College students can’t get out of the house into their world of independence fast enough. At least that’s what we’ve always thought.
However, in a recent study from Sallie Mae and Gallup, 43 percent of families reported that their student lived at home.
Clearly, it’s a sign of the times. As the cost of college goes up — and economic conditions get even tougher for many, many families — it makes sense that families would opt to have their college students study close to home and keep their bedroom as well.
Other findings from the third annual “How America Pays for College” report, which included more than 1,600 interviews with college students and parents:
* 71 percent strongly agreed that a college degree is more important now than it used to be.
* Both parents and students opened their wallets wider, tapped more scholarships and grants, and borrowed more, to pay for the escalating total cost of college, which survey respondents reported increased by 17 percent from the previous year.
* Parents paid nearly half (47 percent) the share of college costs for the 2009-2010 academic year and students paid roughly one quarter through income, savings, and loans.
* 15 percent of families used money from a college savings plan—up from 11 percent last year and 9 percent two years ago.
* To make college more affordable, most families reduced spending (73 percent) or increased work hours or earnings (48 percent), but a remarkable 43 percent of families report that their student lived at home.
* Most (3 out of 4) students and parents do not have a plan to pay for the full degree when they enroll.
Is your college student staying at home? Do you think it takes the college experience? What else are you doing to pay for or prepare for college? Do you think a pricey education will be rewarded with higher income upon graduation?