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Students are paying for more of their college education on their own now than they have for the past four years. Sallie Mae’s “How America Pays For College” study, reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, involved 801 undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 24 and 800 parents, and found that 30 percent of the total cost of college in this academic year came from students’ savings, incomes and loans. That’s up from four years ago, when only 24 percent of the bill went to students, and just a year ago when 26 percent did. 

Students are not getting more responsible. It's mainly that their parents have less to contribute. Parents still pay the largest share of college costs, but the portion has decreased from its peak of 47 percent in 2010. Now parents pay 37 percent from income, savings, and borrowing. According to the study: 

Two years ago, parents reached deeply into their pocketbooks to meet the higher costs of college. However, this level of spending proved unsustainable. This year, parents cut the amount contributed through savings and income substantially, by 11 percent from last year, and by 32 percent from two years ago.

That said, 53 percent of parents said they "strongly agree" they would be "willing to stretch financially" to get their children to college, and there's a positive attitude among students, as Businessweek points out, 83 percent consider it an "investment in the future."


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