We all know how expensive college is these days, especially with the no-end-in-sight student loan crisis plaguing our nation. Yet the scary statistics surrounding student loans have yet to deter kids from seeking out college educations. After all, it’s the first step in building a career. Plus for many kids, their parents were thinking about college costs while they were sitting pretty in the womb.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean these parents are going to be shelling out cash for school. Some can’t afford it, some are focused on retirement and some just don’t want to. Funding college just isn’t a top priority for parents anymore, but research shows their children have yet to catch on.
Junior Achievement USA, along with the Allstate Foundation, recently surveyed parents and teens about college and the results produced a huge discrepancy. Forty-eight percent of teens surveyed said their parents were going to help pay their college tuition, while only 16 percent of parents said college was in their financial future. This disconnect between kids and their parents came as a surprise to surveyors, including Junior Achievement’s spokeperson, Stephanie Bell.
“We have done this survey for the last 16 years but this is the first year we’ve surveyed parents in addition to teens,” Bell said. “The low percentage of parents who were planning to pay for college was a real ‘Ah ha’ to us.”
The disconnect also hones in on the fact that parents aren’t spending enough time talking to their kids about something that is very important to so many families. There is a good chance that many of these kids have little to no idea on how to handle money, and will probably have a hard time figuring out how to pay for college and handle student loans.
But whether or not teens are financially savvy, it’s time to stop expecting mom and dad to foot the bill come college time. There’s a good chance they won’t be picking up the tab.