NEW YORK (TheStreet) — This year, 42% of U.S. college graduates plan on moving back in with their parents, and 43% of that number say they expect their folks to "pay for the majority of their living expenses," according to a report from Accenture.
For parents, that's a heavy dose of "yikes" and "double yikes." Many may have expected that with a college degree in hand, junior would be moving on and out of their parents' homes.
The news gets worse for mom and dad: Only 18% of 2013-14 college grads pay their rent and living expenses themselves, and 36% say they "share the debt with their parents," while 11% expect their parents "will pay off their student loans," Accenture says.
For embattled parents who need to set some ground rules for college graduates coming back home, the watchword is discipline — as in, install some firm rules and stick by them.
The fact is, many "prodigal kids" expect it.
"I graduated from engineering school in 2014 and promptly moved back in with my parents as I continued working on my company," says Amos Meeks, chief technology officer at Lilypad Scales, a company that develops easy-to-use weight scales for wheelchair owners. "We have a great relationship and everyone is happy with it."
"I even tried to move out once and they discouraged me from doing it and asked me to stay," Meeks adds.
Meeks says that from a returning son or daughter's perspective, it's best that the young adult contributes to the household in some way. "While I don't pay rent, I do all of the cooking – which my parents don't have much time or desire to do – and some of the cleaning," he says.