High Schoolers Are Finally Getting Smart About Saving For College

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Photo: Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake

Even with the trillion-dollar student debt bubble ready to pop and college expenses soaring, a promising new survey shows teens aren’t ready to give up on funding their education just yet.”Today’s high school students are tackling the escalating costs of college by saving and becoming more educated about their costs and choices,” said Roger Michaud, chairman of the College Savings Foundation

For the last two years, CSF has asked more than 500 16- and 17-year-olds across the country how they’re planning to pull it off.

Since 2010, 3% more students said they feel responsible for funding their way through college

And nearly two-thirds said they'll dip into their own funds to make it happen

All that student loan drama has them spooked: The number of students planning to borrow funds for college has dropped 7%

Nearly half (48%) said they've already started saving versus 45% last year

And they're saving more than ever before: Nearly 70% have more than $1,000 tucked away

That's no surprise, considering more than half got a job to save for college

They're making sacrifices, too: Students were 10% more likely to forgo vacations and shopping trips to shore up their savings

And more than 70% said they'd rather get cash for college than material gifts for graduation

Forget pricey private universities: More than half (51%) plan to apply to public schools

But those who will take out loans plan to borrow more: 77% said they'd need loans to cover at least a quarter of tuition versus 71% last year

Nearly all of them are worried about post-college debt

But they're ready for the long haul: 60% expect to pay off loans for as long as 10 years after graduating, up from 52% last year

Fewer students (81%) expect to get financial aid, compared with 85% last year

Even so, fewer students (66%) have talked to their parents about college costs than last year (77%)

That could be because parents are taking the reins: Nearly twice as many (29%) have invested in 529 College Savings Plans as of last year (17%).

More than half of their parents (57%) have saved $5,000+ compared to last year's 47%

57% of parent savers have saved over $5,000, up from 47% last year

Relatives are chipping in too, up 5% from last year

Students are hungry for financial education: More than half wish their schools offered finance courses, and 37% said their schools haven't prepared them for college expenses.

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