WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Lack of knowledge about personal finance and unexpected college costs impact where students choose to attend and whether they finish college, according to a survey of 1,092 men and women aged 18 to 25 in the United States.
Young women also are more likely than young men to say they aren't prepared to manage their finances while in college (51% vs. 39% respectively), according to a survey conducted by 1,000 Dreams Fund (1DF), a national scholarship program that awards micro-grants to young American women. The online survey was conducted by Toluna QuickSurveys and was underwritten by Charles Schwab.
"It's critical that all young people feel financially prepared for some of the unexpected costs of college. Everyone needs to know how to create a budget, live within their means and plan for the future," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. "Currently only 17 states require a personal finance course in high school. We need to get our children prepared for the financial reality of life away from home."
When it comes to college completion, of those surveyed, 52% of women said they had to drop out of college because of finances, and 58% of first-generation college students said they didn't finish college because of money.
What are the Hidden Costs of College?
College costs include more than just tuition and the impact can be felt long after graduation. Many students are surprised by hidden costs -- and at the same time, can't afford extracurricular activities that they say would help their careers.
Almost 74% said extra activities like study abroad programs and unpaid internships are important to reaching professional goals. But the same percentage (74%) had to turn down such activities due to a lack of money.
Expenses beyond tuition were higher than they thought, too. The top 5 expenses students said were "much more than expected" include:
- Textbooks: 63%
- Housing: 56%
- Food: 46%
- Exam prep classes: 45%
- Moving: 41%
Other survey highlights include:
- 68% of women said their financial standing impacted their college choice
- 52% of women admit to dropping out of school early because of financial reasons
- 58% of first-generation students who didn't graduate say it was due to financial reasons
- 71% of first-generation students said their financial standing impacted their college choice
- Hispanics (73%) said their financial standing impacted their college choice more than other minorities
Financial Knowledge and Debt:
- 47% of all students didn't feel prepared to manage their finances while in college and 50% thought a high school course on personal finance would have helped
- 68% of respondents have at least some student loan debt and of those, 21% worry it will prevent them from achieving long-term financial security
"We all know that college is expensive, but it's the hidden costs and expenses for extracurricular activities that can really hobble students and their future careers," said Christie Garton, founder and CEO of 1DF. "Getting to and finishing college is a challenge, but getting the most out of college means making connections through extra activities that really help jumpstart your future career."
Also today, the 1,000 Dreams Fund launched a five-week social media challenge called #MyCollegeCosts with over $10,000 available for high school and/or college women. Five grand prize winners will get $2,000 each and 10 finalists will receive $250 to help with their own "hidden" college costs. Funding is provided by Charles Schwab. Winners will be announced November 16, 2017. For more details and to enter, visit: http://1000dreamsfund.org/mycollegecosts.
ABOUT THE 1,000 DREAMS FUND
The 1,000 Dreams Fund (1DF) is a national scholarship fund for American girls in high school and college. 1DF believes that big expenses should never stand in the way of big dreams. Since its launch in November 2015, over $70,000 in funding has been granted to talented young women in need, helping them pay for the "extras" in school like study abroad, tech devices for the classroom and travel to conferences and seminars. 1DF has been featured in NBCNews.com, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Entrepreneur, TODAY, etc. To learn more about their work, visit http://1000dreamsfund.org/.
ABOUT CHARLES SCHWAB
At Charles Schwab, we believe in the power of investing to help individuals create a better tomorrow. We have a history of challenging the status quo in our industry, innovating in ways that benefit investors and the advisors and employers who serve them, and championing our clients' goals with passion and integrity.
More information is available at www.aboutschwab.com.
ABOUT TOLUNA QUICKSURVEYS
This online survey of 1,092 women and men between the ages of 18-25 years old was conducted online in September 2017 within the U.S. by Toluna QuickSurveys and was run with SmartSelect™, a respondent selection methodology used to promote sample representativeness. SmartSelect relies on statistical matching rather than probability sampling and selects respondents based on demographic, attitudinal and behavioral characteristics that match those of the target population. SmartSelect weights on age, gender, region, ethnicity, race and education. To learn more, please visit: https://www.quicksurveys.com/.
SOURCE 1,000 Dreams Fund