MU Study: Students do not receive enough financial aid education
COLUMBIA - A study from MU researchers revealed American adults did not receive adequate education on how to handle student debt. This causes them to feel worried and anxious about paying off their student loans.
Lu Fan, an assistant professor of personal financial planning, found 55 percent of borrowers reported being worried about paying back student loans, but only 30 percent of them received proper financial education on the loaning process.
Fan said there needs to be more options for students to get educated about their financial options.
“The actual measure of their financial knowledge can significantly reduce the worries about doing another payment, and also reduce other risky behavior,” Fan said.
Fan and other researchers looked at more than 2,600 responses from the 2015 National Financial Capability dataset. The data suggested women were less likely to be late on a student loan payment but were more likely to be anxious or worried about debt. Men were less anxious about paying and more likely to pay late.
Fan said there are many options at MU and other institutions to receive education about financial spending.
“In the personal financial planning department we also have the office of student success, I think that can also be an option for the financial aid office to direct people who have felt stressed about their student loans,” Fan said.
She said there are also options for financial counseling that can help students pinpoint their financial difficulties and address them.
One MU junior, Sam Loduca, said he did not feel that he was well informed about his options regarding financial aid.
“In hindsight all of the information was there, but I wasn’t aware of some of the more specific parts of how it worked,” Loduca said.
Fan urges academic institutions to provide more education to students about their financial options. She said it does not only help with student loans, but can also help to ensure financial security for the rest of a graduate's adult life.