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Ascent Blog

School is in Session, But Students Still Don’t Have the Money They Need – New Study Reveals What Students Are Actually Doing About It

A new study by Ascent measures students’ preparedness to pay for college for the 2019-2020 year.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SAN DIEGO, CA (October 23, 2019) – At a time when the cost of higher education is in the spotlight, Ascent Funding, LLC, an award-winning, private student loan company that gives students more opportunities to pay for college with or without a cosigner, surveyed college students to measure how prepared they feel to meet the financial obligations for the 2019-2020 academic year based on the actions they took during the summer months.


Ascent found the majority of college students wish they would have done more to financially prepare for the upcoming academic year. Of the college students surveyed, 62% wish they would have applied for more scholarships and/or grants while 38% wish they would have worked a summer job.


Other Key Findings from the Study Include:


  • Majority of college students surveyed (52%) did not apply for scholarships this summer because they did not think they qualified – 49% shared they were not aware of the opportunity.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) of college students entered the 2019-2020 academic year with credit card debt – 13% entered the academic year with over $1,000 of credit card debt.
  • About 21% of college students did not anticipate receiving their funds in time to pay for college-related expenses before the school year started – 45% of college students who didn’t receive their funds in time considered starting a new job or increasing work hours while another 40% considered asking a family/friend to cover the cost.
  • College students demand more resources on financial wellness to be more informed on how to pay for college – 57% want more education on how loans and credit work and 48% want more options to apply for a loan on their own.




Ascent has remained at the forefront of understanding student sentiment around financial responsibility, which can be seen in their 2018 and 2019 national studies on college students’ perceptions of paying for college. They have also incorporated financial education into their loan application process since the company began, however, this study confirms students need more. As a result, Ascent launched budgeting and financial wellness resources on their website and expanded their YouTube channel to include “how-to” videos by college students with tips to survive (and hopefully thrive).


  View Full College Survey


If you are a member of the media and interested in speaking with Ascent about the financial challenges faced by college students and parents, please contact [email protected].


About the Study


Allison+Partners Research + Insights surveyed 1,002 individuals who met the following parameters: between ages 18 and 26, currently or will be enrolled full time at a 4-year university for the 2019/2020 academic year, and they or their parents have taken out a loan to fund their education. The survey was fielded using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, and the panel was sourced from Lucid. Fielding was executed between August 19-22, 2019. The information collected in this survey is not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts. Further, the views of this survey should not be considered representative of the views of Ascent, Allison+Partners Research + Insights, or anyone other than the participants.


About Ascent Funding


Ascent is built around one guiding principle: Student loans should expand possibilities, not limit them. That’s why Ascent created a new private student loan program that gives students more opportunities to qualify for a loan, with or without a cosigner.  Ascent loans are originated by Richland State Bank, Member FDIC. Ascent encourages transparency and financial wellness by incorporating financial education into the application process, preserving the notion that an education is an investment where students and families should understand the return on their investment relative to the cost. Ascent offers benefits (such as 1% cashback, scholarships, a Refer a Friend Program, a Rewards Program, and more) as well as free resources that set students and families up for financial success.








Contact for Press Inquiries


Lauren Thayer | Director of Marketing


[email protected]

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