FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo people walk by Old Main on the Penn State University main campus in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
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Asking teenagers to pay the whole cost of a four-year college degree probably isn't realistic or smart.Setting limits and requiring a kid to pay at least part of the cost can actually lead to better grades while protecting parents' finances.Many families aren't prepared for the expense: Some four out of 10 parents aren't saving for college.The high cost of college and the low rate of savings has led to a whole lot of debt: $1.5 trillion in student loans, at last count. Although the typical college graduate has a manageable level of education debt, it's easy to borrow far more than a student, or a parent, can comfortably repay. Parents and students should be wary of using private student loans, since those typically come with variable rates and fewer consumer protections.Some studies have found working less than 20 hours per week while in college is associated with better grades.
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