Today's students are increasingly taking control of their own money, but they're becoming decreasingly responsible about it.
A new study called Money Matters on Campus from EverFi and Higher One surveyed 42,000 four-year college students and roughly 1,000 two-year college students in 2014 about their financial attitudes and behaviors. Compared to an earlier survey from 2011, the students polled in 2014 were less likely to pay entire credit card bills, review bills, follow a budget, save and invest 5-10% of income, balance a checkbook, or contact a credit bureau. To an even greater degree, students were less likely to pay off student loans, make on-time payments, or consolidate them.
The most surprising finding is the difference between four-year students and community college students. Students in community college were more likely to check their account balances, with 83% saying they check it occasionally compared to 62% of four-year college students. Additionally, 60% of community college students used a budget compared to only 39% of those attending four-year colleges.
Surprisingly, only 14% of students reported using any type of money management app to keep track of their finances. And students who took a financial literacy course in high school were 10 percentage points more likely to say they were prepared to manage money in college than those who did not take a course.