asked a series of true or false questions about certain paying-for-college terminology, lingering misconceptions persisted: 42 percent of families mistakenly believe work-study funds are automatic, more than 20 percent believe “free tuition” means college is free and 19 percent believe the sticker price is what college will cost them.

Have questions about college costs, financial aid, scholarships and more? Access free resources and tips at SallieMae.com. To view the complete report, visit SallieMae.com/AmericaValuesCollege.

For many families, attending college is a vital aspect of fulfilling the American Dream. Ensure your family is prepared for the expense by researching and understanding all your options.