How most Americans pay for college

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Many families rely on a combination of financial resources, including out-of-pocket payments and loans, to meet their educational expenses. Parent income and savings cover 43% of the costs. On average, parents contributed $10,932 from income and savings. Scholarships and grants cover 26% of the costs. $234.6 billion was the total aid available in 2021-22 from all grants, loans, tax credits and work-study. Student income and savings cover 11% of the costs. 25% of college students hold a job all year, while 27% work on school breaks and 11% work during school but not breaks. Student borrowing covers 10% of the costs. There are a number of federal and private student loan options. In families who borrowed, students borrowed $9,381, on average. Parent borrowing covers 8% of the costs. Federal loans are also available to parents. In families who borrowed, parents borrowed $10,827, on average. Gifts from relatives and friends cover 2% of the costs. On average, families used $548 in gifts from others to cover college expenses. Sources: Sources: Sallie Mae, How America Pays for College 2022, and College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2022. Logo graphic: Merrill, a Bank of America company.
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