24 Apr Majoring in Money: How Financially Savvy Are Your Students?

By: Marie O’Malley, Senior Director, Consumer Research at Sallie Mae

You might be surprised at the findings of Sallie Mae’s 2016 national study, Majoring in Money: How American College Students Manage Their Finances, published together with Ipsos. While the popular belief is that young people have a lot to learn when it comes to their finances, our study found that most college students are careful, conscientious, and determined to be financially aware consumers.

For “Majoring in Money,” we interviewed 800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 to find out how they pay for purchases, use credit cards, and how well they understand credit.

The results revealed that the majority of students are quite savvy when it comes to managing money:

  • 77% pay their bills on time.
  • 60% never spend more money than they have.
  • 55% are saving at least some money every month.

The report also found that students understand the value of good credit, and are using credit cards responsibly:

  • 56% have at least one credit card.
  • 63% pay the balance due in full each month.
  • 59% say their primary reason for getting a credit card was to establish a credit history.

While the majority of students express confidence in their current money management skills, the report’s findings also point to the need for additional education. More than eight in 10 students said they wanted to learn more about money management, especially about saving, budgeting, and paying for college.

You can find the full report and accompanying infographic at SallieMae.com/MajoringInMoney.

Additional free tips, tools, and resources to help students manage their money are available

at SallieMae.com, including the Guide to Understanding Credit, published by Sallie Mae and FICO®.