In the series, COVID-19 on Campus, we break down concerns voiced by over 900 college students across the nation in our pandemic survey.

Bottom line

From health to housing, college students have genuine concerns about how COVID-19 is affecting their higher education experience. In this edition, we share insights regarding students’ financial concerns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and how these challenges can be minimized as we adjust to our new ‘normal’.

The pandemic’s financial ruins

Prior to COVID-19, the United States economy was fairing well. Unemployment was at a 50-year low and price inflation was below the federal target. However, with the onset of the pandemic, the labor market was hit hard. 

The forced shutdown caused a surge in unemployment and even forced some companies to close forever. The worst impact was felt by retail, entertainment, bars, restaurants, and personal services, such as salons and gyms. 

A larger issue had also been created as a result of the pandemic—there were more workers searching in a labor market with fewer jobs, which could have long-lasting and devastating effects on the U.S. employment rate and economy.

The impact on young adults

Young adults have been disproportionately hit with job loss, in part, because of their concentration in the industries and occupations that were hardest hit. In addition, college students often rely on federal work-study positions and other jobs on and off campus to make ends meet. 

With campuses shut down, many students had to look for other sources of income to pay bills. Finances are critical to the overall success of any individual as all people need the funds to support their everyday living. 

Kaleidoscope surveyed more than 900 students nationwide to better understand the impact of the pandemic on their financial situations. The survey revealed broad concern among students about whether they can finance their education. 

Nearly 78% said the pandemic has diminished their confidence in their ability to finance their education. More than 55% are unsure of their ability to finance their education, and another 30% are not confident that they can. 

Students reported financing their education in a number of ways, with most citing a combination of funding sources.

How are many young scholars moving forward?

Most college students need to leverage student loans to pay for their education, resulting in massive debts after graduation. In addition, a big money issue is created when students are forced to rack up debt to pay for everyday expenses during the college years. 

Managing money while attending college is necessary to keep post-graduation debt down. College students need to possess sound financial literacy in order to start young adulthood with the best foot forward. 

Unfortunately, with colleges and universities incurring substantial losses in revenue, tuition costs could increase to offset losses. In return, affording these higher tuition costs could cause student loan debt could surge even more.

How can we help?

Through our strategic work, our goal is to help both the sponsors and scholars navigate the scholarship and grant process. We offer comprehensive solutions for both the students seeking scholarships and grants as well as individuals organizations looking to design, administer and host scholarship and grant programs. 

In this time of uncertainty, the need to support students through their financial concerns is top of mind for Kaleidoscope. Have a program you want to host? Let’s chat.

Help students reach their full potential