A majority of teenagers have an answer to the provocative question on the cover of the Sept. 10 issue of Newsweek: “Is College a Lousy Investment?” The answer seems to be a resounding “yes” and they are planning accordingly.
According to a recent TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation survey, 91 percent of teenagers are enrolled or plan to enroll in college, and an increasing percentage have started setting aside money for their higher education. Sixty-eight percent of teenage savers said they are earmarking a portion of their own money to pay for college, up from 62 percent of teens three years ago. In comparison, 40 percent of adults said they were as prudent when they were that age.
But today’s teen college savers have good role models, who with age has come wisdom. Nearly half of teens said that their parents regularly put aside funds for college. Just over one-quarter of these adults said their parents did the same when they were college-bound teens.
More than two-quarters (68 percent) of these teens plan to pursue an advanced degree, the survey found.
As we reported last week, those without a high school graduation are more than three times as likely to be unemployed in the prolonged economic downturn than college graduates with a bachelor degree, according to a recent study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
But in the face of rising tuition costs and mounting student debt, financing a child’s education is a significant financial concern, especially for younger parents, according to Millionaire Corner research. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents ages 40 and under said they have “major financial concerns” about educational expenses.
A majority of parents in their 40s (56 percent) said they are financially helping a child through college, while 36 percent of those ages 40 and under are contributing financially to their child’s college education.
Close to half of older parents—47 percent of those in their 40s and about 46 percent of those in their 50s, are shouldering the full financial load,
A significant majority of families we surveyed—more than three-quarters of those age 40 and younger and more than 80 percent of those in their 40s and 50s—said they have planned for a long time to pay for the educational expenses of their children.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.