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Poor Parents: Federal Data Show More Parents Going Into More Debt To Send Kids To College

The most recent data on how Americans pay for college show that parents are taking on more of the debt burden for their kids. In 1999 about 13 percent of parents took out PLUS loans. The average loan amount was $19,700 in inflation-adjusted dollars. By 2011, the numbers had increased to 21 percent of parents taking out college loans for their kids, each with a debt of $27,700 in inflation-adjusted dollars. That’s a 60 percent jump in the percentage of parents taking out loans and a 40 percent jump in the loan amount.