Parents are no longer footing the bill for college. Scholarships, grants, and loan packages are covering tuition now, leading to choices based more on finances than academics, like less expensive colleges and more marketable majors.
College costs are driving decisions about which schools to attend, what to study and even where to live, according to a report from loan giant Sallie Mae.
Parents no longer foot the largest portion of the bill, according to the lender's annual survey. That role goes to grants and scholarships, with student loans coming in third as fewer students borrow money for school.
While the recession has largely passed, economic worries have not, and many families are making college choices driven by fears of tuition hikes and job losses, according to the survey.
"Parents are willing to stretch themselves," said Sarah Ducich, Sallie Mae's senior vice president for public policy. "It's not that they're not willing to pay. It's that their income is not keeping up."
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