How America Pays for College 2017, a national study by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos, looks at undergraduate families’ attitudes toward college, how much they spent, and the sources they used to pay for it.

Did you know scholarships and grants cover 35% of college costs? That’s the largest share in a decade. Nearly half (49%) of families use scholarships. Of those families, 87% get scholarships from the college.

Those are just a couple of insights from the recently released study, How America Pays for College 2017. The study reflects the results of interviews with 800 undergraduate students, ages 18 – 24, and 800 parents of 18 – 24-year-old undergraduate students. Here’s what else the study shows:

Students and parents are sharing the responsibility of paying for college equally

  • Using a combination of borrowing, income, and savings, each contribute about one-third of the total amount needed.
  • Student borrowing covers more college costs. compared to last year
  • Student borrowing covers 19% of college costs, compared to 13% in 2015-16.

Students expect to step up

  • Of students with loans, 84% expect to be solely responsible for repaying them. What’s more, 21% of students feel solely responsible for repaying a loan taken out by their parent.
  • Almost all families (98%) are taking one or more actions to make college more affordable
  • This includes 55% of students working year-round, 30% of parents increasing their work hours, 29% of families making loan payments while the student is still in school, and more.

Many families don’t have a plan to pay for college

A real concern revealed by the report indicates that “almost all (98%) families see college as an investment in their child’s future, but fewer than half have a plan to pay for it.”

How America Pays for College 2017 also looks at how families’ college spending and attitudes vary by geographic region, how attitudes of first-in-family college students compare to second- generation college students, and more. Learn more and make your plan to pay for college.  View the full report and related infographic at SallieMae.com/HowAmericaPaysForCollege and join the conversation on social media using #HowAmericaPays.

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