Students and parents shared paying for college responsibilities equally in academic year 2016-17, each contributing about one-third of the expense, and scholarships and grants covered most of the rest, according to a new report.
“How America Pays for College 2017,” a national study from Sallie Mae and Ipsos, reveals that the average amount spent paying for college in 2016-17 was about the same as in 2015-16 ($23,757 vs. $23,688).
Scholarships and grants paid 35 percent of college costs–the largest share in the report’s 10-year history. Scholarships were used by nearly half of all families (49 percent), and grants were used by 47 percent. Parents funded the second-largest share through a combination of income and savings, which covered 23 percent of costs, and borrowing, which paid 8 percent.
Student income and savings covered 11 percent; student borrowing paid 19 percent; and contributions from relatives and friends provided 4 percent. Overall, 42 percent of families borrowed to pay for college in 2016-17.