SURVEY: Less than half of parents feel ready to pay for their child's college education

Only 44% of parents felt ready to pay for their child's college education the summer before his or her freshman year.

Paying for college now ranks as the top financial goal for parents, ahead of retirement and building an emergency fund.

A new survey shows that many parents are unsure how they are going to afford to pay for college. 

The survey from College Ave Student Loans contained responses from 1,001 parents of current college students. It was conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights. 

The study found that less than half of families feel ready for the new academic school year in the fall, now that summer is nearly ending. 

Only 44% of families say they felt ready to pay for their child’s education the summer before his or her freshman year.

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According to the study, for parents – paying for college ranks at the top of their financial goals (78%), which ranks ahead of retirement (64%) and building an emergency fund (43%). 

Parents are reprioritizing their financial goals so that their money is split into savings (67%), investing (40%) and retirement (35%).

Parents, even with the rising costs of tuition, still see the value of a college education. The survey found that 9 out of 10 (88%) still believe that a college education plays a crucial role in their child’s future. 

Many parents, about 76%, said the college costs were surprisingly high, and 75% agreed that tuition and fees were more than they had anticipated.  

These costs that were higher than anticipated included room and board (72%), a child’s personal expenses (43%), school and activity fees (41%) and books and supplies (40%).

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About 93% of parents plan to help their child pay for college in some capacity. The College Ave report lists resources for parents who are paying for a college degree for their child. The list includes the parents’ personal income and savings, grants and scholarships, student and parent loans, and the child getting a job. 

Of the families surveyed, less than half (44%) plan on taking out student loans while only 17% of parents said that they would take on the added responsibility of borrowing a personal loan. 

Campus Reform reached out to all parties listed and will update this article accordingly.