New study shows one-third of parents delay retirement to pay for their child’s college education

Discover Student Loans recently conducted a national online survey of 2,015 students, former students and parents in the United States.

Almost one-third (31 percent) of parents with students currently in school or recently graduated say they may have to work longer or retire later due to helping pay for their child’s college education.

The survey also found that 31 percent of parents said they may not have as much in retirement savings as they would like because of helping their child pay for college. In addition, 25 percent of parents reported that they may have to give up vacations, entertainment spending or other things they may like to do in the future.

As you work with students and their parents to begin mapping out their future paths you may cite some of the statistics from this study to help emphasize the growing cost of college education and the many ways that families should begin saving to lessen that burden when those tuition bills ultimately begin hitting. There are many scholarships and grants available for students, but they won’t come to them. They need to be searched out.

“While parents are often willing to make personal sacrifices to help their child pay for college, it’s important they discuss their financial contribution as a family and balance that with their long term budgeting goals,” said Nicole Straub, vice president for Discover Student Loans. “This is especially meaningful as families start to receive award letters, compare financial aid packages and apply for scholarships.”

Despite the financial challenges they may face from helping their child pay for college, the survey found that only 18 percent of parents limited their child’s college choice based on price. As a Counselor you can help them decide what school’s are realistic based on their personal situation and which are not.