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More students working their way through college


Friday, August 09, 2013

The need to save money and exercise financial responsibility is crucial for college students. A new study conducted by financial institution Citi and Seventeen Magazine revealed that many students are choosing to work while they attend college.

Changing trends
The poll surveyed more than 1,000 high school seniors and college students from across the country. Key findings of the report indicate that today's students are taking a more proactive role in their personal financial management and funding their college education. Although most students take advantage of student loans and scholarships, many young people are working their way through college and using their own money for school-related essentials.

"Having come of age during the Great Recession, many of today's students have experienced a financial wake-up call that's prompting them to seek ways to take control of their financial future while they're still in school," said Linda Descano, managing director and head of content and social for North America marketing at Citi. "This study has given us a glimpse into how students are balancing the responsibilities of work, studies and their finances to achieve success."

Money motivations
Roughly four out of every five students polled said they had at least a part-time job during school, with the average student working approximately 19 hours per week. In addition, many students are taking control of their finances by adhering to a budget, with 62 percent of students managing their money in this manner. The cost of student life also came as a surprise to many respondents, with 65 percent of participants saying living as a college student was more expensive than they had initially thought it would be.

The results of the study showed that the cost of earning a degree was a major factor in where students applied during the college search process. Approximately 77 percent of respondents said money was a significant part of their school choice, and one-third of these students said it was the single largest determining factor.

Many students are also exercising restraint in their spending habits. Virtually all participants said they used student discounts frequently, and 94 percent said they bought used textbooks to save money. Other popular cost-cutting measures include using online coupons to save money on everyday purchases, living in shared housing and limited car ownership in favor of walking, bicycling or using public transportation.

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