Majority of College Grads Rely on Family Financial Support
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2014 Jun 23
A new multi-year study by researchers at Arizona State University has found more than half of college graduates are still relying on their parents or other family members for financial support.
The study followed a cohort of 1,000 college students since 2007 checking in with them at various points over the last 7 years to see how they’re coping financially.
A sluggish economic recovery coupled with high levels of debt have left less than one-third of the students -- who are now between ages 23 and 26 -- financially self-sufficient.
"The fact that we saw so many young adults, including those who said they had full-time jobs and were still relying on their parents for financial support, was a big finding," says Joyce Serido, lead researcher and assistant director of the University of Arizona’s Take Charge America Initiative, which promotes financial education. "It shows that just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you’re [going to be financially successful]."
Less than half of the 20-somethings surveyed by the University of Arizona were employed full-time, and 20% were working part-time. Unsurprisingly, unemployed college graduates were much more likely get help from family (75%), but nearly half (48%) of college grads who have jobs are getting help, too, they found.
And as they struggle to get on their feet, college graduates are increasingly pushing off many traditional milestones of adulthood — nearly 30% say marriage and children aren’t a priority and one in five say they could care less about buying a home.
Since the the first wave of the study, participants’ life satisfaction is even lower than it was before college. On a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), participant responses averaged 3.5 this year, down from 3.8 in the second wave of the study and 3.6 in the first.