Parents feel less overwhelmed by the cost of college for their children compared to last year, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by College Ave Student Loans and Barnes & Noble College Insights, found that 55 percent of families feel overwhelmed by the cost of higher education in 2021 compared to a sweeping 71 percent in 2020. The results were first reported by Fox Business.
Nearly 24 percent of survey participants also said that they would borrow student loans on behalf of their children to help pay for college, while about 34 percent of parents said they will cover costs by using their savings, 16 percent said they will dip into their investment assets and 10 percent said they plan to appeal their financial aid award letter.
“The findings of this survey prove just how determined students and their families are at getting that college degree regardless of last year’s unforeseeable circumstances,” Joe DePaulo, co-founder and chief executive of College Ave Student Loans, said.
Parents were the most surprised over the cost of tuition and fees for college, with 81 percent of them saying that they felt “sticker shock,” while 77 percent said the same about the cost of room and board.
About 61 percent felt “sticker shock” about the cost of school and activity fees.
The freeze on federal student loan payments, zero interest accrual and no collection of student loan debt in default are expected to expire on October 1.
“The pause was designed to support borrowers impacted by the pandemic and its economic impact,” an administration official said in a statement to Politico. “Every day we are making progress with respect to [the] pandemic and [the] economy is recovering. We appreciate that there are still impacts for individual borrowers/families. And ED is working to ensure that struggling borrowers are supported when payments are lifted.”
It’s unclear, however, whether the White House will listen to the growing pressure from department officials, as well as from congressional lawmakers to extend the pause. While some advisers support extending the relief, others fear that continuing the pause will harm the country’s economic recovery.
The College Ave Student Loans and Barnes & Noble College Insights poll surveyed 1,045 parents.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.