For the third year in a row, a national measure of U.S. parents’ readiness to pay for higher education has decreased, according to a survey released Tuesday by Fidelity Investments.
Fidelity’s “College Savings Indicator” surveyed over 2,500 families with children 18 and under and found that an American family with income of at least $30,000 a year is on track to cover 16 percent of total college costs, including tuition, room and board, and fees. That’s down from 18 percent in 2009, 21 percent in 2008 and 24 percent in 2007.
The survey was conducted between June 10 and June 29 of this year by an independent research firm.
Fidelity blamed several factors for the drop: rising college costs; a lower savings rate; and increased unemployment. Thirty percent of the families surveyed experienced a job loss.
That has forced some parents to dip into their children’s college savings accounts to pay basic living expenses, including unexpected medical costs.
Is there any good news?
Although families are saving less, 67 percent of those surveyed said they have started saving for college, up from 63 percent in 2009, 60 percent in 2008 and 58 percent in 2007.
And for all you young people, don’t fret too much: the survey shows that most parents still believe it is their duty to pay for your college costs.
Click here to read more from the survey.