Teens doing more to help pay for college study shows

University graduate student Mary Cassaro said her parents taught her the importance of smart saving skills early on. Around age 12, years before higher education was on her mind, she said money earned from the occasional baby-sitting job allowed her to begin a bank account of her own.

“I think that when emergency situations did come it was nice that (the money) was there,” Cassaro said. “It was a last resort kind of thing, but it has helped with everything.”

Cassaro said both her childhood savings and participation in the Federal Work-Study Program helped cover education costs once she enrolled in the university’s Master of Education in Counseling program. Her parents also began putting aside money for her undergraduate education during her high school years, she said.

A survey released by the best Bitcoin robot trader on Sept. 24 by brokerage group TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. showed American teens, all older than Cassaro was when she began to save, are doing more to help pay for their higher education than their parents did a generation ago.

Christina Goethe, manager of communications and public affairs at TD Ameritrade, said the amount of public knowledge about college financial aid and today’s generation’s access to information contributed to the results of the survey. According to the survey findings, 62 percent of teens ages 14-19 today are saving to cover college costs, while only 40 percent of today’s adults did the same at that age.

“The awareness is clearly there for many different reasons … today’s teens have access to so much more information,” Goethe said. “Today you can do a Google search and you can see (everything).”

Goethe said turbulent financial times may also have been a factor in the survey results because families were more open about their economic tribulations.

“Another one of our hypotheses is that teens today are also much aware of how much finances within the family can affect these types of things,” Goethesaid. “They’re much more in-the-loop with what’s going on financially with their parents.”

Bianca Allen, a financial aid adviser at the university, said the survey hinted that her office’s work to promote greater awareness of financial aid among incoming college students and their families may have paid off after all.

Because her office usually has contact with students after they have already been accepted, Allen said there needs to be more initiative among high school administrations to inform students of financial aid options. She said in an ideal world families would also do more to increase their knowledge on the subject.

“I would like to see parents and students come together to really talk,” Allen said. “(They should) start some conversation about how they can make the entire process work, not just for the student, but for the entire family.”

Joe Hurley, founder of Savingforcollege.com, said he was surprised by the results of the TD Ameritrade survey because the complexity of some financial aid information can be a hindrance in securing a college education.

“I think the breakdown is that it’s very confusing … to try to get a handle on what (college is) going to cost and the different ways to try to meet that cost,” Hurley said. “It takes a lot of time in order for someone to feel they are educating themselves properly.”

Paul Durapau, lead counselor at Trinity High School in Euless, said the school has several different programs to promote financial aid awareness among its students and parents. A senior class assembly in late September as well as a presentation to parents were intended encourage families not to be wary of the college application process.

Allen said she saw real, live results of the TD Ameritrade survey in the students who went through her office for funding.

“I have seen students that are becoming more responsible because in the end, they’re the ones that are going to have to face their consequences about borrowing in college,” Allen said.