REPORT: Majority of American parents say paying for college main financial concern

  • A recently released Gallup poll found that 73 percent of Americans with children under the age of 18 say that paying for college is their chief financial concern.
  • The poll noted that these Americans are more concerned about future college costs than saving for retirement.

For seven out of 10 American parents, saving for college is a major financial concern.

A recently released Gallup poll found that 73 percent of Americans with children under the age of 18 are either “moderately worried” or “very worried” about saving enough money to put their children through college. For these Americans, the burden of college savings even apparently tops their anxiety about retirement.

In fact, Gallup noted that “parents worry more about college funding even more than the most financially vulnerable group—low-income Americans—worry about any financial matter.”

As originally reported by CNS news, even 61 percent of Americans with an annual household income of $100,000 or more expressed worry about saving for college.

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees and room and board at a public four-year in-state institution for the 2014-15 school year was $18,943. This number was $32,762 for out-of-state public schools and $42,419 for private schools.

In 2014, The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) reported that 70 percent of college graduates from the class of 2013 left school with student loan debt. The average amount of debt amounted to $28,400.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for the class of 2013 was $45,327.

“Though it is well-documented that college graduates earn far more over their lifetime than those who do not graduate college, that finding is not enough to ease parents' worry about how they will pay for their children's education,” the Gallup poll said.

Tellingly, the poll found that “parents' worry about paying for college exceed[s] the level of worry for any other subgroup about any other financial matter.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @emilyjashinsky

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