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Abstract

The issue of intergenerational transfers is addressed in the context of how families finance college education. Two aspects of the problem are examined: the extent of parental support, and when the funds are allocated, i.e. from earlier saving, from current income or in the form of loans to be repaid in the future. Data are drawn from the 1987 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which included surveys of both aided and unaided students, college record offices, and a survey of a smaller sample of parents. Interfamily transfers for college education continue to be a major way in which parents contribute to the upward mobility of their children. This support is provided in the form of money, primarily from current income, and in the form of goods and services.

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