Monday, March 5, 2012

Poor, Struggling College Student: Fact or Myth?

Does the generalized notion of college students scrimping for money and struggling to find ways to make enough cash still applicable to students today? A study was recently conducted to delve into this notion and uncover the ways students utilize their funds. This study looked at the factors that influence student spending and asked students to answer questions such as if they held a job, how many hours they work per work, how much money they work per week, the amount of money a student saves per month. Additionally, this study looked at the significance of demographics such as gender, age, and family income.

Sixty-five students responded to this survey, of which 17% were incomplete, 17% were seniors, 18% were juniors, 25% were sophomores, and 23% were first years. While this survey assessed factors that affect students’ saving and spending habits thoroughly, few correlations were found between data. One of the few significant studies show that there was a negative correlation between the amount of family income a student’s family has and the amount of hours that a student works, meaning that the more money a student’s family has, the less they work. This implies that students with more money have the privilege of receiving money from their family. Because this data is statistically significant, it means that these numbers have enough data to support them and show that they are accurate based on the sample of students surveyed. All surveys have random error, meaning the surveys can’t guarantee 100% accurate, but some surveys have smaller error than others, and these are the ones that are significantly significant.

Although there were few correlations between data, this study found a number of significant statistics that support the notion that the majority of students do, indeed, pave their own financial path. Students who come from wealthy families might not be as financially independent as others, but studies show that 82% of students have a job. With their money, students spend the majority of their money on basic necessities, particularly food (which includes groceries and dining out) and transportation expenses, such as gas and car maintenance. Also, students save an average of $150 dollars per month. Indeed, 58% of students do not receive a monthly allowance from their parents. Based on these figures, it is safe to say that college students do, in fact, struggle to make ends meet.

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