Parents save more for college for their sons
These parents need to get schooled.
Not only are parents of boys more likely to have saved for college (50% of parents with all sons have some college savings, versus 39% with all daughters), they’re also more likely to have saved more, according to the Money Confident Kids survey data released this week from T. Rowe Price. Indeed, nearly one in five (17%) of parents with all male children say they will pay the entire cost of their son’s college, versus just 8% who have all daughters.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of disturbing stats about how American parents favor boys over girls when it comes to college savings, according to this study of more than 1,000 parents with kids ages 8-14. (T. Rowe Price did not analyze data with families who have both boys and girls.)
- Only 60% of parents of all boys agree with the statement, “I would consider sending my kids to a less expensive college to avoid taking on student loans,” compared with 72% of parents of all girls who agree with that statement.
- There is a greater willingness among parents of all boys to take on significant student debt: 23% of parents of all boys are willing to personally take on $75,000 or more in student loans compared to only 12% of parents of all girls. Parents of all boys are also more willing to let their kids take on significant student debt, with 29% saying they are willing to let their kids take with $50,000 or more in student loans, compared to only 17% of parents of only girls.
“A willingness to save more, pay more, and borrow more among parents of all boys suggests there may still be some antiquated expectations based on gender. This is somewhat ironic as more women are attending and graduating from college now than men,” says Roger Young, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price and father of three.
But no matter whether they have daughters or sons, one things is clear. Parents are not saving enough for college by any measure. More than four in 10 parents aren’t saving anything for college, and average savings is just $16,380, according to SallieMae.
This comes at a time when college tuition is climbing. For the 2016-2017 school year, the sticker price for tuition, fees and room and board was $45,355 per year for a private, nonprofit four-year school and $20,092 for a public, four-year in-state school, according to the College Board. What’s more, “between 2011-12 and 2016-17, published tuition and fee prices rose by 9% in the public four-year sector, by 11% at public two-year colleges, and by 13% at private nonprofit four-year institutions, after adjusting for inflation,” they note.
And without their parents help, many college grads struggle. Americans now owe more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, and the average grad in the class of 2016 with debt left school with more than $37,000 in debt, up 6% from the year prior. College grads say that student loan obligations now prevent them from doing everything from saving for retirement to buying a home.
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