High school graduates could delay college due to financial impacts of COVID-19

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A recent study shows that 2020 high school graduates may have delayed their college plans due to concerns about their financial security.

Junior Achievement of Kansas says COVID-19 has had an impact on how teens think about their personal financial futures, prompting 25% of graduates to delay their college plans in 2020 amid reduced financial support from parents and children. guardians due to the pandemic. The findings, which indicate that teens are largely concerned about how they will pay for their education, point to an increased need for financial literacy programs to enable them to make financial decisions that will impact them in the long run.

According to JA, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on teens of color, with 60% of black teens and 59% of Hispanic teens in grades 11 and 12 saying the pandemic has affected the way they will pay for their college education, up from 45 % of adolescents. their white peers.

JA said the survey was conducted among 2,000 American teens between the ages of 13 and 19 who are not in college and 500 dozen who graduated from high school in 2020.

“The past year has brought unprecedented challenges and uncertainty for everyone, and high school students feel that uncertainty as they move through the transition to the next phase of their life after high school,” said Christine Roberts. , Head of Student Loans at Citizens. “Equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to make important financial decisions is key to reducing uncertainty and ensuring that teens are able to make sound financial decisions.”

According to JA, although showing more uncertainty and anxiety among young people due to the pandemic, the survey also showed an overall sense of optimism among respondents, with 74% of high school students remaining optimistic about their financial future. . He said that even with many post-high school projects delayed, 65% of the 2020 cohort remained optimistic about their financial future.

JA said many of those interviewed said the pandemic has allowed their families to tap into their college savings. He said 72% of Class of 2020 graduates planned to attend college and expected their parents or guardians to pay for at least part of their education. Of these, 37% say their parents or guardians will cut their planned financial support for education due to the pandemic. He said that 81% of juniors and seniors plan to go to college and expect their parents or guardians to pay for part of their college education, and among them, 43% say their parents or guardians reduce their planned financial support for education.

“Last spring there were concerns about the impact of the pandemic on the Class of 2020, and this investigation reinforces those concerns,” said Ashley Charest, president, Junior Achievement of Kansas. “After the 2008 financial crisis, we saw a doubling of student loan debt and young adults affected by this delayed major life decisions, like buying a house, creating a home. a family and planning for the future. It is important that we support today’s teens who are suffering the economic fallout from COVID. For Junior Achievement, that means providing essential life skills training to help them get through uncertain times. “

According to JA, the survey also found that 55% of 2020 graduates spoke more to their fiancé families due to the pandemic. He said 69% of 2020 graduates are concerned about the financial impact of the pandemic on their families.

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