2016 College Students and Personal Finance Study

UWIRE

Today, LendEDU released its 2016 College Students and Personal Finance Study based on a survey of 455 college students. Over 59% of those surveyed gave themselves a C or worse when asked how successful they are in managing finances and money.

Students were asked 25 questions related to managing money and personal finance. The surveyed was designed to gain an understanding of students’ perspectives and to test the knowledge of current college students.

“Personal finance education is vital for this generation of high school and college students,” said Nate Matherson, CEO & Co-Founder of LendEDU. “Parents, educators, and government must engage with young adults. Without basic personal finance education, young adults will be left uninformed and unconfident. Personal finance knowledge is critical for every American, regardless of age.”

LendEDU’s survey, which included 25 multiple choice questions, found holes in the overall understanding of personal finance. Many of the questions offered eye opening insights into the minds of current college students. In short, current college students are lacking knowledge in saving and budgeting.

Here are the results of the survey (numbers rounded in this press release):

Grade yourself in terms of successfully managing your finances and money.
8 percent of students surveyed reported “A”
32 percent of students surveyed reported “B”
41 percent of students surveyed reported “C”
14 percent of students surveyed reported “D”
4 percent of students surveyed reported “F”

What sounds most like your current financial situation?
51 percent of students said “I’m barely keeping up”
49 percent of students said “I’m doing just fine”

Are you saving money each month?
42 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes”
58 percent of students surveyed reported “No”

What percentage of your income is saved each month?
29 percent of students surveyed reported “0%”
12 percent of students surveyed reported “1-10%”
20 percent of students surveyed reported “11-20%”
21 percent of students surveyed reported “21-30%”
6 percent of students surveyed reported “31-40%”
2.2 percent of students surveyed reported “41-50%”
1.7 percent of students surveyed reported “51-60%”
2.6 percent of students surveyed reported “61-70%”
1.3 percent of students surveyed reported “71-80%”
1.7 percent of students surveyed reported “81-90%”
2.2 percent of students surveyed reported “90% or higher”

Do you track your monthly spending with an app or by hand?
42 percent of students surveyed reported using an app
15 percent of students surveyed reported budgeting by hand
43 percent of students surveyed said that they don’t track monthly spending

Do you currently have an emergency fund?
19 percent of students have an emergency fund
81 percent of students do not have an emergency fund

How knowledgeable are you about creating and maintaining a budget?
18 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Very Knowledgeable”
41 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Moderately Knowledgeable”
36 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Minimally Knowledgeable”
5 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Not Knowledgeable”

What is your largest source of income?
27 percent of students surveyed reported “I don’t have an income”
16 percent of students surveyed reported “On-campus job”
24 percent of students surveyed reported “Part-time job off campus, or internship”
28 percent of students surveyed reported “Summer jobs”
5 percent of students surveyed reported “Full-time employment”

What is your biggest monthly expense?
38 percent of students surveyed reported “Food”
25 percent of students surveyed reported “Alcohol and/or Drugs”
29 percent of students surveyed reported “Rent”
8 percent of students surveyed reported “Clothes”

What is the average interest rate paid on a savings account in the United States?
26 percent of students surveyed reported “0-1%”
42 percent of students surveyed reported “1-3%”
22 percent of students surveyed reported “3-5%”
8 percent of students surveyed reported “5-7%”
2 percent of students surveyed reported “+7%”

How knowledgeable are you when it comes to saving for retirement?
9 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Very Knowledgeable”
42 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Moderately Knowledgeable”
35 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Minimally Knowledgeable”
13 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Not Knowledgeable”

How knowledgeable are you when it comes to financial investments?
7 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Very Knowledgeable”
33 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Moderately Knowledgeable”
34 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Minimally Knowledgeable”
26 percent of students surveyed reported that they are “Not Knowledgeable”

How much did your parent(s) / guardian(s) teach you about managing money?
21 percent of students surveyed reported their parents “taught me specifically how to manage money”
25 percent of students surveyed reported their parents “taught me general ways of managing money”
24 percent of students surveyed reported their parents “helped me learn through example”
30 percent of students surveyed reported their parents “did not teach me how to manage money”

Did you receive personal finance education in high school?
14 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes, I received an adequate amount”
35 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes, I received a little bit”
51 percent of students surveyed reported “No, I received no education at all”

Did you take a personal finance course in college? Or, do you plan to take a personal finance course in college?
34 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes, I’ve taken a class already”
21 percent of students surveyed reported “No, but I plan on taking a course”
45 percent of students surveyed reported “No, I haven’t taken a course and I don’t plan on it”

Which sources do you trust the most for learning about managing money?
39 percent of students surveyed reported “Bank websites”
11 percent of students surveyed reported “Bank Branches”
9 percent of student surveyed reported “School/academic institutions”
41 percent of students surveyed reported “Other financial websites”

Which best describes your current personal finance goal?
29 percent of students surveyed reported “Pay off student loan debt”
19 percent of students surveyed reported “Start saving for retirement”
23 percent of students surveyed reported “Build good credit”
20 percent of students surveyed reported “Save for vacation and/or special purchase”
9 percent of students surveyed reported “Start an emergency fund”

Do you feel like student loan debt will hold you back financially after graduation?
38 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes, student loan debt will hold me back financially”
33 percent of students surveyed reported “No, student loan debt will not hold me back financially”
29 percent of students surveyed reported “Not applicable, I don’t have student loan debt”

Have you ever been late on a credit card payment?
8 percent of students surveyed reported “Yes”
32 percent of students surveyed reported “No”
60 percent of students surveyed reported “Does not apply”

43 percent of students surveyed could not name one major difference between a credit and debit card

23 percent of students surveyed could not name one major difference between a checking account and a savings account

79 percent of students surveyed did not know the difference between a traditional bank and a credit union

68 percent of students surveyed did not know what a 401k or IRA is used for

58 percent of students surveyed were not working to build good credit

43 percent of students surveyed believed that checking their credit report would hurt their credit score

 

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