New Survey Data Shows 90 Percent of All College Students Feel Unprepared to Repay Student Loans

Money Matters on Campus Details How Two- and Four-Year College
Students Behave Financially and Plan for the Future

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The fourth-year results of Money
Matters on Campus
, a survey of nearly 90,000 college
students across the United States—approximately 85,000 from four-year
institutions and 4,300 from two-year institutions—show that 90 percent
of students feel they do not have all the information necessary to pay
off their college loans. This year’s data uncovered alarming trends in
the levels of stress students face in regard to money management, and
showed a continued decrease in students’ planning for responsible
financial behaviors—including paying back their student loans.

Similar to findings in previous iterations of this study, conducted by EverFi
and sponsored by Higher
One
, money management experience was shown to have positive effects
on knowledge and behavior, underscoring the need for young adults to be
provided with opportunities to gain financial experience, such as
managing a bank account, before or very early into their college
experience.

“Over the past four years, we have seen that developing financial
capability is an incredibly important part of educating college
students. These survey results highlight that fact, and we must continue
to push for more—and better—financial education as well as opportunities
to provide students with access to real-world financial experiences,”
said Mary Johnson, vice president of financial literacy and student aid
policy at Higher One. “Students who use loans to pay for college must
also be educated about the responsibility to pay off college loans and
have a better understanding of repayment options—an endeavor in which
families, financial institutions and colleges and universities should
all play a part.”

The survey results also indicate important differences between students
from two- and four-year institutions. Students from two-year
institutions, for example, reported engaging in more fiscally
responsible monitoring behaviors including checking account balances and
budgeting—and were more cautious, more averse to debt, more utilitarian,
less materialistic and more content overall than their four-year
counterparts.

“The differences found between students at four-year institutions
compared to students at two-year institutions were surprising—with
research showing that two-year college students engage in much safer
financial decisions overall,” said Dan Zapp, Ph.D., director of research
at EverFi. “However, as students progress in their college career, we
see that many of their financial behaviors deteriorate to a certain
degree. Empowering students to positively change behaviors and make
informed financial decisions is more important today than ever before.”

Indeed, researchers noted that several key indicators of responsible
financial behavior declined over the course of the semester, as money
management may be more difficult for students than first anticipated.
Student ratings of their own preparedness for college also decreased
and, as was found last year, students reported being less prepared to
manage their money than almost any other aspect of college life. To
assist them in preparing to pay off their student loans, students most
often cited their desire to have easy access to their loan balances, a
better understanding of loan repayment options and help with making a
repayment plan.

The study’s findings provide strong evidence that financial education
assistance and outreach early in a student’s college experience would be
valuable for students across both sectors. In particular, two-year
students could use additional support in regards to credit card
management, as they tended to have more cards and more outstanding debt
on average. Students at four-year institutions would benefit from
programming focused on more basic attitudinal components and helping
them to differentiate between their true financial need and the loans
available to them.

A full copy of Money Matters on Campus, as well as an infographic
summarizing this year’s key findings, can be downloaded at www.moneymattersoncampus.org.

About Higher One

Higher One, a financial technology company focused on higher education,
leads the $tart with Change℠ financial literacy initiative dedicated to
financially empowering millennials, students and others. Providing
financial education, community support, and financial management tools,
$tart with Change’s mission is to help those with financial challenges
to understand how to manage money, make smarter everyday financial
decisions and establish strong financial foundations that will lead to a
lifetime of smarter money management. Learn more at www.startwithchange.com.

About EverFi, Inc.

EverFi, Inc., is the leading education technology company focused on
teaching, assessing, and certifying K-12 and college students in the
critical skills they need for life. The company is powering a national
movement in 50 states that enables students to learn using the latest
technology, including rich media, 3D gaming, simulations, social
networking, and virtual worlds. EverFi’s AlcoholEdu® for College is one
of the few education technology programs proven to reduce student
alcohol use and negative consequences, as demonstrated through
independently conducted, empirical research funded by the National
Institutes of Health. EverFi has reached more than 7 million students
with its online learning platforms. Learn more at www.everfi.com.

Contacts

TVP Communications
Bobby Mathews, 205-310-2024
bobby@tvpcommunications.com