WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (8/4/11)--A recent nationwide survey indicates that 58% of parents don’t have a college education fund established for their children. The study was conducted by SimpliFi, a free online financial planning and advice service. “The average cost of college has skyrocketed in the past 30 years, so building up enough savings to pay for it has become more difficult,” said Bryan Link, SimpliFi CEO and co-founder. “To ease the stress and financial burden, it’s crucial that parents start saving for college very early--even while their kids are still in diapers," said Link. "Less than 5% of Americans have a financial plan, but those with a plan are almost three times as likely to hit their goals. If parents start saving while their children are young they won’t have to take out loans, or leave their children financially responsible to pay for school,” he said. Other key results from the SimpliFi Back-to-School survey include:
* 75% of parents who are saving for college feel they have a say in where their child goes to school; * 62% expect their children to share the responsibility of paying for their education; * 60% of parents say that they plan on paying for college in cash, while 13% are willing to take out loans, and only 10% are going to use financial aid; * 8% are planning to pay for college through scholarships--either academic or athletic; and * 22% are willing to pay for as many years of college as it takes for their child(ren) to graduate.
Credit unions have several programs available to help students and their families with financing the costs of college and to provide a way to attract younger members.