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More families are saving for college


Monday, April 14, 2014

Higher education can be expensive even with the availability of college financial aid. To help defray this cost, many families begin saving for college early in their child's life. However, the recent Great Recession made saving a difficult, if not impossible, task for many families. Now that the economy is gaining strength, however, families are getting their college savings back on track.

A new study from Sallie Mae and Ipsos Public Affairs, titled "How America Saves For College 2014," focused on the saving habits of families across the country. According to the survey, only 51 percent of families with children under the age of 18 are saving for college. While this is only a 1 percent increase over last year, the families are saving significantly more. On average, college funds totaled about $15,346, compared to $11,781 in 2013.

Most people are saving for the future because they believe college is an important investment. About 89 percent of parents said they value education as an integral part of their child's future. Another 80 percent stated they would be willing to stretch their budget as long as it meant saving for college.

While saving money for college is a smart investment in the future, the cost of tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses usually requires the availability of other funds. This is why it is so important to apply for student financial aid. By combining federal, state and college grants, scholarships and other programs with family savings, students can pay for college and graduate with as little debt as possible. 

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