Recession Affected Students’ Financial Attitudes and Behaviors, Study Finds


A new study sponsored by the University of Arizona titled:  “Wave 1.5 Economic Impact Study: Financial Well-Being, Coping Behaviors and Trust Among Young Adults,” cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education, reveals how the recession has affected students’ financial attitudes and behaviors.  More students reported engaging in what the researchers term “typical” financial coping strategies, like cutting back unnecessary spending. For example, 31 percent said they cut back on communication expenses. However, the report also revealed there was a large jump in the use of “risky” coping strategies, like dropping a class, postponing health care, or using one credit card to pay off another, though relatively few students reported these behaviors.


Even though the number of students engaging in risky behaviors remains small, the researchers predict that habits formed in the college years will stay with the students over their lives, said Joyce Serido, assistant research scientist and co-principal investigator of the study. That means the impact of choices made in college could be magnified over a lifetime. Therefore, it is important for educators to help students make better financial decisions, like borrowing a reasonable amount to stay in school rather than dropping out because of the expense, said Soyeon Shim, professor of family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona and principal investigator of the study.

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Chronicle of Higher Education
By Beckie SupianoThe economic downturn has had many negative effects, but for one group of researchers, it came with a silver lining: the chance to see how young adults respond to financial upheaval. Their findings, which show a rise in risky financial behaviors and a drop in self-reported well-being, were released Monday.
The researchers were working on a longitudinal study of college students’ financial attitudes and behaviors when the recession unexpectedly provided a “natural laboratory” for measuring the students’ response to tight times.To view entire article visit

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