Parents Save More for Sons’ College Education


September 26, 2017 9:39 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Parents of boys are more likely to pay the entire cost of college than those who have girls, according to a 
new study from T. Rowe Price. They are also more willing to prioritize saving for their sons' college over their own retirement.

Parents of boys are more likely to pay the entire cost of college than those who have girls, according to a new study from T. Rowe Price. They are also more willing to prioritize saving for their sons' college over their own retirement.

According to the study which surveyed about 1,000 families, parents tend to provide more financial support for their sons - 50 percent have money saved for their boys' college versus the 39 percent of parents who pay for their daughters' college education. Families with children of multiple genders were not measured in this study. Parents of boys are also more likely to pay the entire cost of college than those with girls (17 percent compared to 8 percent); they are also "less likely to consider sending their male children to a less expensive college to avoid taking on loans" and are "willing to prioritize saving for their boys' college tab over their own retirement." Parents of boys are also more willing to take on debts of up to $75,000 to pay for their sons' college (23 percent) compared to the 12 percent of parents who would do the same for their daughters. Some financial advisors advise parents to "keep things in perspective and save for retirement" since "you can't borrow for retirement like you can for college."

To some, this data "suggests there are some antiquated viewpoints on gender out there." Senior Financial Planner Roger Young suggests parents "take a hard look at your level of financial commitment and make sure you're not shortchanging your girls."

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank, for girls or boys. With scholarships for men and scholarships for women, students of both genders can help saddle the cost of college without taking out tons of student loans or accruing burdensome student loan debt.

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