It’s important to use strategies you know will work. This is especially true when working with college students on finances. Students who are financially responsible have lower student loan default rates. Having the right approaches in place can contribute to student success.
College students today are constantly stressed about their finances. Just look at the National Student Financial Wellness Study from Ohio State University. It indicates that 70% of students in higher education have financial concerns1.
Student loans can add to that feeling of stress. Introducing financial education can help, but it needs to be tailored specifically to college students.
What's one of the questions that might come up when it comes to student financial wellness? Is it better to provide financial education? Or should you help students change their behavior around finances?
The answer to that question might not be exactly what you expect. The University of Chicago notes that the missing piece today is behavior change2.
Important Reasons to Create Comprehensive Financial Wellness for College Students
College students need the information provided through financial literacy. Many students are living alone for the first time and making new financial decisions. Budgeting for tuition, living expenses, food, and entertainment can be a challenge.
When students don’t have the kind of financial guidance they need, they might make bad decisions. This may have negative consequences on their finances for years or decades to come.
Student loan counseling can help. Yet, it isn’t the only solution to help students make smart borrowing choices in school and beyond.
What college students need is a holistic financial wellness program that teaches them the things they do not know. But it’s also essential that this program pushes these students to make behavior changes. This will help them stay in great financial shape both in college and beyond.
This becomes clear when you look at some of the statistics about college students:
- Only two of five college students adhere to a budget.3
- Nearly all students have debt4 and many make late payments.
- 69% of students don’t know when their loan payments will be and 51% don't think they will be able to repay them.5
- Two of five college students admit they couldn’t pay for a $500 unexpected expense.6
Financial education can give students the information they need. Yet, financial behavior change goes beyond. It empowers college students in making the best possible decisions.
The Difference Between Financial Information and Financial Behavior Change
Taking a look online for financial wellness offers thousands of blogs and services. The term is a common one but it is often used for a variety of topics. One of those is financial information.
Most college students can use some financial information as they move into a new stage of life. Information about how to budget and work with student loans is useful for college students.
At the same time, most of these students already know budgeting and emergency funds exist. Providing them only with information may not be the best tactic. Financial information can be part of the solution but it shouldn’t be the entirety of it.
A holistic financial wellness program tends to work better. This means it includes some financial behavior change information. It puts the power in the hands of students to make the right decisions about finances.
Changing behavior is more important to becoming financially responsible than many realize. When college students actually learn to change their behavior to be more responsible – it can be a life-changing moment.
That’s why college students should have access to solutions that incorporate behavior change. Financial information can be part of that, too.
How iGrad Can Assist with Behavior Change for College Students
Behavior change among college students can happen. iGrad solutions are here to help. There are several of them to use. Each works well to create better financial literacy among students in college.
- Personalized Financial Literacy Program. This program connects over 1.2 million students at more than 600 schools. It’s fully customizable with best-in-class co-branding and seamless integration options.
- Video-Based Entrance & Exit Counseling Test. This test is fully compliant with the Department of Education requirements. It provides information about federal student loans, payment plans, payment options, and more.
- Award-Winning Classroom Curriculum. Named the Education Program of the Year in 2013 and 2015 by the Institute for Financial Literacy. It provides an inverted classroom method. It focuses on learning more about loans and finances in general.
iGrad offers a variety of resources for administrators to share with students. It covers student loans, personal finance, career development, and budgeting.
All the tools that college students need are provided to make it easier for you to do your job well. Create an environment where students have the financial wellness information they need.
iGrad Provides Students the Tools They Need
Giving college students the tools needed to change their financial behavior is important. People of all ages should have access to information and resources to empower them financially. iGrad helps by making those solutions available to college students who need them.
Many college students need financial education, but financial information isn’t the end of the conversation. Solutions should inspire change among people going through college. iGrad can offer the sort of change you want to create smart borrowing habits that last a lifetime.
1 - https://news.osu.edu/70-percent-of-college-students-stressed-about-finances/
2 - https://financialeducation.uchicago.edu/blog/21
3 - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/11/amid-rising-prices-us-households-fall-deeper-in-debt.html
4 - https://wallethub.com/answers/cc/average-credit-card-debt-for-college-students-2140670817
5 - https://www.collegeavestudentloans.com/press/college-ave-student-loans-survey-finds-only-half-of-college-students-that-borrow-student-loans-feel-confident-they-can-repay/
6 - https://www.trelliscompany.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Fall-2018-SFWS-Report.pdf