College Students Personal Finance Grade a C or Worse

College Students Personal Finance Grade a C or Worse

Core Facts

 [ What is this? ]


In a LendEDU study of 455 college students, 59% rated their ability to manage their money and their finances at a C grade or worse. The survey posed 25 questions to the students, covering how they felt about their financial knowledge to spending habits, budgeting, and saving.

Here are some of the key findings of the survey:

  • 73% of students work part or full time and earn income
  • 58% are not saving any money each month
  • 82% of those who are saving put away less than 30% of their money
  • 43% don’t track their monthly spending 
  • 81% don’t have an emergency fund
  • 41% don’t know how to budget properly
  • 25% reported their biggest expense was alcohol and/or drugs
  • 48% don’t know how to save for retirement
  • 68% did not know what a 401(k) or IRA was for
  • 70% don’t know much about financial investment
  • 86% received little or no financial education in high school
  • 30% reported that their parents did not teach them anything about managing money
  • 43% could not name one difference between a credit and a debit card 

“Young adults are entering the world with dangerously little knowledge about how to manage their money and plan for their financial future,” said David Lerner Associates Executive Vice President Daniel Lerner. “The knowledge that was tested in this survey is critical for every person, but when students graduate with no financial knowledge, they are at a huge disadvantage.”

A Gallup study of the nation's business leaders found that just 11% of these leaders strongly agree that graduating students have the skills and competencies their business needs. The experiences teens and young adults have with money, both good and bad, can influence spending habits in adulthood.



Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC


^ Top


Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

^ Top


Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

^ Top