WILMINGTON, Del., May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Families are on the right track when it comes to paying for college: overall, students are more likely to rely on merit aid (scholarships and grants) than borrowing, according to a College Ave Student Loans survey of 1,019 college students conducted by Barnes & Noble College InsightsSM. Scholarships and grants (64%), parent income and savings (50%) and federal student loans (43%) are the top three sources families use to pay for college. Rounding out the top five are the student's savings and income (37%) and private student loans (12%).
"Our survey highlights the resourcefulness of families when it comes to paying for college," said Joe DePaulo, CEO and Co-Founder of College Ave Student Loans. "College is one of the biggest investments a family can make for a child's future, and this survey points to the fact that the majority of families really take advantage of scholarships and grants and work together to create a path forward for financial success."
Though college costs are shared between parent and student, the financial pressure still weighs on the student. Behind making good grades, the biggest worry shared by the majority of college students (68%) is the cost of college. To help lessen anxiety about paying for the upcoming school year, DePaulo offers these tips on how to build out a plan to pay:
- Be aggressive about scholarships and grants. Ninety percent of families who received merit aid, received it during their first year of school. Of the merit aid received, 77% said it was in the form of a scholarship, and 86% of scholarship awardees received their first scholarship their senior year in high school. It's never too late to look for free money. An easy one to apply for is the College Ave Student Loans $1,000 Monthly Scholarship Sweepstakes.
- Don't leave money on the table. Most respondents (80%) wished they would have researched more scholarships. Merit aid can contribute significantly to covering college costs and is money that doesn't have to be repaid. For those who used merit aid, approximately 1 in 5 (22%) said the amount was more than $15,000.
- Reach out to the financial aid office. Around 1 in 3 (34%) wished they would have reached out to the financial aid office to ask for more financial assistance. Especially if your circumstances have changed – job loss, medical issues, etc. – they may reconsider your financial aid package.
- Research your student loan options. If you decide to borrow, opt for federal student loans in the student name first as those offer unique benefits for the borrower. If you still have a funding gap, private student loans or parent loans are one option, but do your research. Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) wished they would have investigated different student loan options. Look for ones with flexible repayment options, competitive rates and great customer service, like the student loans offered by College Ave.
- Use the summer to work (and save). More than 1 out of 3 (37%) students plan to use their own income and savings to pay for college. Use the summer before school to get financially ahead. Not only will this help cover unexpected costs that indefinitely arise, it will also get you in a routine of managing money.
- Don't use your credit card. According to the survey, less than 10 percent of respondents plan to use a parent credit card or a student credit card to pay for college. However, do your best to not rely on this financing option because credit cards often carry higher interest rates.
For more information about ways to plan and pay for college, visit the resources at College Ave Student Loans: https://www.collegeavestudentloans.com.
About the Survey
The College Ave Student Loans survey was conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights SM. The national survey had 1,019 undergraduate students respondents and was fielded in April 2019.
About College Ave Student Loans
College Ave Student Loans is simplifying the student loan experience so students can get on with what matters most: preparing for a bright future. As a fintech lending company with a sole focus on private student loans, we're using technology and our deep industry expertise to connect families who need to cover education costs with lenders who can provide that funding. By specializing in student loans, we are able to give our customers the attention they deserve and deliver loans that are simple, clear, and personalized for the individual: we help you find your perfect fit. We offer competitive rates, a wide range of repayment options, and a customer-friendly experience from application through repayment. Visit: www.collegeavestudentloans.com.
About Barnes & Noble College
Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company (NYSE:BNED), is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 773 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 5 million college students and faculty nationwide. General information on Barnes & Noble College can be obtained by visiting the Company's website: www.bncollege.com.