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Grants, scholarships key to paying for college

Published July 29, 2013 1:27 pm

Tuition • Report says students rely less on parents amid economic downturn.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Grants and scholarships are taking a leading role in paying college bills, surpassing the traditional role parents long have played in helping foot the bills, according to a report from loan giant Sallie Mae.

Since the recession, more college-bound students have eliminated schools from their searches based on costs and have relied less on their parents once they get to campus, said the report released Tuesday. Worries such as tuition increases and job losses seem to have faded as the economy has improved, yet parents and students still make decisions on schools, majors and work schedules based on the price tag.

"We have moved into a post-recession reality in how people pay for college," said Sarah Ducich, Sallie Mae's senior vice president for public policy.

College spending per student was about $21,000 during 2012, down from a peak of $24,000 in 2010, according to the Sallie Mae-Ipsos Public Affairs report.

The annual survey of student financial aid found students earned about $6,300 in grants and scholarships to pay for college costs, taking the top spots from parents.