SURVEY: Under $1,000 In Nearly A Third Of College Freshmen’s Savings Accounts


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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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Nearly a third of college freshmen have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, according to a survey published Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of college freshmen reported having less than $1,000 in their savings accounts, along with 30 percent of high school seniors and 39 percent of high school juniors, according to a survey conducted by Citizens Bank and Junior Achievement USA and obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“More and more people are looking at alternatives to traditional four-year education,” Junior Achievement USA President and CEO Jack Kosakowski told TheDCNF. “A lot of organizations … want to make sure kids take a broad look at various careers and don’t leave out the construction industry, manufacturing…throughout the years, for whatever reason, those have become in disfavor with parents.”

Sixty-four percent of college freshmen, 62 percent of high school seniors, and 75 percent of high school juniors agreed with the notion that they had not done enough research on how to pay for college. However, 83 percent, 81 percent and 79 percent of the respective groups agreed with the notion that a university degree was “worth the cost.”

“It’s no wonder that kids feel vulnerable,” Kosakowski said in the survey’s press release. “As a community, we are not doing enough to educate young people to make smart, sound decisions so they are confident and secure in the choices they make that impact their lives so dramatically.”

Around 60 percent of high school juniors and college freshmen and nearly two-thirds of high school seniors said they would use scholarships or grants to fund their college education. Over half of each demographic reported that they would use money they earn from semester or summer jobs to pay for it.

“We’re really promoting the whole idea of parents starting to talk to their kids at younger and younger ages,” the Junior Achievement president told TheDCNF. College “is a major investment, one of the larger investments that kids are going to make and they really need to go into it with their eyes open.”

Kosakowski mentioned JA Build Your Future, an app that calculates the return on investment for students looking at higher education, accounting for in-state versus out-of-state tuition, public versus private schools, and loans taken out by students.

Citizens Bank and Junior Achievement USA surveyed 1,500 students split evenly among the college freshman, high school senior, and high school junior demographics between March 22 and March 30, 2018. The margin of error was 4.4 percent.

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