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Study: College Students Are Conscientious, Financially Aware Consumers

March 10, 2016

A majority of college students are handling their finances responsibly, according to the results of a survey conducted last December by Sallie Mae, the student loan company, and Ipsos, a market research firm. Among the 800 traditional-aged college students (between 18 and 24) who responded, 77 percent reported paying their bills on time. More than half (55 percent) set aside savings every month. And 60 percent said they never spend more money than they have, while 65 percent said they have a paying job.

The newly released report also looked at how students make payments. Debit cards were the top choice. But 56 percent of respondents have credit cards.

"Today’s college students demonstrate a careful approach to managing money," the report said. "Students have a cautious attitude toward debt, with the majority saying they never spend more than they have, and the majority agreeing that credit cards can contribute to impulse buying and debt accumulation."

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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