Families continue to invest in higher education and the majority are eager to return to campus, according to “How America Pay for College 2021”

NEWARK, Dela .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – While the pandemic has created challenges for students and families, nine in ten families continue to believe university is an important investment in their future. Eighty-nine percent believe that a degree will create new opportunities, and 81% believe it will generate higher income, according to “How America Pays for College 2021”, the national study by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos . In addition, the majority of families are eager for students to return to campus. In fact, only 17% say they prefer online learning over campus or a hybrid model.

“Despite the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Americans still believe in the value of university and say the investment in higher education is worth it,” said Jennifer Berg, director of research at Ipsos. “Many believe that a college degree creates opportunities that the student wouldn’t have access to without it, but 2020 has also highlighted the need for personal growth, with a growing number of families saying they value the experience. intellectual and social college regardless of the potential increase in income.

Families spent $ 26,373 on college education during YY 2020-2021, down 12% from the previous year. Students and parents continued to use a combination of resources to cover college costs with strategies similar to those before the pandemic:

  • Family income and savings, used by 91% of families, covered 53% of university fees.

  • Scholarships and grants, used by 72% of families, covered 25% of tuition fees.

  • Borrowed funds, including student loans, used by 47% of families, covered 20% of tuition fees.

This year, more families (58%) had a plan to pay for their college education than ever before. That said, the percentage of families who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), 68%, represents the lowest level of completion in the study’s 14-year history. Among those who did not submit a case, 44% said they did not think they could apply for help, while 34% said they missed the deadline, found the application too complicated or did not have time. Additionally, among those who did not use scholarships, 74% did not apply. When asked what stopped them, 44% of students said they didn’t think they would win, and 28% didn’t have time to apply.

“College is a great equalizer, but we have to make sure that more than we have the wherewithal to access it and complete it,” said Nicolas Jafarieh, senior vice president of Sallie Mae. “More and more families are considering paying for college, but too often there are missed opportunities to make college more affordable, including applying for scholarships and completing the FAFSA®. With more discussion and resources available around these critical college payment times, students can face their future with confidence.

“How America Pays for College 2021” reports the results of Ipsos online interviews conducted in English, between April 8 and May 4, 2021, with 985 parents of undergraduates and 1,000 undergraduates aged 18 to 24 years. Data and years shown reflect the academic year from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

The full report and a related infographic are available at SallieMae.com/HowAmericaPays.

For more information, visit www.SallieMae.com.

Sallie mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes that education and lifelong learning, in all its forms, help people achieve great things. As a leader in private student loans, we provide funding and expertise to facilitate access to university and offer products and resources to help clients achieve new goals and experiences, as well as beyond university. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or by any agencies in the United States of America.

Category: Research

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