The issue of growing student debt and financial literacy among college students is of utmost importance to the nation, and EverFi is committed to gaining a deeper understanding of this critical topic. Yesterday at George Washington University, we released an innovative report entitled Money Matters on Campus: How Early Attitudes and Behaviors Affect the Financial Decisions of First-Year College Students.
This first-of-its-kind study – conducted by EverFi and sponsored by Higher One—surveyed 40,000 first-year college students from across the U.S. to examine the financial attitudes and behaviors of students to better understand what most significantly predicts positive and negative financial outcomes.
The research, presented by EverFi’s Associate Director of Research Dr. Daniel Zapp, found that nearly 80 percent of students said that they “frequently” worry about debt. Yet many of them also acknowledged risky financial behavior, such as carrying a credit-card balance of $1,000 or more.
This event featured a panel of thought leaders from a variety of perspectives, including Steven Bahls, President of Augustana College; Sara Goldrick-Rab, Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison; Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of the American Council on Education; and Mary Johnson, Director of Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy at Higher One, who served as moderator (she also wrote a great piece in Huffington Post on this topic).
The panelists engaged in a lively discussion around several topics including:
- Tactics that institutions can take to help contribute to financial literacy among their students
- The responsibility of the government, policy makers, and higher ed institutions to help students understand what they are getting themselves into when they take out a loan – and provide engaging, actionable information (the average student receives dozens of disclosure forms about repayment but no real training);
- The need to tackle financial literacy at all ages of the spectrum, starting with children when they are young;
- Contributors to financial stress on college campuses. How do we get students’ attitudes and behaviors to match their level of concern? The need to further investigate the relationship between financial illiteracy and other problem behaviors, such as academic and social difficulties.
EverFi’s Director of Research, Todd Wyatt will be providing a more in-depth analysis of the research in the coming days. But all in all, a fantastic event full of great minds!
Learn more at www.moneymattersoncampus.org