The economic news has gotten so scary that even college-bound teenagers are taking notice.

High school seniors in a new survey reveal they are scaling back their college plans to cut costs-including 16% who say they are postponing college because their parents can't afford it.

The online survey, conducted by of Highland Park, Ill., was completed by 2,500 high school seniors from October 3 to 10-a timeframe that coincided with the largest one-week stock market downturn in history.

"They were so aware of (the market crash) and how it would affect them," says Chris Long, president of LLC, which runs and a network of Web sites that aid students in finding colleges and scholarships. "These students seem to understand their parents are going through tough times and they're going to have to sacrifice in order to make it work for college."

Among the findings was that 57% are considering a less prestigious college to cut costs, 85% are spending more time searching for financial aid and 48% are concerned about having enough money to attend any college.

Students revealed a number of steps they are taking to scale back, according to Long. Some have decided to attend a cheaper two-year community college, rather than a four-year school, while many have abandoned plans to enroll in out-of-state schools to attend schools closer to home.

Others say they are opting for a public college instead of a private institution, and many indicated they would try to offset costs by holding a job while going to school, Long said.

Students even say they are cutting back on the number of college applications they are filing to cut back on the application fees, which according to Long can range between $30 and $50. Some of the students who responded, he adds, are from families that lost homes due to foreclosure.