The Financial Lives of College Students - US - March 2015
The changing demographics of America are reflected in the changing demographics of college students. Financial institutions trying to reach college students will have to adapt to the different financial needs, knowledge and backgrounds of various segments if they expect to gain their fair share of the market.
Robyn Kaiserman, Financial Services Analyst
This report ansers the following questions:
- What do the changing demographics of college students mean to financial institutions?
- How can financial institutions help students learn to manage credit?
There are two major issues related to college students and financial services. One is that the level of financial literacy among young Americans – including college students – is very low, and the other is that the college student demographic is changing dramatically.
This report examines some of the challenges college students face, partly because of their lack of financial knowledge and partly because of financial experience, as well as some of the opportunities institutions have to help them overcome those challenges. It also examines some of the changes the college student population is undergoing as it comprises a more diverse set of students than ever before.
College students are a more diverse group than they have ever been before. They are less young, less White, less wealthy, and less male, and that diversity will continue as the US population becomes more diverse. These changes are both a challenge and an opportunity for financial institutions; a challenge because a diverse college student population has a more varied set of financial needs, and an opportunity because they provide institutions with a market that needs a wider variety of products and services. When it comes to college students, the opportunity for financial institutions is to form relationships with them before they graduate. While institutions may find that strategies they previously used to reach college students don’t work as well with the new college student demographic, those that are successful in adapting them will be in a better market position.
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