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58% of parents of children attending college have changed their minds and are now considering applying for student financial aid

By on September 22, 2022 0

RIVERWOODS, Illinois–(BUSINESS WIRE)–An annual survey of Discover® Student loans found that 58% of parents of college-bound students had no intention of applying for federal aid, but have now changed their minds. According to the survey, 72% of parents of college-bound children who are aware of the Free Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA®)1 plan to complete it this fall.

“Given the current economic uncertainties regarding inflation and fears of a recession, it is understandable that some families are feeling the impact of paying for college and reconsidering applying for federal aid. It’s encouraging to see nearly three-quarters of parents considering completing the FAFSA because it’s the first step families must take to apply for financial assistance,” said Rich Finn, vice president of Discover Student Loans.

Although many families choose to complete the FAFSA, there is still a lack of awareness as to when and how to complete it.

Almost half of parents (47%) have never told their child about the FAFSA or only told them once or twice, and most parents don’t know when the FAFSA opens. Only 20% of parents know that applications can be submitted from October 1; the majority (53%) think it can be filled all year round. For parents of college-bound children who do not intend to complete the FAFSA, 20% said they did not have enough information to apply and 16% said they did not. didn’t know they had to fill it out.

Fortunately, more and more parents are finding resources to help them with the FAFSA. Among parents planning to complete FAFSA, 55% say they intend to use online FAFSA guides and resources, up five percentage points from 2021, and 36% plan to use materials sent by their child’s school, up 7 percentage points from 2021.

“Schools have different deadlines for completing the FAFSA, so families should check to make sure they submit it on time, as many schools offer financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis,” Finn said. “Discover Student Loans offers free resources families can use when applying for financial aid, including College Covered, a website to help them plan and pay for college.”

Parents bear much of the stress of paying for college, but so do students.

The survey results revealed that 53% of parents of children attending university believe that they cannot afford to pay as much for their child’s tuition as they had expected. In addition, 50% of parents say that price is the factor that most influences their child’s choice of school.

Over a quarter (26%) of parents said figuring out how to pay for their education causes the most anxiety for their child, while 34% of parents said their child is most anxious when applying for scholarships , grants, loans and other forms of assistance.

Discover Student Loans offers free tools and information for families to help them plan and pay for their college education. The FAFSA Support Tool is an interactive resource designed to help families prepare to complete their FAFSA application. The tool provides personalized advice and considerations for getting organized for the process. FAFSA 101 is another resource to help families apply for financial aid that includes a downloadable guide. For families looking to compare college costs, view potential careers, and earn college majors, they can visit the award-winning My College Plan tool.

For more information on Discover student loans, please visit


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Dynata (formerly Research Now/SSI) survey conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services. The survey was conducted online and conducted by Dynata with a total sample of 1,000 parents of children between the ages of 16 and 18 who plan to attend college or trade school. The margin of error was 3% with a confidence level of 95%.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a digital banking and payments company with one of the most recognized brands in financial services in the United States. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover® card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers private student loans, personal loans, home loans, checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its banking business. . It operates the Discover Global Network® consisting of Discover Network, with millions of merchants and cash access points; PULSE®, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International®, a global payment network accepted worldwide. For more information, visit

1 FAFSA is a registered trademark of the US Department of Education and is not affiliated with Discover Student Loans.