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 and join the conversation on social media using #HowAmericaPays.