Many families are preparing to send their kids to college, and whether they are starting out when the kids are young, or are in the process of managing expenses while they are in school, it can be difficult. However, it may be necessary to look at the entire situation to determine how much they are actually going to need to spend.
Nearly 70 percent of families are trying to save for their child’s college education, according to a report from Fidelity Investments. Despite this, more than 40 percent of those families with kids who are 15 years of age and older have yet to sit down and discuss the actual financial impact of these bills.
“Saving and planning for college should be a family affair,” said Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college planning at Fidelity Investments. “With the cost of college continuing to rise, the earlier families discuss goals, the more time they will have to adjust savings strategies and consider the financial impact of their college-related choices. Teenagers should begin to understand how their college-related choices may affect their own financial future, including the potential student loan debt they may face. These conversations will help college-bound students become more accountable and better prepare them to make their own future financial decisions.”
There are multiple avenues that parents have discussed regarding a financial strategy for paying off school bills. The report explained that 44 percent looked at different scholarship options to fund education, while nearly 30 percent felt it may be a good idea to look at a school that is not as expensive. Nearly one-quarter of parents also noted that getting financial aid will be very important.
Many Americans pay off loans after college
Getting a college education can be quite expensive, and even taking out loans will only temporarily make it easier to manage.
More than 15 percent of those who graduated from college owe some level of money from their student loans, according to a report from FindLaw.com. The majority of those who still owe some money explained that the level is less than $25,000, though another 7 percent explained this is more than $50,000.
Nearly one-third of Americans explained they received student loans for their education, the report noted. Of the 53 percent of adults who are paying off loans, two-thirds are in the age range of 24 to 44 years old.
“As the cost of a college education has risen, so has the number of graduates carrying a substantial amount of student loan debt,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, attorney-editor with FindLaw.com. “Ideally, students use their degrees to land well-paying jobs and quickly pay off their loans. But job markets are cyclical and careers don’t always go according to plan. Student loans can be a big financial burden, but there are various options available to those who are unable to repay their loans.”
Students manage financial struggles during school
While many are managing their college-related bills once they leave school, a number of students are trying to balance a financial strategy while still taking courses.
Approximately 80 percent of students are working while getting a post-secondary education, according to a report completed jointly between Citi and Seventeen Magazine. These students are working 19 hours each week, on average.
Nearly two-thirds of those who are trying to pay for school have a specific budget so they can afford their education, the report added. Nearly 80 percent of those students noted that they are managing their own credit card expenses. Only 22 percent of those polled said their parents are taking care of their educational expenses.