Sallie Mae’s National Survey of College Students and Parents

Sallie Mae’s National Survey of College Students and Parents

How America Pays for College 2011

  • The study shares American families’ decisions on how they invest in higher education.
  • Many diverse resources are relied upon (institutional and federal financial aid; income; retirement savings; home equity loans, etc.).
  •  The study focuses on a “typical” family (composite based on survey results).
  •  Half of respondents are undergraduates aged 18-24.
  •  Half of respondents are parents of undergraduates aged 18-24.


-The typical family spent 9% lesson higher education in 2011 than in 2010.

  • Shift to lower-cost schools
  • Increase in numbers of lower-income students
  • Reduction in out-of-pocket spending among high and middle-income families


-The typical family used 10% more grant and scholarship funding in 2011 than in 2010 (23% to 33%).

  • 40% of families reported grant use (up from 30% in 2010).
  • Increase in grant usage occurred among middle-income families (from 30% to 49%) and high-income families (from 12% to 26%); no really change seen for low-income families

-There was an 8% increase of families filling out the FAFSA in 2011 (from 72% in 2010 to 80% on 2011).


-More students and parents (70%) strongly agree that college is essential for earning more. (compared to 59% in 2010).

  •  There was a 6% increase in students who strongly agree that college education is an investment in their futures (from 84% in 2010 to 90% in 2011).


-Rising college tuition remained parents’ number one economic concern.

  • However, this concern is decreasing, as families reduce the amount they are spending on college (through more aid/grants and less through personal accounts AND less expensive schools).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: