The Financial and Tech Habits of College Students

Understanding how college students handle their finances and technology is important for institutions as it helps them cater to the needs and preferences of this demographic. To get some insight, let’s dive into the key findings from a comprehensive research report by Transact Campus called “Exploring Financial Habits and Technology Use Among College Students: A 2023 National Study of Current College Students and High School Juniors and Seniors.”

Going Cashless: It’s no surprise that college students love all things digital. According to the study, a whopping 82% of students prefer using mobile payment apps or contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Say goodbye to rummaging through pockets for spare change! 

Budgeting Bonanza: Bucking the stereotype, college students are getting savvy with their finances. Around 67% of students surveyed reported creating and sticking to a monthly budget. Looks like the word “budget” is no longer a foreign word! 

Financial Stress: College life can come with its fair share of financial stress. The study found that nearly half (48%) of students feel stressed about money. Rising tuition costs, textbooks, and living expenses are the main culprits. Can’t blame them for feeling the pinch! 

Student Loans: Ah, student loans—a reality for many college students. The report revealed that a whopping 74% of respondents carry student loan debt. It seems more and more students are relying on loans to fund their education. It’s a tough road to financial freedom! 

Now, let’s explore the tech habits of these tech-savvy students: 

Mobile Mania: College students and their smartphones—talk about a match made in heaven! The study showed that a staggering 92% of students own smartphones, which they use for everything from staying connected to online learning, entertainment, and even managing their finances. It’s like an extension of their hand! 

Online Shopping Spree: Say goodbye to long lines at the mall! Online shopping is all the rage among college students. The report revealed that 78% of students are regular online shoppers. Whether it’s textbooks, clothes, electronics, or groceries, they’ve got it covered with just a few clicks. 

Digital Banking Takeover: Traditional banks are getting a run for their money. The research tells us that 67% of students prefer the convenience of online banking platforms and mobile apps. From checking balances to making payments and tracking transactions, it’s all done with a swipe and a tap. 

Finance Apps for the win: College students are getting smart about their money management too! Around 62% of students use personal finance apps like Mint, PocketGuard, or Acorns. These apps help them keep track of spending, manage budgets, and save some dough. Who said being financially responsible couldn’t be fun? 

As technology advances and financial pressures continue to mount, it’s crucial for institutions to adapt to the needs of these students. Embracing cashless transactions, providing mobile-friendly services, and offering resources to manage financial stress will make life easier for these tech-savvy and financially conscious individuals.  

Some questions to ponder: 

  • Is your student portal/website mobile friendly?
  • Do you offer cash-less options on campus?
  • Can you shop the bookstore online? 
  • Can you opt into a mobile pickup? 
  • Do you offer incentives driving to your resources? At a previous institution we used to offer $100 off books if you ordered from the online bookstore with pickup option.
  • How do students know about scholarships offered and how to apply?  
  • Are your scholarship applications digital? 
  • Do you offer financial literacy resources? If so, how do students know about them? 

By Cat Hollands, Capture Client Trainer, Capture Higher Ed