Parents: College a Priority, Cost a Concern –

A majority of parents think it’s important for their children to earn a college degree, but many parents are concerned they may not be able to afford to send their children to college, according to a recent report by EARN Research Institute.

The report, titled Saving for Higher Education in the US: Parents’ Beliefs, Behaviors, and Preferences, reveals that while 87% of parents consider obtaining a college degree a very important opportunity for their children, only 53% have started saving for their children’s college education.

College affordability is a key issue, with 53% of parents expressing they are very concerned or extremely concerned that their children will not be able to afford college. That concern is higher among parents in households that earn less than $50,000 annually, with 65% of such parents reporting high levels of concern. Race is also a factor. Regardless of income, 69% of Latino parents and 63% of African American parents report high levels of concern, compared to 46% of White parents.

The study also finds that saving for college is a top priority among 69% of parents, regardless of income level. Of the parents who are saving for their children’s college education, 46% have saved between $1,001 and $10,000, and 17% have saved more than $20,000.

Of the parents who are saving, the most popular methods are: regular savings accounts (38%), 529 accounts (23%), and some other type of investment or account (21%).

Results were based on a national telephone survey of 1,001 parents in June 2012.

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