Financially speaking, the students on your college campus are not doing well.
A recent study1 found that almost two out of five Millennials and almost half of GenXers (46%) feel stressed most or all the time.
What are they stressed about? Their financial future tops the list.
Additionally, sixty percent of college students2 do not have an emergency savings account, forty percent3 incur student debt to complete college, and two-thirds4 have credit card debt.
That's why student financial wellness programs have become necessary as students look to their educational institutions for help.
Unfortunately, some financial wellness programs are not as good as others – but how can you know if the program you choose will help students develop strong financial habits? It's all in the metrics.
To find a program that helps students become financially well, you need a program with proven results in the following five areas.
Financial wellness is not a simple problem, but that doesn't mean the solution has to be complex.
In fact, the easier the program is to use, the better it will be for your students.
The material should be easy to access, easy to understand, and come in bite-sized, digestible pieces.
Programs that meet this goal will show:
- A high number of students signing up for the program
- Repeat sign-ins
- Completed modules
- A significant amount of time spent on the program per student
Additionally, in subjective surveys, students will report that the program is easy to use and provides useful information.
Students spend a lot of time online.
The apps they choose to use will allow them to sign on any time they want, anywhere they want, and on any device.
Whether your student is at their desk on a laptop or walking the campus and scrolling on their phone, you want them to be able to access all the functionality of the student financial wellness program.
It would be best if you looked for a program that provides:
- 24/7 access
- Accessibility across multiple devices
A strong financial wellness program will help your students develop strong financial habits as they progress toward financial wellness.
These habits include paying off credit cards, saving money, and creating a budget.
You will want a program that provides data to measure these habits. iGrad does just that.
Data can help you see students' good financial behaviors increase while less desirable ones decrease.
iGrad found the following positive behavior changes after just one year of program use5:
- 32% increase in users who are on track saving for specific goals
- 27% increase in users with at least three months of emergency savings
- 28% increase in users who pay off their credit cards each month
A financial wellness program should work for all students, regardless of sex, race, age, or economic demographics.
Whether you have a traditional student worried about student loans or an older student concerned with meeting the demands of school and family obligations, your program should help them meet their specific financial needs.
When do students seek help? If they are like their older peers, the answer is this – only when they feel they need it. A PwC study of employees6 found that they sought help when they had:
- Important financial decisions to make (35%)
- A Financial crisis (26%)
- A major life event (10%)
These results are likely similar for students. That's why the program you choose should help your students when they need it and also provide the data to support that it is working.
Impacts Your Institution
Financially healthy students mean a financially healthy college. Studies show that when students are less financially stressed, they study more, do better on tests, are less likely to drop classes, and are more likely to stay in school.
Although the cost of dropouts is not well-documented, a recent study7 looked at the cost based on federal and state aid.
For public colleges and universities, dropout rates lead to high losses in state appropriations and grants.
Thirteen states posted more than $200 million lost in state funds.
Anything that can be done to stop the loss of these funds will help your institution – and financial wellness programs can definitely help.
See how other schools are running successful programs: Best College Financial Literacy Programs
You have the ability to positively impact the lives of your students by offering them a results-driven financial wellness program, such as iGrad. Help your students today by contacting iGrad for a financial wellness demo.
1 - https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html
2 - https://collegefinance.com/research/money-management-101-how-college-students-are-handling-their-finances
3 - https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2021-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2020-student-loans.htm
4 - https://collegefinance.com/research/college-student-debt-and-credit-card-usage
5 - https://www.enrich.org/financial-wellness-behavior-change-data-study
6 - https://www.theexperience.work/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/pwc-2019-employee-wellness-survey.pdf
7 - https://www.air.org/news/press-release/college-dropouts-cost-cash-strapped-states-billions