How do we pay for college?

FundCollege(illustration)On July 20th, Sallie Mae released its report on How America Pays for College in 2015. Some key findings include:

∙ While the cost of enrollment is increasing, borrowing to pay for college is more under control. 60% of families did not borrow any money to pay for college and only 16% of students actually borrowed money this year to fund their education.

∙ Personal income and assets covered the costs of college for 32% of families. It is the first time since 2010 that this type of funding led all of the sources available. Grants and scholarships were the second biggest pool of funding for students, making up the costs of college for 30% of all students. 11% of students paid their own way through school, and 5% of students received money from relatives and friends.

∙ The report also highlighted a very positive, growing trend we hope to see a lot more of in Higher Ed – self investment of education. Working in college is now becoming the norm for a large majority of students with 74% of students working at some point during the school year to help pay for their college education.

Working in, and thru, college is a good way to eliminate student debt. It also means students have “skin in the game”. Students who do often take the college experience more seriously and will also work harder to get more out of their respective education. At the same time, working in college is also one way to gain practical experience that could pay dividends after graduation. As employers are looking to intern and hire students who have both experience and a college degree.

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