I work in Financial Aid, which basically means I see a lot of stressed out students.
If you work with college or university students, there is no doubt that you see it too. There is a good reason for the panic stricken faces I see – reports of increases in tuition run rampant across Canada and the US. In just the past two years public universities have increased tuition by almost 10%. The number and size of student loans is also increasing. Researchers have found that financial stress can be impede academic performance and can be a trigger for mental health problems including depression and anxiety.
The stakes are high, that’s what makes this is interesting:
A study done in the UK, and replicated again at the University of Toronto found that there was no correlation for student debt and financial stress. It was the perception of debt that caused stress. Students who report worrying about future debt, or overestimated their debt upon graduation were more likely to experience the adverse effects of financial stress.
Why is this important?
If you can impact a student’s perception of his or her debt, you can impact his or her stress levels as well. If you are working with college or university students and notice increased stress or hear students talk about financial pressure, it may be a good idea to sit down with them and do some financial planning. Students who know exactly how much debt they have, and understand the steps they need to take to eliminate that debt report being less stressed, and perform at their best.
I have been doing research on student stress and thought that this was too important not to share. Have you noticed student stress due to finances?