According to the College Ave Student Loans survey conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights, more and more students are using their own money to pay for their education rather than relying on funds from their parents.
The survey found that of 1,100 respondents attending four-year colleges, 45% said they paid for their education with their own savings and income. That’s an 8% increase from 2019, when 37% of students said they used their own funds for college.
The primary method of payment for college was merit-based financial aid, i.e. scholarships and grants, cited by 51% of students, although this percentage is down from 64% in 2019. Tied for third this year were students who relied on their parents’ savings and income and those who took out federal student loans, at 41% each.
Even though more students are paying out of pocket, fewer said they were stressed about the cost of college, the survey found – 68% compared to 83% last year. Asked about their understanding of personal finances, 62% said they felt confident using a checking account and 59% using a savings account. The majority of students, 51%, have a job and 50% said they have a personal budget.
“Undergraduate students are deeply engaged in their higher education,” Joe DePaulo, co-founder and CEO of College Ave Student Loans, said in a statement. “Our survey highlights students’ investment in their academic journey and their deep belief that a college degree is a crucial step on the path to their successful future.”