Sallie Mae is seeing a "major shift" in the way Americans pay for college, it reveals in an annual report released today. Regardless of income level, students are paying a bigger share of their educational costs than they have in four years, and mom and dad are paying less. Between borrowing and paying out of pocket, students are handling 30% of the cost. This past school year, they shelled out an average of $2,555 of their own money and borrowed $3,719, the Washington Post reports.
Parents covered 28% of costs, down from 37% just two years back, and they're having to borrow more to do so. Another hurdle for families: Scholarships and grants are covering a little less of the tab, down to 29% from a full third the year earlier. Tighter finances are prompting lifestyle changes, too. In a first, more than 50% of students bunked at home over the past year. And here's a second record: 69% rejected schools based on their financial aid offerings. On average, families spent $20,902 on college this past year, a 5% drop from the year before. (Read more college stories.)