Dec 28, 2023
A national survey from Discover® Student Loans revealed that a majority of parents with college-bound children are worried about having enough money to pay for their child’s education.
According to survey findings, more parents feel financially unprepared to pay for college this year than in previous years with nearly three-quarters (70%) worried about having enough funds.
While there are multiple contributing factors to the feelings of financial worry, parents selected multiple key reasons, including:
Overall, more than one-third (36%) of parents said they are in a worse financial position to help pay for college versus last year and it's impacting their child's choices:
While many parents feel that college is necessary to find a good job, over half (54%) of parents are questioning whether college is still a good investment.
With rising inflation and tuition costs, parents surveyed are nervous about the amount of debt their children will take on compared to their post-college career earnings.
As college costs rise, fewer parents are able to cover the full cost of college compared to last year.
More families are turning to other ways to ease the cost of college, like scholarships. In fact, 61% of respondents said they will use scholarships and grants to help pay for their child's education, up 7 points from 2022 and up 14 points from 2021.
In addition to scholarships, more families are considering student loans to cover college costs.
To support families, Discover Student Loans offers a free scholarship search tool. If families need a private student loan, we also have a free student loan calculator to help them estimate how much they need to borrow and what the monthly payment would look like.
© 2023 Discover Bank, Member FDIC
About the survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI) survey conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services. The survey was conducted online and fielded by Dynata with a total sample size of 1,000 parents of children ages 16-18 who plan on attending college or trade school. The margin of sampling error was 3 percentage points with a +/-5 percent level of confidence.