* Sixty-seven percent of families eliminated colleges based on cost, so students and parents are shopping around for the best higher education bargain.
* Colleges and universities are making more aid money available and more students are taking advantage of it. Grants and scholarships paid for 30 percent of college costs for the average family in 2013, up from 25 percent before the recession.
* More families are planning ahead, with 17 percent of families used Section 529 college savings plans in the last academic year, higher than any other year.
It does appear, however, that more of the burden of paying for college is falling on the student.
The Sallie Mae report says while parents' annual average out-of-pocket spending has dropped 35 percent since 2010 to $5,727, student borrowing is rising. The amount borrowed by students last year through federal loans was $8,815.
Still, grants and scholarships make up the largest share of the cost of going to college (30 percent) while student and parent borrowing, along with parent income and savings, each comprise 27 percent.
Naturally, most families worry about paying for college, but not as much as you might think. During the recession, half of parents were extremely worried about rising tuition, but that number is now down to 28 percent.
Sallie Mae found that families still believe college is an important investment in the future, and ever-ingenious Americans are figuring out ways to pay for it.