Parents Won’t Pay Full Tuition

Even (relatively) rich parents aren’t going to pay the full cost of college anymore. A recent survey by Bank of America indicates that even America’s richest families think college costs are too high for them.

According to an article by Ryan Mac in the Boston Globe:

About half of Americans with assets of more than $250,000 say they won’t pay the entire tab for their children’s college education, according to Bank of America.

About 47 percent of those surveyed in the Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Survey released yesterday said they didn’t or won’t pay the full cost of higher education. Limiting access to the bank of mom and dad will help teach their kids financial responsibility, 29 percent of respondents said.

This doesn’t mean such parents aren’t willing to pay for college, as the majority of people in this wealth bracket have been saving for their children’s college education from birth, it’s just that with private college tuition now hovering at about $30,000, they don’t feel they can pay for the whole thing.

Note that “limiting access to the bank of mom and dad” would, in this case, be unlikely to teach financial responsibility. Colleges still, after all, calculate financial aid based on expected family and student contributions; if parents contribute less money than colleges expect, their children will just be forced to take on more debt to complete college.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer