Financial Stress & College Debt- How Bad Is It??


In A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College, Andrew Martin and Andrew Lehren reported that in the year 2012, the country had over $1 trillion in student loans!! More specifically, they found that in 2011, the average amount that each graduated college student owed was $23,300.  In addition, it is predicted by the Department of Education that the annual average cost of a public college education will be more than doubled in only 15 years. With this amount of debt, it is no wonder graduated college students are facing tremendous financial stress after college.

“Most students remain worried about money and the cost of required academic materials, and the impact is worse for minority students, the National Survey of Student Engagement finds.” According to the survey results provided in the article, Students Still Financially Stressed, from 2012 to 2015, senior college students have increasing percentages of financial stress. Approximately 60% of college students have reported frequent financial worry. Interestingly enough, it was found that financial stress did not tremendously effect student academic performance, and in fact only sacrificed one hour of work. In addition to transportation, housing, and enrollment costs, textbooks can cost an additional several hundreds of dollars.

“An analysis finds a steady rise in the proportion of college graduates paying too high a percentage of their annual income to repay student loan debt.” In a recent article, More Grads Have ‘Excessive’ Debt, Doug Lederman discusses that approximately 1 in 4 students out of college are required to pay nearly 10% of thier monthly income.


Building Resilience and Grit In Students


Edutopia has compiled a collection of videos, interviews, and articles that focus on fostering and building resistance and grit in students.  Although the focus is on younger children, the resources here would be valuable for pursuing “resilience” as a possible First Year Experience (FYE) theme. The resources are divided into six different themes, which include; nurturing resilience, fostering grit, teaching growth mindset, managing stress, learning from failure, and responding to trauma and tragedy.