About half of parents with children younger than 18 reported in 2012 that they are saving for college, compared with about 60% who reported saving in 2010, according to "How America Saves for College," an online survey sponsored by Sallie Mae. The decline is likely because of a weak economy and competing financial priorities, researchers concluded. The survey also found parents underestimate projected college costs and how much financial aid and scholarships will be available.

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