Student Financing Survey: Background and Fact Sheet

Posted: March 24, 2005

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Student Financing Survey

75 percent of the students said their parents do not pay their college costs.

  • Most are older students who qualify as financially independent.
  • 95 percent of students age 25 and over said they receive no parental support.
  • 54 percent of students under the age of 25 indicated their parents are not contributing anything toward their college costs
  • 25 percent of the students said their parents pay for some or all of their college expenses.
  • These are predominately younger students, (24 years of age or younger)
  • They are twice as likely to attend school full-time.
  • Of the 25 percent receiving parental assistance, 25 percent said their parents pay all of their tuition and fees.
  • 82 percent of first-generation college students (those whose parents had not attended college) said that their parents were not paying college costs, compared with 68 percent of students whose parents have completed at least some college-level study.

The pressure to work to meet college expenses affects degree completion time and academic performance.

  • 49 percent of working students interviewed said that having a job while taking classes will lengthen the time it would take them to complete their college education
  • 62 percent said it limits the amount of time they have available to study.
  • 17 percent of students said they have had to stop taking one or more colleges classes at some point to work more hours or take an extra job to pay college costs.

Many students are turning to credit cards to pay for educational expenses.

  • 25 percent of all students interviewed reported they used credit cards to pay for some part of tuition and fees
  • 37 percent used credit cards to pay for books and other educational supplies.
  • About half of those who used credit cards for this purpose continue to carry a balance on them from month to month. Of this latter group, 62 percent said they will not be able to pay off their balances while taking classes this semester.
  • 30 percent are very or extremely concerned about their current total level of personal debt including student loans, credit cards, mortgage, auto, and private loans. Those who used credit cards to pay for educational expenses were more likely to be very concerned about their current total level of personal debt.
  • Students attending the system's four-year universities were more likely to have used credit cards to pay tuition and fees than students at two-year institutions. Existing student loan debt affects many Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students.
  • About 66 percent of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students expect that they will have taken out student loans by the time they have finished their education
  • More than 18 percent, roughly a fifth, indicated that they are already re-paying student loans.
  • 33 percent of students indicated that they anticipate having more than $10,000 in student loan debt by the time they finish their education.

First-generation college students constitute about 40 percent of the system's students.

They are:

  • Most likely to be females attending a metro area system institution on a part-time basis
  • More likely to view the availability of evening and weekend classes as an extremely important reason for choosing a college
  • Likely to have a two-year or associate degree as their ultimate educational goal
  • More likely to be students of color
  • More likely to indicate that concerns about the cost of further education have led them to scale back their degree goals
  • More likely to indicate they would have taken more classes this semester if they could have afforded to pay for them
  • More likely to indicate they receive no financial assistance from their parents
  • More likely to be over 25 years old and married or divorced rather than single
  • More likely to have two or more children

Back to Education Financing Survey news release