A new survey reveals that one-third of college freshmen have less than $1,000 in savings and many students don't feel they are prepared to manage the cost of college.
Seventy-five percent of high school juniors say they haven't done enough research about how to pay for college. 62 percent of high school seniors and 64 percent of college freshmen say the same.
The survey comes from Junior Achievement (JA), an organization that works to educate students in kindergarten through 12th grade about financial literacy, and Citizens Bank.
In the 2016-17 school year, JA of WNY worked with 13,928 students in 148 schools across the region. It provides programs for students of all ages that cover a variety of topics related to personal finance, entrepreneurship, workforce skills among others.
“It’s no wonder that kids feel vulnerable,” Laurie Mahoney, president of JA of WNY, said. “As a community, we are not doing enough to educate young people to make smart, sound decisions so they are confident and secure in the choices they make that impact their lives so dramatically.”
Chloe Strong, a senior at Kenmore West High School, takes business math, a class where JA volunteers visit once a week to discuss personal finance. She is taking the skills and topics from class to get ready to pay for college.
"I'm putting money in a savings account to save aside so I'm prepared," she said. "And I'm getting as many scholarships as I can to help."
"It ties in with their financial future," Kim Zuccari, co-teacher for business math, said of the class and JA's involvement. "So they easily find a way to connect it with their life outside of school."