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How America Pays for College 2013: A national study by Sallie Mae and Ipsos

The national study by Sallie Mae, How America Pays for College 2013, conducted by Ipsos, is a compelling look at how today's families view higher education, manage higher education costs, and tap a variety of funding sources. This year's study finds that families are adjusting to a new post-recession reality to pay for college.

  • Higher scholarships and grants. "Free money" now pays for 30% of college costs, up from 25% four years ago.
  • Reduced parent contributions. Parents now fund from income and savings 27% of college expenses, down from 2010’s peak funding of 36%.
  • Unwavering belief in the value of college. 85% of parents strongly agreed that college was an investment in their child’s future, the highest in the last five years.
  • New cost-consciousness. A higher number of families factor college costs into the choice of school.

How America Pays for College 2013 offers important, informative insights into how families are managing to fund higher education in the current economic landscape.


Paying for college

Average percentage of total cost of attendance paid from each source


For more information about this report and how families are paying for college, view the infographic: