Average amount of parents’ contribution to college is about $10,000

by Grace

What is the average amount of money provided by parents who contribute to their children’s college education?

Nearly 35 percent of young adults said their parents helped with college tuition, with those receiving help given an average of $10,147;

This comes from a University of Michigan study by Patrick Wightman and Robert Schoeni of the U-M National Poverty Center and Keith Robinson of the University of Texas at Austin.

More than 60% of young adults ages 19-22 received some type of financial help from their parents, averaging about $7,500 a year.  Children are taking longer to become “adults”.

“Young people in the U.S. are taking longer to leave home, finish their schooling, get stable jobs, get married, and have children,” says Wightman, who is the MacArthur Network on Transitions to Adulthood research fellow at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at U-M.  “And the slow transition to traditional adult roles has been accompanied by an increase in the financial support young adults receive from their parents.”

How parents help:

  • About 42 percent of respondents reported their parents helped them pay bills, with those receiving help getting an average of $1,741;
  • Nearly 35 percent of young adults said their parents helped with college tuition, with those receiving help given an average of $10,147;
  • About 23 percent received help with vehicles (about $9,682 on average);
  • About 22 percent received help with their rent away from home ($3,937 on average);
  • About 11 percent said they received loans from their parents ($2,079 on average) and nearly 7 percent said they received financial gifts (average amount of $8,220).

Average figures blur the differences between how much high- and low-income families help pay for college.

“The gap is especially large for education related assistance,” he reports.  “While just 11 percent of low-income youth received tuition assistance from their parents, 66 percent of high-income youth did.  And among those who did get help, kids from high-income families received an average of $12,877, compared to $5,788 for those from low-income families.”

Parents tend to reward certain positive characteristics.

…  If parents reported that children age 12 and under were cheerful, self-reliant, and got along well with others, they were more likely to give them financial gifts or loans when they were young adults.

Parents have lowered their expectations about when adulthood should begin.

20120514.COCPewDelayedAdulthood1

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