Rising tuition fees and the uncertain state of the economy are causing more people to put their own retirement savings ahead of their children's college education.

In a new survey from Country Financial, the number of respondents who think college is a good financial investment plunged to 64%, down 16 percentage points from last year and 17 percentage points from 2008.

The sentiment about higher education coincides with a shift in saving priorities.

In a reversal from last year, more respondents — 43% — said their own retirement is more important than saving for their child's college education. Those who picked retirement first increased two percentage points from last year.

At 41%, those who say their child's education is the top priority dropped six percentage points.

In the survey, respondents aged 18-29 were most likely to say parents shouldn't have to finance any of the costs of higher education for their children (15%).

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