A new Citi/Seventeen magazine survey finds a growing number of college kids in New Jersey and across the country are working at least part time while they're attending school.

College classroom
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"We really didn't expect college students to be taking such a proactive role, not only are they working while attending school, in fact 4 out of 5 students we surveyed are, but the majority have set budgets," says Citi Managing Director Linda Descano.

She points out the survey found "77 percent are paying for their own credit card bills, and they're footing the bill for a number of their own college-related expenses, contributing more than their parents for things like spending money, clothing, and even travel and transportation."

The survey also finds mom and dad are still offering financial support in one very important way - footing the bill for their son or daughter's smart phone.

"Sixty percent of students say their parents are paying their monthly cell phone bills," says Descano, "and it's just probably part of a family plan."

When it comes to major college costs, the survey finds 22 percent of parents are paying for tuition, while about 20 percent of students are paying for it, while depending on scholarships and other financial aid.

"When it comes to college housing," says Descano, "about a third of students say their parents pay, and another third say they pay for it themselves, and the rest is a combination of financial aid and scholarship that covers their housing cost."

She stresses there are several factors to explain why parents are contributing less and less for their kids college education, including the fact that "many families have seen their incomes shrink over the great recession, and their retirement accounts and investment accounts may be depleted."


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