What Percentage of Parents Pay for College?

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The percentage of parents who pay at least a portion of their children’s college costs is between 22 and 35 percent. The rate varies depending on the components of cost and payment figured into the calculation.

A University of Michigan-Ann Arbor study suggests that 62 percent of children received tuition support from their parents. Parents who have the ability to use their own money make use of personal savings, money from retirement funds and income to help with the cost of their children’s tuition, in addition to or instead of taking out loans.

Further, there is a 21-point difference in college graduation success rates for students who receive some form of help from parents. Students who receive help have a graduation rate of 63 percent, while students who do not receive help have a graduation rate of just 42 percent.