How are people paying for college? A lot of the funds come from student loans and a lot of the money comes from parents, but it turns out there’s another source of college money: grandparents.

According to a recent MetLife survey of financing:

Cash was the most common type of financial support, and helping with basic needs rose to the top with 29 percent [of grandparents providing support] for education. The top average dollar amount spent per grandparent was… $8,276 for education,

[Of those who funded education, about] 32 percent helped with tuition or loan payments, 29 percent donated to a college savings plan, and 7 percent helped pay for graduate school.

To some degree this makes sense, as it’s arguably the pensions and other retirement benefits of such people that are preventing states from investing in higher education and keeping college affordable. Today’s grandparents, if they went to college, went for much cheaper than today’s students, if they had to pay tuition at all. Many state universities didn’t charge tuition until the 1960s or 70s. [Image via]

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