College savings: five lessons

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As parents, you encourage your children to learn from their mistakes. When it comes to college savings, learning from other parents’ missteps or oversights can be a great untapped resource.

As college costs continue to rise, parents are expecting to pay more, so many are saving more. In fact, they are saving a lot more than they were 10 years ago, according to the latest Fidelity College Savings Indicator Study.1 Today, nearly three quarters of parents surveyed are saving for college vs. only half in 2007 when the study began. Now, some 43% of parents expect to pay all of the tuition costs themselves vs just 16% of parents surveyed in 2007 who said they intended to pay 100% of their children’s total college costs.

With rising college cost comes rising debt for many students and their parents. The 2016 college graduate with student-loan debt will have to pay back a little more than $37,000. Still, more parents are willing to make additional sacrifices and expect to pay more. “Today’s parents have learned from their own experiences paying for college and managing student loan debt. These parents clearly value the importance of a college degree and likely want to help shield their children from a heavy student debt burden after college,” says Keith Bernhardt, vice president of college planning at Fidelity

According to the latest Fidelity College Savings Indicator Study, here are five lessons learned by parents of college-bound children who say they wished they had taken action sooner to boost their college savings preparedness…

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  1. The Fidelity College Savings Indicator study was conducted by Boston Research Technologies, an independent research firm, through an online survey from May 13 – June 12, 2016, of 2,196 parents nationwide with children aged 18 and younger who are expected to attend college.
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