Discover Student Loan Survey Finds Nearly 70% of Parents More Concerned About University Funding Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
RIVERWOODS, Illinois – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Parents are now more concerned about how they will pay for their child’s college education than before the COVID-19 pandemic epidemic, according to a national survey by Find out about student loans. The survey found that 68% of American parents of college students now report at least some concern about paying for their child’s education. The survey interviewed parents of teenagers in college in early March and again in May.
Despite these changes, 67% of parents still think university is a good investment for their children.
“Families are looking beyond the current challenges presented by COVID-19 and understand the long-term value of higher education,” said Manny Chagas, vice president of Discover Student Loans. “Given the uncertain circumstances, it is important that families are prepared when making a decision by discussing all of their options for higher education and the funding alternatives available.
Families Take Collaborative Approach to Adjust College Plans, Talk More Openly About College Funding
More than half of parents say they have started talking more candidly with their children about paying for college compared to before COVID-19, according to the survey. Many parents (53%) say their child’s education plans have also changed in the wake of COVID-19. They say their child is now exploring other options such as attending a school closer to home (7%), delaying college entry (6%), or going to a cheaper school (6%) .
More families are turning to scholarships, grants and savings to fill gaps in college funding
Fifty-five percent of parents fear their child will not receive enough scholarships – a 14% jump from the first poll in early March. Likewise, 53% of parents fear that their child will not receive enough financial assistance, which is 9% more than before the pandemic.
Parents also plan to use their savings more than they have in recent years. In fact, 54% of parents say they now plan to use their savings to pay for their child’s college education, down from just 47% before the pandemic. According to the Discover survey, student loans remain the third most cited financing option to help families pay for their education.
“The transition to college is an important step for families. It is encouraging that students and parents are talking openly about university funding and looking for ways to manage this process together, ”said Chagas. “By taking advantage of a variety of financing solutions, such as scholarships, grants and then considering student loans, families can preserve their savings while covering their children’s university expenses.
All figures, unless otherwise noted, are from two Dynata (formerly Research Now / SSI) surveys conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services. The surveys were conducted online; the first was conducted March 9-19, 2020, with a total sample of 1,500 U.S. parents of college students (aged 16-18), and the second survey was conducted May 2-4, 2020 , with a total sample size of 1,500 US parents of college students (ages 16-18). The margin of sampling error for the two surveys is ± 2.53 percentage points with a confidence level of 95%.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payments company with one of the most recognized brands in US financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has grown into one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover Card, a pioneer in cash rewards in the United States, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts, and certificates of deposit through its banking operations. It operates the Discover Global Network comprised of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access points; PULSE, one of the country’s main ATM / debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payment network accepted worldwide. For more information visit www.discover.com/enterprise.