A volatile economy and rising inflation have impacted parents’ plans to save for their children's college education, according to a national study from Discover Student Loans, based in Riverwoods, Ill.

Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI), which conducted the online study on behalf of of Discover Financial Services, surveyed 1,000 parents of children ages 16 to 18 who plan on attending college or trade school.

The survey found that 66% of parents with children planning to go to college are worried about paying for a higher education. Over half of them (55%) said they are concerned about rising tuition, while 42% say inflation is straining their savings. Meanwhile, 28% said they were concerned that an impending recession would impact their ability to pay for their child’s college education—an increase of 14 percentage points from last year, Discover said. 

Discover also found that most families have not saved enough for college, with half of respondents saying they had saved only $15,000 or less for their child’s education, and 32% saying they had not started saving early enough to afford a college education.

In 2022, 55% of parents surveyed said they believed their ability to pay for college has not imprtoved since this time last year.

Forty-one percemnt of respondents planning to help pay for their child’s college education said they planned to take out student loans, and 43% said they would dip into their savings. Fifty-four percent said they intended to find their child’s education using scholarships, an increase of 7% from 2021.

Founded in Chicago in 1985, Discover Financial Services is a financial services company that owns and operates Discover Bank, which offers checking and savings accounts, personal loans, home equity loans, student loans and credit cards. It also owns and operates the Discover and Pulse networks, and owns Diners Club International.