College Savings – A critical addition to your Financial Wellness program
A Passionate Concern of Your Employees
It’s an understatement to say that college savings is an important financial goal for families with children. In fact, 91% of families say helping to pay for their child’s higher education is one of the most important things they can do as a parent.1
“We see it first hand every time we host a workshop for employees,” said Yvette Haring, Team Leader of the ScholarShare 529 Field Consulting group. “We are talking about an issue that is top of mind for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. Seeing the next generation succeed is very near and dear to the heart.”
Families understand the importance of higher education to the future of their children. College grads earn an average of 62%2 more over the course of their lifetimes, they are half as likely to be unemployed, and for many families it is the gateway to the American Dream.
A Growing Problem
College is becoming less affordable, tuition is increasing faster than the consumer price index and outpacing available student aid.2 For example a child born today can expect to pay $39,262 for one year at a public institution and an astounding $103,606 at a private institution.3 Consequently, student loan debt has skyrocketed. In fact total US student debt now tops 1.45 trillion dollars with no sign of improving
In a recent poll of families that want to help their children pay for college, 78% of parents anticipate they will have to help pay back children’s loans, 64% expect to delay their retirement, and over half expect to tap into their own retirement savings or take on a second job.1
Total 4-Year Cost of College for a Child Born Today
A Little Planning Can Go A Long Way
In our survey we spoke to many families with no college savings but who still wanted to help their children afford a degree. What we heard was heartbreaking.
28% said they felt scared when they thought about paying for college. 21% said they felt powerless, and 19% said they felt depressed. 14% said they were terrified.1
These emotions can change dramatically when parents are better informed about their options and when they understand how even a small amount saved each month can make a difference.
“It is an opportunity for employers to make a real impact on a quality of life issue for their employees,” said Haring. “Financial wellness programs absolutely need to address college savings for the next generation.”
- ScholarShare 529 Research among 900 CA families planning to help their children pay for college, 2019
- Strategic Insight 2019 529 Plan Industry Analysis
- Strategic Insight 2019 529 Plan Industry Analysis, for 2039 academic year