While most parents are excited to send their children off to college, the majority of parents are less excited to figure out ways to pay for their education.
A new survey released Aug. 24 by financial services company Sallie Mae found that 75% of parents of new college freshmen are excited to send them to college, and 34% feel “celebratory.” Many parents experience mixed emotions—30% feel anxious, 28% feel nervous, and 20% feel stressed.
While they may feel stressed for their students, the primary concern for 60% of parents is how to pay for college. Of those, 29% plan to pay as they go, while 31% of parents feel sure they will “figure something out.”
According to a corresponding infographic, one in three parents consider themselves financially prepared for college, while one in two plan to navigate finances as they occur and one in five has “concerns or misgivings” about paying for college.
One in four parents say they plan to contribute to their child’s college costs with no preset conditions, but other parents have laid ground rules for their children to maintain financial support: 40% require students to maintain a minimum grade point average; 28% require students to stay out of trouble; 19% require students to have a job; and 18% require their student to make financial contributions.
Academic performance is the key topic of conversation for most parents—59% discuss studying; 57% discuss staying organized; and 48% discuss going to class. Other things are important to parents, but not as frequently discussed—51% of parents discuss budgeting with their students; 40% discuss drinking; 35% discuss diet and exercise; and 31% discuss sexual behavior.
Follow Anna Schumann on Twitter at @ASchumannCMN.