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Financial Crisis

4 Out Of 5 College Students Face Financial Crisis Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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Black and Hispanic students report higher levels of food and housing insecurity

The current coronavirus pandemic has driven students to the edge of the financial crisis. Student Loan Hero commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,052 full-time college students. The survey found 81% of full-time college and university students are facing financial difficulties. More than a quarter having trouble paying bills or feeding themselves.

The alarming data in the report suggests that the current coronavirus pandemic may be disproportionately affecting college students of color.

Reported Black and Hispanic students were facing a much higher level of food and housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic than their white peers. Specifically, 33% of black students were having trouble affording food costs, and 22% struggled with housing expenses.

Rebecca Safier, the report’s lead researcher said, “In those same categories, the figures were 36% and 18% respectively, for Hispanic students. By comparison, 21% of white students reported suffering from food insecurity, and 14% faced housing issues.

To cope with some of the unique challenges, more than one-third of students (36%) are taking on additional debt, over 17% reported amassing credit card debt, and 16% said they had to borrow additional student loans.

Moreover, student loan borrowers (47%) were more likely to take on additional debt than those without student loans (19%). And students who identified as either black or Hispanic were much more likely to be taking on debt (48%) than white students (29%).

Additional Key Findings

  • Not only black, but Hispanic students have higher levels of food and housing (36% and 18% respectively), compared to their white counterparts.
  • About 1 in 4 students lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • More than one-third of students are taking on debt to cope with losses caused by the pandemic. Over 17% reported amassing credit card debt, and 16% said they had to borrow additional student loans.
  • Black and Hispanic students were much more likely to be taking on debt (48%) to deal with the crisis than their white peers (29%).
  • Almost half (49%) of graduating seniors think the pandemic will impact their chances of finding a job after graduation. And nearly 51% of all students said they felt less prepared to enter the workforce because of COVID-19.
  • Most students (77%) want at least partial student loan forgiveness from the government. This number was higher among women than men (81% versus 74%) and highest among student loan borrowers (84%).

Also Read, 5 Reasons To Feel Optimistic About Coronavirus

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The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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