Families Going Deeper Into Their Own Pockets To Pay For College

fig1College spending continues to rise, but not all American families are taking measures to bring down the amount of their own money they have to spend to educate their children.

This is according to the latest “How America Pays For College” survey [PDF] from the folks at Sallie Mae.

The survey claims that average college spending jumped 16% for the 2014-15 academic year to $24,164. That’s the first significant increase since 2009-10. As you can see from the chart below, the leap in spending was even greater on 4-year private colleges, where the average went from just below $35,000 to nearly $42,000 in a single year:

[Source: Sallie Mae]

[Source: Sallie Mae]

And while around 23% of this increased spending was covered by a bump in grants and scholarships, parents paid for more than 40% of the difference, while students borrowed more money to pick up 20% of the higher cost:

[Source: Sallie Mae]

[Source: Sallie Mae]

While 95% of families in the survey did at least something to make college more affordable, the report found that there noticeable declines in a number of affordability measures.

For example, the number of families with a college student still living at home dropped from 57% in 2013 to the current level of 48%. And of those students who lived away from home, only 35% considered bringing in a roommate to reduce costs, down from 41% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the percentage of parents who are working more to make college more affordable went from 19% to 22%.