That includes asking their college-bound kids to live at home and commute to classes or major in areas of study that will lead to more lucrative careers. Many parents are even asking their children to start saving for college when they’re as young as 13, a Fidelity survey of 2,000 families with children 18 or younger found.
The study found that the average family hopes to pay for 57% of the total cost of college — saying that the rest will come from loans, scholarships or gifts. But still many are coming up woefully short, with families reporting that they are only on track to meet 30% of their savings goals.
And college tuition continues to rise, with the average annual cost of a private four-year college hovering around $28,500 for the 2011 school year — up nearly 5% from the previous year.
“[Parents] are trying to do their very best for their children and they want their children to go to college,” said Keith Bernhardt, head of college planning at Fidelity. “[But] it does seem to have gotten tougher over the last few years, so we’re seeing more parents considering shared sacrifices and taking steps to have their kids help pay for college or somehow reduce the cost of college.”