In 2007/08 students paid 24% of the cost of their college. Last year students’ share of college costs rose to 30%.
Patents’ ability to pay a part of the cost of college has diminished. In 2010/11 parents were able to cover about 39% of college costs through their income and savings; just last year they only covered 28% of those costs.
Parents in middle-income families seem to be able to pay the smallest share of college costs. In fact, most families are ill prepared to pay college expenses. Only about one third of families have a plan for saving for college.
Students are offsetting the loss of parent contributions by getting college loans, and even affluent students are tapping the bank. In 2010 19 % of students from higher income families borrowed; but in 2011 that figure was up to 27%.
Choosing a college based on price is more likely today. College choices based on the price tag is up to 69% families report, the highest in the last five years.