Freshman Year

Managing Money Ranks High on College Freshmen’s Fears, Study Finds

College freshmen feel less prepared to manage their money versus tackling other challenges of their first year of school, a national survey found.

Just 58 percent of freshmen at four-year universities feel prepared to handle their finances, according to the report by Higher One, which offers financial services to students, and EverFi, an education technology company.

By contrast, 73 percent of the 42,000 students surveyed said they were prepared to keep up with coursework, 70 percent felt prepared to stay organized, 67 percent felt they could find help and resources they needed to succeed, and 63 percent felt prepared to manage their time at school.

"Female students reported feeling less prepared than males, and those who identified themselves as Asian/Pacific Islander felt the least prepared to manage their own money compared to any other racial/ethnic background," said the report, which was published last Thursday.

The findings come amid ballooning costs for attaining a major: The average annual cost for tuition at a private four-year institution is now more than $42,000. And the class of 2014 inherited the most debt of any college graduating class, with the average graduate with student-loan debt owing $33,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The report found that many students are worried about finding a job after graduation, with 69 percent of the freshmen listing that as their biggest financial worry.

— Elizabeth Chuck