Two-thirds of families use grants and scholarships to help pay for college

by Grace

The use of grants and scholarship to pay for college is on the rise.

The percentage of families using grants and scholarships for college has increased 30% from five years ago.

According to student loan servicer Sallie Mae, nearly two-thirds of families (65%) used grants and scholarships to pay for college in 2013, up from 61% in 2012 and up from only half of families five years ago. What’s more, 49% of parents say they’re not regularly setting aside money to college savings, and 70% of those parents say the reason they’re not saving is because they simply can’t afford to. In other words: more and more families are counting on grants and scholarships (including tuition discounts from the school itself) to pay for college.

The percentage of students who borrow for college has increased a more modest 10% from five years ago.

In 2013 32% of students borrowed to pay for college, up from 29% in 2009. Parent borrowing is down over that same time, from 15% in 2009 to 12% in 2013.

Related:

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Maggie McGrath, “10 Rules For Decoding College Financial Aid Award Letters”, Forbes, 3/31/14.

Sallie Mae, “How America Pays for College 2013”

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