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Paying For College: Three In Four Rich Parents Think Kids Should Help Pay Tuition

Should kids help pay for college?

Three in four rich parents think so, according to a survey released on Wednesday by asset manager Legg Mason. (H/t the Wall Street Journal.)

The study's researchers surveyed more than 1,000 parents with $250,000 in investable assets.

A majority of wealthy parents say that their children should pay for a small part of college expenses, and nearly one-third say their children should pay for up to half of college expenses. One in 12 rich parents think that kids should pay for most of college, and one in 50 believe that children should pay for all of it.

Nearly two in three rich parents that believe their children should help pay for their education said they wanted to make sure their children would work hard and make the most of college. One in three of them said they want to teach their children responsibility.

The average cost of attending a private four-year college is $38,589 per year, which includes tuition, fees and room and board, according to CollegeBoard. To attend a public four-year college in your home state costs $17,131, including tuition, fees and room and board.

As the cost of college grows faster than the rate of inflation, many families are relying on financial aid to pay for school.

Six in 10 college students take out loans to help pay for college, and college costs are the reason most cited by college students that consider dropping out, according to a poll by the Associated Press.

The nation's outstanding student loan debt is now more than $1 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and paying back student loans is about to get a lot more difficult. If Congress doesn't act soon, the interest rate on new subsidized student loans from the federal government, called Stafford loans, is set to double to 6.8 percent on July 1.

The issue of paying for college is politically charged and at the center of debates about economic opportunity and income inequality.