Majority of Americans would take on debt to cover their kid’s college, survey says

While the cost of higher education can certainly be expensive, results of a study released Tuesday unveiled just how many parents would go into debt for it on behalf of their kids.

A survey from Country Financial showed that more than half of Americans polled – 56 percent – were open to fronting the bill for college and taking on debt as a result, according to a news release that detailed the survey results.

“The survey found that 56 percent of Americans would voluntarily go into debt to pay for their child's college education, with the average person willing to take on $31K in debt,” the company said.

The study, which was conducted in April, polled more than 1,000 adults, according to CNBC.

Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at Country Financial, acknowledged the risk of incurring such debt and expressed the need to plan ahead.

"Parents obviously want to do whatever is in their power to help their children get a leg up in life," Williams said. "However, taking on tens of thousands of dollars of debt can have a major impact on their ability to save and prepare for their own financial future.”

“If paying for a child's education is a priority, then successfully integrating college funding into one's overall savings and retirement goals is all-important,” he continued.

The survey also shed light on how much of the tuition costs parents were able to or predicted they could tackle.

“Only 18 percent of parents predict/report that their contribution will cover 81 to 100 percent of their child's education,” the news release said. “In fact, six in ten of those surveyed said they predict they'll be able to cover, or were able to cover, 60 percent or less of their child's college education costs.”

To increase acceptance chances, a large portion of respondents – 60 percent – “who attended or are planning for college” paid for extracurricular activities such as SAT or ACT prep classes or private sports, according to the survey results.


And people were willing to do this at the expense of other areas in their lives, the company said.

“To afford these extracurricular activities, Americans are willing to make financial sacrifices such as cutting back on vacations (29 percent), pulling from their savings accounts (26 percent), taking out a loan (18 percent) and even taking on part-time jobs (17 percent),” the news release said.