For generations, college was sold as the golden ticket to the American Dream. But according to a recent poll, Gen Z and their Gen X/Older Millennial parents have realized that everything that glitters isn’t gold.

The poll conducted by Gallup showed 46% of parents said they would prefer their child go after something other than a college, mostly because of finances. A little over one-third of the surveyed said college was too expensive. What’s more, Bloomberg pointed out tht only 56% of adults under age 30 who went to college said the benefits of their education outweighed the costs.

This sentiment is evidenced by the significant drop in recent enrollment numbers.

Per the National Student Clearinghouse, there was a 4.7% drop from the year prior, translating to 662,000 fewer students registered in spring 2022.

In 1980, college costed $10,231 a year. This includes tuition, fees, room and board. 40 years later, there’s been a 180%, with the average total cost sitting at $28,775 per year.

This can be traced to the uptick in student loan debt, which is at $1.75 trillion according to Nerdwallet.

A student, on average borrows up to $30,030 for a bachelor’s degree at a non-private college according to the Education Data Initiative.

The study also found that 49% of parents who wanted their child to attend a college or training program, but whose child did not do so after high school, said their child took a paid job instead.

This isn’t surprising since inflation costs continue to rise, making most households nervous about their financial futures.