The stress of paying for college is greater for some than others, and the weight of it often falls between two sets of shoulders: the student and the parent.
How students afford the education that they get is different from person to person, fluctuating based on academic status, level of scholarship support or financial aid and countless other personal factors. However, between loan applications and payment plans, the crucial detail of exactly who’s pocket tuition money comes from is often lost.
According to a poll by the Good 5 Cent Cigar, roughly 39 percent of students surveyed said their parents foot the entirety of the bill, while roughly 31 percent said they pay the whole thing and the final 31 percent said their tuition is split in some fashion between them and their parents.
According to the director, Carnell Jones, Enrollment Services at the University of Rhode Island has no way to keep track of that information. “We wouldn’t know that it came from you or your parents so to speak,” he said. “The only delineation we would know is let’s say you had financial aid and it came in the form of an aid package.”
The Cigar poll also showed the breakdown of in-state versus out-of-state students who require parental assistance when paying for their tuition to be roughly similar. Surprisingly out-of-state students, even though they are charged significantly more, are no less likely to pay tuition on their own than Rhode Island students.
Additionally, of the students polled, 68 percent said either they or their parents need to accept loans to pay their tuition. When broken down, an overwhelming majority of students that pay their bills themselves accept some amount in loans while only 36 percent of parents who pay the entirety of their student’s bills need loans to make it happen.
Students who pay their own way, according to Jones, are largely “working more than the typical 10 or 15 hours per week when they’re trying to bridge the gap.” Enrollment Services also offers payment plans that Jones said are a “fiscally responsible way to break the payments up.” They only cost $30, incur no interest and allow both students and those who support them to break their bill into up to 10 separate payments.