Kaplan Test Prep and MONEY Magazine Survey: Parents Weigh in On Ways to Control College Costs, But None Win Majority Support

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contacts: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 212.453.7538
Twitter @KapTestNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (November 10, 2015) — With the cost of college a hot-button issue in the political arena, a variety of proposed remedies have been floated by regulators, legislators and advocacy groups– but what do those who are most directly impacted think? A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep and MONEY magazine of parents of prospective college students finds mixed support for many of these proposals*:

  • Ending Federal Aid in Exchange for Two Years of Free Tuition: A plurality (45%) of parents would agree to a proposal that ends all federal financial aid and tax breaks, if that meant free college for two years for all students, regardless of family income. Twenty-nine percent (29%) oppose this idea; 26% are undecided.
  • Living At Home: Another 44% of parents would agree to a proposal that would give students a free year of college if he or she lived at home that year and took online courses; 32% don’t agree with this proposal; and the remaining 24% are undecided.
  • No New Taxes: Thirty-eight percent of parents say they’d agree to pay higher state taxes if that made tuition at public colleges more affordable. Forty percent (40%) oppose this idea, while 22% are undecided.
  • Higher Income, Higher Tuition: Only 31% would agree to a plan that raised tuition rates at public colleges for higher-earning families so that students from lower-income families could be awarded more scholarships. A plurality (44%) of parents do not agree with this route, while 25% aren’t sure.
  • Students as Investments: Just under a quarter of parents (23%) support the idea of an investor covering a student’s tuition in return for a percentage of a student’s income after graduation. Fifty percent don’t agree with this idea; and 27% are not sure.

A new report shows that the average sticker price at an in-state public college is $19,548, including tuition and fees and room and board, $617 more than last year. Average private college tuition stands at $43,921, up $1,476 from last year.

“As this survey confirms, parents are looking to political leaders for real solutions to the problem of high college costs, not just glib proposals,” said Greg Daugherty, education editor at MONEY. “At the same time, we’re seeing parents holding colleges more accountable for delivering value for the money. These are both very encouraging trends.”  

“While we’ve heard a lot of policy proposals during this campaign season, our survey results find that no one approach has caught fire with families,” said Lee Weiss, vice president of college admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “While the not-so-bad news is that this year’s tuition increase is the lowest since the 1970s, government data show that tuition costs have outpaced inflation rate for years. Every generation of parents wants their kids to do better than they did and a policy redress on college costs is an important place to start.”

For more information on picking out the right college, try out MONEY’S College Planner: https://best-colleges.time.com/money/search-colleges#/filter

For more information about Kaplan and MONEY’s survey, contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

*The Kaplan/MONEY magazine e-survey was conducted in October 2015 and includes responses from 536 parents of prospective college students.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Additionally, Kaplan operates new economy skills training (NEST) bootcamps designed to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today’s job market and prepare participants for hire.

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