Research Brief
The State of Student Finances 2021
Multiyear Comparisons and Pandemic Effects

In 2018, Inceptia published the results of our first round of a behavioral assessment to examine student financial behaviors at the outset of participation in college-sponsored financial education programming. Based on surveys conducted with over 60,000 students from across the country, this study highlighted the difference between self-perceived knowledge versus application, providing educators with insight to target interventions to foster behavior modification.

While the plan was always to conduct a follow-up study, the events of 2020 created unique circumstances that allowed us to view, on a mass scale, a snapshot of how a global pandemic factored into shifting financial behaviors amongst college students. Thus, this research brief serves two purposes: comparing year-over-year changes in a relatively stable economic climate, versus insights from within the unfolding COVID-19 upheaval.

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