Research conducted by insurance company Mass Mutual reveals disturbing insight: Almost 11% of those surveyed about financing an education cited winning the lottery as a means of paying for their kids’ college.
According to learning website ThoughtCo., the chance of winning a Daily 4 or Pick 4 lottery game is 1/1000, or 0.01%. The probability of winning the common lottery game where six numbers are chosen at random is 1 out of 12,271,512.
“MassMutual’s College Planning & Saving Study—African American/Black Families” report offers other insight:
- 82% of black parents and guardians agree that college is important.
- 50% believe they will be able to afford college when it’s time to send their kids.
- African American parents and guardians are the least likely among other ethnic groups to have their kids acquire a student loan.
- Nearly half surveyed expect their children to receive scholarships.
- 35% encourage their children to participate in work-study programs.
- One-fourth surveyed say having their kids attend a community college then transfer to a four-year school is a way to keep college affordable.
- Four in 10 black parents plan to use Pell Grants to help pay tuition.
- More than one-third expect to use their own savings; two-thirds began saving when their child turned 10.
Student loan debt is a financial burden across all ethnicities. Recent data shows that the national student loan debt is increasing by $2,726.27 every second.
African American students are particularly at risk for financial turbulences due to school loans. Black Enterprise education editor Robin White Good reported that nearly half (49%) of all black student borrowers default on their student loans 12 years after entering college.
Mass Mutual offers three essential tips to pay for kids’ college education:
- Apply for scholarships. Look for some available through local community organizations, foundations, corporations, and nonprofit groups. Online tools to help you: FederalStudentAid and TuitionFundingSources.com.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Completing the form is the first step toward getting financial aid for college, including aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, such as federal grant money. It only takes 30 minutes to complete online and provides access to grants, loans, and work study programs. More information can be found on fafsa.ed.gov.
- Encourage monetary gifts (including 529 plan gift cards) from family members and friends to put toward college savings plans.