Shining a Spotlight on Student Financial Health

Friday, May 25, 2018

#FinHealthMatters Day 2018

April 25, 2018 was the third annual #FinHealthMatters Day. Each year, #FinHeathMatters Day brings attention to Americans’ financial health through a thunderclap of social media activity, news stories, blogs, podcasts and more. Over the past years we have seen 240+ blogs posted, 2,500+ influencers tweeting nearly 6,000 times, and ultimately, close to 27 million impressions about financial health.

This year #FinHealthMatters Day shined a spotlight on student financial health with more than 8 million impressions from over 1600 tweets sharing student financial health challenges, opportunities, and stories. The student focus was important because while 57% of Americans are struggling with overall Financial Health, 75% of students aren’t sure they could come up with $1,000 in the next month, and 63% of community college students are living paycheck to paycheck.

In addition to engaging on social media, we asked personal finance bloggers to join the conversation by writing essays about student financial health. We encouraged them to tell stories about how to save for higher ed, manage student loans, get out of student debt overall, work through school, thoughts on the rising costs of higher ed, alternatives to higher ed, and/ or roles academic institutions or financial institutions should play in student financial health. This year 80 people participated in our blog contest on student financial health, and 5 winners were selected to win their way to FinCon and participate in a Financial Health Network hosted FinX there.

Here’s a sneak peek at the work of this year’s winners:

  • Make Real Cents: “When I think back to my college days, getting good grades was the last thing on my mind. I was always stressed about money, from struggling to pay for books to worrying about how I would pay rent and for food, my financial health was constantly one beat away from flat lining.”
  • Debt Free Millennials: “There are several things I wish I knew in college about student loan debt that I know now. Had I known these things in my collegiate years, I would have entered the workforce financially stable with a realistic plan to tackle my money goals and student loan debt.”
  • Sunburnt Saver: “Whether you currently have student loan debt already, and are considering taking on more for higher education, or you’re starting your journey into college/university, these tips will help you make educated and aspirational decisions.”
  • StartU: “I looked into how the student loan process works (disclaimer: it’s confusing) and came with 3 tips on how to manage your student debt while trying to start a business — or a life.”
  • The Frugal Gene (social winner!): “I’ll tell you my experience of going to college as a low-income student and how I navigated my way through. You might think this story starts at age 18 but my college prep started long before 18, and I didn’t even know it.”

Keep an eye out for the full versions of these winning stories here in the coming weeks. And start thinking about your own financial health story — and how you’ll tell it in 2019!

MetLife Foundation is a founding sponsor of Financial Health Network’s financial health work.

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