Differences in How Families Pay for College - Northeast Region

Paying for College - the Northeast

The part of the country you live in might determine the foods you love, what you do for fun, and the pro sports teams you root for. But did you know it might also affect your attitudes toward higher education—including how you plan and pay for college? The annual study How America Pays for College by Sallie Mae® and Ipsos found that opinions about college can vary greatly by region. Let’s take a look at the findings from the Northeast.

What Are College Students from the Northeast Like?

On average, students from the Northeast come from households with higher incomes. Fifty-three percent of families in the Northeast are middle-income, compared to the nationwide average of 45%. The rate of lower income households is 24%, which is less than the nationwide average of 36%.

Northeastern families place a high value on college education. Students here are more likely to borrow money in order to attend the schools they want. They also are 97% more likely to attend school full-time than other regions.

How Do Students from the Northeast Choose a College?

Families from the Northeast are most likely to prioritize academics over other factors, like the return on investment of a particular degree, financial aid package, or the associated price tag. They tend to opt for full-time programs and are more likely to choose private universities over public ones, even if that option is more expensive. In fact, in the Northeast, 40% of respondents said they chose to attend a four-year private school, compared to 34% at four-year public schools.

How Northeastern Families Pay for College

Because college students in the Northeast choose more expensive colleges, their financial decisions look a little different from students in other regions. Families in the Northeast are more likely to rely on student borrowing. Northeastern families, on average, borrowed about $8,485 in 2016-17, more than twice that of the next highest region.

Parents in the Northeast are the most likely to help their children pay for college out of all regions. Overall, 62% of parents in the Northeast said they used their income or savings to help their children pay for college in 2016-17. They are also more likely to increase their work hours and decrease personal spending in order to afford it. And a quarter of parents in the Northeast said they borrowed money to help pay tuition. On average, parents of college students in the
Northeast borrowed almost three times the amount parents borrowed in the next highest region.

Payment Breakdown

With more student borrowing and higher parent contributions, students in the Northeast tend to have a different college spending profile than other students. The full breakdown looks like this:

  • 33% of tuition costs were covered by scholarships and grants, including merit and need base aid from institutional, state, and federal sources.
  • 24% was paid through student borrowing, including both federal and private student loans like Sallie Mae’s Smart Option Student Loan®.
  • 21% was generally paid by parents using their income and personal savings.
  • 12% was paid through parent borrowing.
  • 6% was paid by students using their own income and savings.

Get More Information!
To learn more about undergraduate families' attitudes toward college in other parts of the country, check out the full How America Pays for College report.