WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--College acceptance letters were returned to schools on May 1, and many parents are still in shock. The average student pays $33,480 annually in tuition and fees for private colleges, and many parents are on the hook to help pay for them.
But Nitro has a solution: a $2,500 parent scholarship, one that parents can apply for on behalf of their children. The scholarship will be awarded in early July, based on the following criteria: quality of submission, completeness of submission, creativity of ideas in short essay response and creativity in social media posting about the scholarship. Since announcing the scholarship, more than 1,000 parents have submitted applications, looking to help their kids attend the school of their dreams.
“Now that acceptance letters have been sent, parents are realizing they’ve committed to a financial obligation they can’t easily meet,” said Mike Brown, managing director of Nitro. “Most parents are surprised by the huge gap between what they think they can afford and what they are expected to pay.”
In fact, parents are showing buyers’ remorse. In a recent survey conducted by Nitro of parents who applied for the scholarship, over 36 percent of the parents would have encouraged their children to choose a lower-priced school if they had been aware of the true the cost of higher education. 35 percent admit they would have pushed their children to consider community college, followed by transferring to a four-year college, if they had understood the savings.
The survey showed that parents will find it a stretch to help their children finance a college education – 80 percent never bothered to open a tax-advantaged 529 account for their child, and 84 percent have less than $5,000 saved for college.
For their part, parents feel they are not getting the support they need. In fact, 58 percent felt high school guidance counselors did a poor job of preparing them for understanding the real cost of a higher education. More surprising, 50 percent said their students received less than $5,000 in annual financial aid from their chosen college.
Parents are also underestimating how long it will take to pay back student loans, and they are placing their own financial futures at risk because of it. Around 67 percent of the parents say they are planning to pay their student’s loans, anticipating it will take an average of 10.6 years to do so. While the standard repayment plan for federal student loans require debt to be repaid in 10 years, research shows that the average undergraduate degree holder takes 21 years to repay his or her loans.
The good news: With parents facing such insurmountable debt, they now have another way to tackle the cost by applying for the Nitro Parents Scholarship. Parents can apply at https://www.nitrocollege.com/nitro-parent-scholarship-application. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2017, and the scholarship will be awarded by July 1, 2017.
Based in Wilmington, DE, Nitro is committed to lowering the $1.4 trillion in student debt nationwide by offering students and their families a variety of resources to help them finance their higher education and minimize debt. With free, accessible information about the FAFSA, scholarships, grants, and student loans, Nitro addresses the many issues students face in funding their education and paying their debt post-graduation.
For more information, visit https://www.nitrocollege.com/.