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How Most Americans Pay for College

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Sallie Mae and Gallup Poll released its 2016 annual study of how parents pay for college.

Parents are helping more, using more of their own income and savings, while students are taking out more and larger amounts of student loans. Students are also working more, and two out of five of them are living at home to help keep costs under control.

Piggybank with Moneyroll Strapped on Back


When all is said and done, American families are paying for college by using six strategies:

34% Grants and Scholarships, such as the Pell Grant or private scholarships like the ones I tell you about in Scholarship Friday

13% Student Borrowing, such as the Stafford loans and Perkins loans

7% Parent Borrowing, such as the Parental or PLUS loan

29% Parent Income & Savings, such as the 529 Plans

5% Friends & Relatives

12% Student Savings & Income, such as wages earned for Federal Work Study jobs

How do these findings jibe with your family’s strategies for paying for the rising cost of college? Check back later this week for another installment of Money Saving Tips for College, when I talk about living at home to reduce overall expense.

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