Millennial parents are far more likely than their predecessors to save for their children's educations and far more of them want to pay the whole tab for college, according to a survey.
Whether they will be able to do so is questionable, though, given the relatively small amounts most have saved so far.
Seventy-four percent of parents aged 30 to 34 polled for the 2015 Fidelity Investments College Savings Indicator have put aside money for college, compared to 58 percent of parents the same age who were polled in 2007.
Nearly half (48 percent) of the group born between 1981 and 1985 plan to pay for all college costs, compared with just 16 percent of parents the same age in 2007, according to the survey conducted for Fidelity by Boston Research Technologies.
Millennial parents have spent much if not all of their adult lives living with the fallout from the financial crisis, said Keith Bernhardt, vice president of retirement and college products at Fidelity. That experience has made them cautious about debt and determined to help their children avoid burdensome student loans, he said.
"They've seen the repercussions of taking on too much debt and the cost of that," Bernhardt said.
The current batch of thirty-something parents have saved a median $1,500, though, compared to the $1,000 median amount saved by parents of the same age in 2007.
Overall, the parents surveyed hoped to pay for 66 percent of their children's college costs. Fidelity projected that based on current savings rates, they will be able to cover just 27 percent of projected college costs on average, Bernhardt said.
Fidelity's survey does not represent the general population. Those surveyed were far more likely to have a college degree, for one thing.
The research firm interviewed 2,470 parents with children aged 18 and younger and household incomes over $30,000 a year or more. Among parents born between 1981 and 1997, 85 percent of those surveyed had attended college and 61 percent had college degrees.
A Pew Research Center survey last year found that 34 percent of people born between 1980 and 2000 had college degrees and 61 percent had attended college.