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HomecareersWhy parents save more to send sons to colleges than they do...

Why parents save more to send sons to colleges than they do for daughters

A recent study from the American Association of University Women found that women hold almost two-thirds ($833 billion) of the country's roughly $1.3 trillion of student debt. Men, by comparison, hold just $477 billion.

One reason for this imbalance is that roughly 56 percent of college students are women. A second factor is the gender wage gap, which can make it more difficult for women to pay off their loans.

But what may be the biggest contributing factor is an unexpected one: American families are willing to spend more on their sons' educations than they are on their daughters'.

The Wall Street Journal points to two recent studies that found that families save more for boys to go to college than they do for girls.

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

The first study, conducted by T. Rowe Price, analyzed information from 238 households, and found that 50 percent of households with only boys had money saved for college but just 35 percent of households with only girls did. Eighty-three percent of boy-only households contributed to college savings accounts monthly, compared to just 70 percent of girl-only households.

Boy-only households were also more willing to take on debt, more likely to send their sons to expensive colleges and more likely to cover the entire cost of college.

Roger Young, a senior financial planner with T. Rowe Price, tells CNBC, "Looking at the breadth of the results, it suggests there are some antiquated viewpoints on gender out there."

In order to avoid these biases, Young suggests parents review their college savings approach to ensure they're being fair to each child. "Just take a hard look at your level of financial commitment and make sure you're not short-changing your girls," he says.

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