LINCOLN, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One-third of college students in a recent survey said financial stressors have negatively impacted their academic performance or progress. Another 20 percent responding to the survey conducted by Inceptia reported they have had to reduce their course load to deal with stressors, including the cost of education and need to repay loans.
Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program, conducted the study of more than 400 students to learn about the financial issues that are most stressful for currently enrolled college students and recent graduates and to determine if these stressors slow academic progress or negatively impact academic performance.
“The study concluded that there is a clear link between financial stressors and academic progress and performance,” said Kate Trombitas, Inceptia’s vice president of financial education and author of the study. “The media consistently reports about mounting student debt, increased college costs and high unemployment rates. Our study reveals how those stressors, in some cases, are hurting students’ performance and progress.”
The survey, which was conducted online and explored 11 possible sources of stress, showed that the top overall stressor for students was borrowing money for college. The other top stressors were the need to repay loans, the cost of education, the need to find a job after school and the academic challenge of course work.
Other key findings:
- Seventy-four percent of respondents are working during the academic year, and 15 percent of students are working full-time
- Students who work more than 20 hours per week during the academic year are significantly more likely to report that financial stress has had a negative impact on their academic progress or performance and that they reduced their academic course load because of this stress
These numbers are troubling in light of other widely accepted research that shows a correlation between working more than 10 hours per week and an increase in negative academic outcomes. When coupled with a Cooperative Institutional Research study showing today’s incoming college students are reporting higher levels of poor mental health than ever before, these findings highlight a need to focus on financial pressures on students. Inceptia encourages higher education institutions to take a closer look at the impact of financial stress on students and dedicate more resources towards supporting students’ financial success.
Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program, was established in spring 2012 to address the changes in government funding and administration of federal student aid programs. Inceptia’s goal is to achieve 100 percent repayment among student borrowers by working alongside higher education institutions. Inceptia provides tools and resources to help schools and their students—not just borrowers—become financially responsible adults. More information at Inceptia.org.