Attending college can be exciting but also at times scary, especially when you consider that most students aren't taught much about personal finance. Students’ fears have only been intensified recently by soaring inflation and other economic troubles, which threaten to make higher education less affordable. Many students also still have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to learn more about college students’ thoughts about finance and education during these difficult times, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey, which found that 93% of students are concerned about the economy. The survey asked about everything from how important a college education is during the pandemic to what financial lessons students have learned. You can find the complete results in the infographic below, along with additional insight from a panel of experts.
- 93% of students are concerned about the economy.
- The number one post-graduation fear among students is not finding a job (36%), followed by student loan debt (30%).
- 20% of students think that a college education is less important due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 52% of students say their school is not doing enough to educate them about personal finance.
- Having emergency savings (44%) is the most important financial lesson students have learned from the pandemic, followed by not going into debt (23%) and having a steady job (22%).
Ask the Experts
- WalletHub’s survey found that 93% of students are concerned about the economy. What do you think are the main factors that cause such an overwhelming majority to worry at the moment?
- Why do you think around 1 in 5 students believe college is less important due to the pandemic?
- Around 44% of students say the biggest lesson they’ve learned during the pandemic is that they should have emergency savings. What other things should students keep in mind to overcome periods of financial difficulty?
- What advice do you have for the 36% of students who say their biggest post-graduation fear is not finding a job?
- 52% of students say their school is not doing enough to teach them about personal finance. What measures should schools take in order to offer a more adequate personal finance education?
Ask the Experts
This report reflects the results of a nationally representative online survey of over 250 respondents.
After we collected all responses, we normalized the data by gender and income so that the sample would reflect U.S. demographics.
Full Details Overall
|Are you an authorized user on a parent’s credit card?|
|When did you get your first credit card account?|
|I don't have one||6%|
|How did / will you pick your first credit card?|
|Recommendation from a family member||44%|
|Easiest one to get||29%|
|Credit card comparison site||20%|
|Recommendation from a friend||7%|
|Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed your opinion on the importance of college education?|
|How would you describe your opinion of credit cards?|
|Do you think that you’ll be financially worse or better off than your parents?|
|What is your biggest post-graduation fear?|
|Not finding a job||36%|
|Student loan debt||30%|
|Living with parents||18%|
|Credit card debt||16%|
|Which do you use more often?|
|Other (Venmo, Apple Pay, etc)||3%|
|What type of credit card is best for a college student?|
|No annual fee||31%|
|I’m not sure||14%|
|What is the most important financial lesson you’ve learned during the coronavirus pandemic?|
|Have emergency savings||44%|
|Don’t go into debt||23%|
|Have a steady job||22%|
|Don’t live in a city||3%|
|What worries you more?|
|Credit card debt||50%|
|Student loan debt||50%|
|To what extent do you rely on your parents financially?|
|Not at all||46%|
|Has a parent’s debt negatively impacted you?|
|Is your school doing enough to educate you about personal finance?|
|Are you concerned about the economy?|
Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.