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Families have implemented more cost-saving strategies to cut college spending in the past academic year, choosing less expensive schools and finding more economical ways for students to attend.
More students also are living at home in order to help afford college, according to new survey results.
The findings are from an annual study released Monday by Sallie Mae, the country's largest student lender.
Parents spent an average $5,955 on college from their income and savings, results showed. That was down from $6,664 a year earlier and $8,752 the year before. They also borrowed slightly more — $1,832 compared with $1,573 in the 2010-11 survey — although that was still less than they did two years ago.
Just over half of the students in the survey lived at home while they attended college this year, up almost 9 percent from a year ago. Most of that increase was accounted for by families with income of more than $100,000.
A shift toward two-year colleges also was evident for a second straight year, Salllie Mae said. Respondents included 29 percent who attended two-year public schools, up from 21 percent the previous year.