Big Debt on Campus: Why Money Stress Tops Student Worries

Big Debt on Campus: Why Money Stress Tops Student Worries

Between cramming for exams, dealing with nightmare roommates, or living away from home for the first time, “the best four years of your life” aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be.

What is topping the list of student worries? Money.

The first-ever National Student Financial Wellness Study, released by Ohio State University earlier this month, reveals some troubling stats about how college students feel about money.

The study found that a whopping 72% of students felt stressed about their personal finances. Concerns ranged from anxiety over monthly expenses to whether they'd be able to pay for college at all.

And as climbing tuition costs precipitate increases in student debt, it’s no wonder that students are anxious about their money.

According to the Ohio State Study, more than half of current students use loans to finance their college education. While most of the students surveyed will be paying back less than $20,000 in loans, more than one in five expected to graduate with loans topping $50,000.

About one in four students reported that the amount they owe had caused them to sometimes neglect their studies, while others said they even considered dropping out because of financial pressures.

Another potential cause of money stress could be a basic lack of financial know-how. Nearly 70% of respondents reported that they had never attended personal finance courses or events during high school, while only 23% had used such resources during their college years.

Despite these issues, students remained remarkably optimistic about the future. When asked about the years to come, the vast majority of participants believed they'd be able fully pay off their debt and financially support themselves after graduation. Even if it takes a while.

Does the notion of balancing money and education for your children make you start to panic? Prepare for your children's college education with this crash course in saving for college.


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