Kaplan Test Prep and MONEY Survey: To Pay For College, Parents Will Take Staycations, Trim Retirement Savings and Defer Home Improvements, Among Other Financial Sacrifices

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 18, 2015) — Families are cutting back on vacations, setting aside less for retirement and holding off on car upgrades in order to afford their kids’ future college costs, according to a new survey by Kaplan Test Prep and MONEY magazine of 539 parents of prospective college students. Among the ways parents plan to budget for this pending investment in higher education:

  • Putting the Kids to Work: Almost two-thirds (64%) of parents say that their child will have to work part-time or even full-time to help them cover the costs of college.
  • Fewer Vacations: Sixty-two percent of parents say that they’ll have to cut back on vacations over the next few years to cover future college costs.
  • Less Money Set Aside for Retirement: Sixty percent of parents say they will be saving less money for retirement. In a separate survey question, 60% say that thinking about how to save for college is “more daunting” than thinking about retirement.
  • Deferred Investments: Home repairs or that new car may have to wait until after college costs come off the budget, as 62% of parents say they will have to scale back on major investments.
  • Moonlighting: Over a quarter (27%) of parents say they or their spouse will find a second job to cover their kids’ future college education.

“Parents understand that their children’s education is one of the most important investments they can make, but for most families, covering that kind of cost requires years of planning, as well as financial sacrifices,” said Lee Weiss, vice president of college admissions, Kaplan Test Prep. “We encourage parents and their children to be as honest and open as possible about how they plan to cover college costs, which may help them avoid unpleasant surprises and sticker shock by the time senior year comes around. We also encourage families to set aside time and focus early on looking into scholarships, as there’s a lot of scholarship money available for those who put in the effort to earn it.”

“The fact that a majority of parents say they’ll be saving less for retirement because of their kids’ college costs is pretty worrisome,” said Greg Daugherty, education editor at MONEY. “They may be acting nobly, but the decision could come back to haunt them when it’s time to retire. It could haunt the kids, too, if they end up having to help support their parents.”

New data shows that college costs are continuing their upward trajectory. The average sticker price at an in-state public college is $19,548, including tuition and fees and room and board and average private college tuition stands at $43,921.

For more information on how to choose a great school that’s affordable for your family, plus smart ways to save, invest, and pay for it, check out the new MONEY College Planner: money.com/colleges

To view a 30-second, animated video about the survey results, please visit http://bit.ly/1luFgiS.

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 539 parents of prospective college students, between the ages of 15 and 18.

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.


MONEY (www.money.com), published by Time Inc., is America’s leading source of personal finance advice, with a readership of nearly 7 million. Among its popular features is “The Best Colleges for Your Money,” an annual list of four-year schools that deliver great value, published each August in print and online. To expand its college coverage, MONEY recently launched the MONEY College Planner, a special website devoted to helping parents choose the best schools for their students and their wallets, along with expert advice on saving, investing, borrowing, and paying for college.

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