Parents Still Feel Their Kid’s Education Is Worth Going Into Debt For

By Erika Hanson | Published

college debt

A college degree is losing its luster every year. It use to be the epitome of a well-rounded education, but as the price tag continues to skyrocket, and more and more businesses realize that the best workers don’t necessarily come with that once coveted piece of paper, Americans feel that degree’s simply aren’t worth the hassle and massive college debt anymore. But that sentiment doesn’t necessarily ring true for parents, as most of them still believe that their children’s college education is still worth going into debt for. 

A recent survey published by the personal finance website, WalletHub, suggested that most parents (seven out of 10) are willing to go into college debt for their child’s development. The decision should come as no surprise to many. While inflation is making the cost of a college degree unattainable to many, education remains one of the most concerning topics for parents, especially as it bleeds into current political agendas.

A college degree costs much more today than it did when the majority of older-aged parents would have first hit the college age. What’s more, relative inflation rises can’t even account for those cost increases. Leading families into massive college debt, the price of a degree has ballooned over the last few decades and highly outpaced inflation. A new Business Insider report even suggests that the average family will remain in debt for a longer period of time than it took to raise their children. But still, most parents feel a degree is worth that cost.

Despite shifting trends leading many college-aged students directly into the workforce or into alternative trade skills programs, a college degree remains to be one of the best chances at earning higher wages in adulthood. So it’s no wonder most parents are still willing to take on massive college debt, desiring the best for their offspring throughout life. A report published by Forbes last year found that adults with bachelor’s degrees earned about $1.2 million more throughout their life than those with a high school diploma. 

At the same time, more parents are pleading with schools to educate children in order to help them become financially savvy. Because of this growing call, more states are now passing laws that require schools to teach financial education. With many just passing these mandates in the last year, 14 states now require financial literacy in high school and more are considering adding the requirement. Much of this is because while most parents are willing to take on college debt for their children, many still want their kids to learn valuable financial lessons, and help front the costly bill as well.

For parents who know they will be willing to take on college debt for their children, no matter how costly the endeavor may become, there are options to keep the price down. Applying for financial aid and scholarships are the most well-known options, but others including college savings accounts can keep the costs more manageable. 529 plans are a popular option for parents. These tax-advantaged saving vehicles allow parents to start saving for the expense early on. 

college debt

Fewer students are opting for college. But still, it appears more parents are willing to front the bill and take on crushing college debt, all in the name of the best interest of their children. Whether this trend will continue to be a norm in years to come, as college tuition continues to soar, remains unknown.