Story at a glance
- More than 30 percent of respondents listed financial barriers as the primary constraint regardless of their child’s post-secondary path.
- Parents of Black children are among the most likely demographic to choose post secondary education immediately following high school.
- Students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2019 left school owing an average of $28,000.
A family survey released Wednesday found that nearly 65 percent of parents with children between the ages of 11-25 see barriers to higher education.
The survey, which was conducted by the Carnegie Corporation and Gallup, similarly found that 46 percent of parents desire an alternative to college even if they did not see major obstacles. Meanwhile, 54 percent would like their child to enroll in a four-year college or university immediately after high school.
Parents who have Black children, according to the survey, are among the most likely demographic to choose post secondary education immediately following high school for their child. By contrast, 51 percent of parents with white children prefer immediate college enrollment.
Part of the hesitancy of survey respondents to send their children immediately into higher education is the allure of trade-oriented programs that could offer practical skills that could be necessary in the workforce. The survey shows that parents are more likely to say that an apprenticeship or trade program will better prepare their child.
“Though many community colleges offer associate degrees that develop skills for a specific career path -- such as paralegal or dental hygienist programs -- parents are twice as likely to say they want their child to complete a noncollege-based skills training program (16%) rather than enroll in community college (8%),” Zach Hrynowski wrote for Gallup.
But respondents also listed significant barriers to their child’s collegiate success, including the coronavirus pandemic and financial concerns. In fact, more than 30 percent of respondents listed financial barriers as the primary constraint regardless of their child’s post-secondary path.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki hinted in a press briefing last week that President Biden may be considering substantial financial relief for borrowers. Psaki said she believed the president could review greater loan forgiveness if Congress can agree to cancel his proposed $10,000 forgiveness through legislation.
"I think that would naturally be the first step before it's a larger amount beyond there," Psaki said.
Data from the College Board shows students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2019 left school owing an average of $28,000. Nearly 45 million Americans owe college debt, which totals nearly $1.7 trillion.
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