Most Illinoisans believe college education is essential, according to a recent survey by COUNTRY Financial®. The majority (86%) said a college education is critical when applying for jobs. But the cost of college is unattainable for many – 35% of Illinoisans who responded said they have not been able to save for their education or their children’s education.
However, more than half of Illinoisans (54%) are willing to go into debt to pay for their own or their child’s college education. In fact, nearly two in ten (18 percent) of Illinoisans would take on between $25,000 and $40,000.
Please share four talking points or subjects you would like included in the interview. (NOTE: These should be “big picture” points that give context to the interview).
1: The latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index found that 56 percent of Americans (54 percent of Illinoisans) would voluntarily go into debt to pay for their child’s college education, with the average person willing to take on $31K in debt.
Were you surprised by this finding? Are there ever any circumstances where it financially makes sense for a parent to go into debt to put their child through college?
2: Parents’ contributions are often not enough to cover the full cost of tuition—only 18 percent of parents predict/report that their contribution will cover 81 to 100 percent of their child’s education. In fact, only half of those surveyed said they predict they’ll be able to cover, or were able to cover, 60 percent or less of their child’s college education.
What Simple Steps can parents take to contribute as much to their child’s college education as possible without having to stretch themselves financially?
How could a financial representative help a new parent who is unsure about the best way to go about saving up for their child’s future college education? What value do they add to the conversation?
3: According to the College Board’s 2018 report on trends in college pricing, in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions have increased at an average rate of 3.1% per year beyond inflation for the past 10 years.
What can parents and/or students do to help offset the rising costs of college tuition?
4: On top of the stress of paying for their child’s college education, parents also still worry about paying off their own student loan debt. Fifty-five percent of parents surveyed said it would take or has taken five years or longer to pay off their loans, and about seven percent of parents predict they won’t be able to pay off their student loans in their lifetime.
What are your tips for parents who are still struggling to pay off their own student loans, but also have to send their kids to college? In the list of priorities, what should be at the top of these parents’ lists and what should be at the bottom?
What would your advice be for kids who have to put themselves through college because their parents are unable to provide financial support?