Finance & Economics

Nearly 70% of Americans would use retirement savings to pay for child’s college

More than 1,000 US parents with children under 18 shared their opinions


Nearly 70% of Americans would use retirement savings to pay for child’s college. Source:

According to Student Loan Hero, with college tuition in the US at sky-high levels, many parents find themselves helping cover costs for the school.  In fact, an overwhelming 92% have either started saving for their child’s college or would like to start.

The looming price of tuition and other expenses is top of mind for many parents, with more than two-thirds saying they would consider using their retirement funds to pay for a child’s college costs.

The survey also revealed that 68% of parents would consider withdrawing from their retirement savings to help pay for their child’s education. Meanwhile, 32% of parents say saving for their child’s education is their biggest financial priority.

Interestingly, mothers feel more guilt about the amount of money they’ve saved for their child’s college education than do fathers. Fathers were more likely to be confident with their level of college savings (79%) compared to mothers (56%). On the flip side, more than twice as many moms as dads said they felt bad about not having saved more (37% versus 17%).

Parents whose own parents helped pay for their education are more likely to have some money set aside for their child’s college education. Of those who are saving for their child’s education, 37% started doing so even before their child’s first birthday.

The data also showed that three-quarters of parents saving for their child’s college education aren’t taking advantage of a 529 plan.

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