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, 88% 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 63%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 $280,908 for 4 years of study at a public institution and an astounding $562,592 for a private college.3 Consequently, student loan debt has skyrocketed. In fact, average debt for a college graduate is now $37,1723 with no sign of improvement.
In a recent poll, parents have reported selling their homes or going into debt in order to help pay for their children’s higher education.1 Over 1 in 5 report they are planning to raid their retirement savings.2
Total 4-Year Cost of College for a Child Born Today
A Little Planning Can Go A Long Way
We spoke with 1,000 families, many of whom are struggling to save for their children’s higher education, and what we heard was heartbreaking.
35% say they feel powerless when they think about affording college for their child, 30% say they feel depressed and 25% say they feel 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 1000 CA families on the emotional impact of college savings, 2018
- Strategic Insight 2018 529 Plan Industry Analysis
- At the time of graduation. Strategic Insight 2018 529 Plan Industry Analysis