I feel that at the rate of the economy parents should be more concerned with saving for retiremnt moreso than saving for college, B/C there are always going to be scholarships and grants for college but nothing to help you retire. Not saying that it is never to early or to late to worry about college.
I agree with the other post: Parents should be much more concerned about "saving themselves" for retirement, rather than trying to find ways to save money to put their children through college. There are NO programs for a man or a woman, at age 65 who gets laid off from their job or they are forced to retire, or they are simply too old and tired to work in the same field 40 hours a week. Then......Mom or Dad's bank account is a couple thousand dollars tops because they used their 401K money and any other savings they had to give to their kids so they could attend a 4-year college. Single parents are even worse off, financially. And there are a LOT of single parents.
Then what? Mom and Dad can barely buy food and pay basic bills once their meager savings is gone - Social Security will never be enough to cover basic living expenses and medical care (that will surely increase with age). Now they become a BURDEN on their now-adult children! Many retired adults run out of money and are forced to move in with their adult children.
Many wind up on Welfare and Medicaid / Medicare.
Kids who really want to go to college can start working while still in high school, then take off a year or two and work 2 or 3 jobs to save up enough cash to get them off to college, in addition to all Pell Grants, Student Loans and scholarships. They can go to a local in-state college or trade school or community college if they cannot get a scholarship. That education will mean SO much more to the student if he/she works hard to pay for that education him/herself. They will feel better knowing Mom and Dad still have food and a roof over their head.
I think when attending parents night, their kids might have some sort of emotions. This will lead them to fail in their academia. The parents role is to help their kids to acquire their goal. Once the deeds of their kids being questioned by parents, they will lose their trust in parents. Parents should discuss with their kids about their activities and to lessen the costs. Tell them how you earn and how you save. This will help the students to be careful on spending budget.
Today, the tuition fee is increasing for college education and thus parents may have a plan to reduce other expenses that spend on the road. But, in order to manage the expenses and tuition fees some of the students are looking for part time employment.
This is a great opportunity for students to earn for their academic life. Joining for a part time job will help your parents to manage the cost as well.