Ninety-one percent of teenagers expect to pay for a portion of their college costs. On average, they expect to pay 44 percent of their educational costs themselves. The findings come from The Private College 529 second annual Teen College Savings Barometer study.
To contribute to the cost of attending college, 77 percent plan to work part time while in college, 65 percent plan to use money from grants or scholarships, 63 percent said they are building their savings accounts before attending college, and 25 percent are choosing to live at home to eliminate housing costs.
Forty-six percent of teens are planning to take some of their courses online to reduce their college costs.
The percentage of teens planning to take out student loans remained about the same as in last year’s results, with 60 percent in 2013 vs. 61 percent in 2014 expecting to have loans.
Over eight in 10 teens (83 percent) have personally done research to learn about the best way to pay for their college education, representing an increase over the 78 percent of teenagers who conducted any research in 2013.
However, knowledge of 529 plans remains very low, with just 13 percent of teens saying they know what a 529 plan is, which is comparable to the 14 percent level recorded in 2013.
In addition, respondents cited inaccurate estimates for the costs associated with college tuition. Teens underestimated by 12 percent the cost for an out of state public four-year college or university, and underestimated close to 20 percent the cost for a private four-year college or university when compared with the average published charges reported by the College Board.
Efforts by parents remained steady, with 66 percent of teenagers in 2013 and 67 percent in 2014 saying that their parents discuss their efforts to save for college with them. However, “despite the rebounding stock market, most families worry they cannot save enough money to pay for the future cost of a college education,” said Nancy Farmer, president of Private College 529 Plan.
Private College 529 Plan is a prepaid college savings plan that locks in current tuition rates at its 270 participating colleges and universities. The survey Teen College Savings Barometer was conducted online among 1,002 teenagers between 13-17 years old in March by ORC International.