Paying for college

College costs are rising and yet getting a college degree is probably more important than ever for securing a good job. This leaves students in a pinch: how to pay for those rising costs. So, where are students getting the money? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden takes a look at a new study that answers that question.

“We have a new study out that exactly looked at that question. And it looked at six ways that students are using pay for college:

“First of all, student borrowing. Secondly, parental borrowing, student income and saving, parental income and saving, money from relatives and friends, and then finally grants and scholarships.

“And if you look at the trends in those six components, you do find some interesting results. I don’t think it’s a surprise that student borrowing is on the rise. Recently that’s gone up from 14 percent of the bill, total bill for college, to 18 percent.

“Parental borrowing for their children’s college expenses has stayed steady as a percent of the total bill. Students however, are putting relatively more of their own money that they earn or save into college. Parents are actually putting less.

“Funds that students use from friends and relatives have actually been falling. The big, big change, however, has been in grants and scholarships. Total financial aid is up from paying one-fourth of the college bill to now paying one-third.”

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