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Parents give themselves a lowly B-minus in saving for college

August 21, 2013|By Walter Hamilton
  • American parents give themselves a B-minus in saving for their kids' college educations.
American parents give themselves a B-minus in saving for their kids'… (Sam Harrel / Associated…)

American parents give themselves a B-minus in saving for their kids’ college educations, a lowly grade that no child would want on his or her own report card.

The survey by Fidelity Investments showed that parents have made strides in recent years in financially preparing for college. The problem is that they're still not doing enough in an era of rising costs and crushing student-loan debt.

A record 69% of parents are saving for college, up from 66% last year and 58% in 2007, according to Fidelity. The average family put away $5,000 last year.

Still, even many parents acknowledge that they can do a better job -- hence, the B-minus.

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On average, according to the survey, parents plan to pay for 62% of their children’s total college costs. But they’re on pace to cover just one-third of that amount.

More than half of parents fear their children will have to make compromises in the quality of their education because of ballooning costs, according to the survey.

And the survey indicates that parents are scrounging for cost-saving measures to make college more affordable.

Half of parents want their children to live at home to save the cost of room and board. Four in 10 want their children to attend public colleges, and nearly one-quarter want their kids to graduate early.


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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

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