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    Scholarships360 Student Financial Confidence Index (March 2023)

    By Will Geiger

    Will Geiger is the co-founder of Scholarships360 and has a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. He is a former Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Kenyon College where he personally reviewed 10,000 admissions applications and essays. Will also managed the Kenyon College merit scholarship program and served on the financial aid appeals committee. He has also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a high school in New Haven, Connecticut. Will earned his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University.

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    Updated: April 28th, 2023
    Scholarships360 Student Financial Confidence Index (March 2023)

    Welcome to the Scholarships360 Student Financial Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of student confidence in paying for college.

    Our goal with this index is to provide a periodic measure of how confident students are in paying for college, so that we and others can examine correlations between that measure and other factors in students’ lives over time.  

    Each month we send students using Scholarships360 one simple question via our scholarship newsletter, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in paying for college?” Note that this is not a scientific survey and is intended for informational purposes only.

    About the data

    Scholarships360 students come from all 50 states and represent a diverse cohort of people, but they are not representative of the overall U.S. student population.  Scholarship360 students are more likely to be first generation (48% identify as first-gen), low-income (60% identify as low-income), and from historically underrepresented populations (49% identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino).

    While more than 250,000 students use Scholarships360 as registered account users, many students may not have seen the survey invitation and participation is voluntary.

    In our first survey, in March 2022, we had a total of 117 respondents.  In our second survey, in March 2023, we had a total of 271 respondents.  We are now moving to monthly surveys and our goal is to continue growing the “n”, so that we can provide a more robust, meaningful data set over time.

    Below are the initial results from the first two surveys.

    The mean confidence score from all respondents in March 2023 was 3.81 out of 10. This was an increase of .45 versus the survey results in March 2022. Going forward, we will be tracking the overall monthly mean confidence score, to provide an ongoing, longitudinal picture. 

    Looking at the results by grade level shows some variation in confidence by student age and academic level:

    Finally, to provide a sense of the distribution of results, we organized the confidence scores into three categories: high (8-10), medium (6-7), and low (1-5). 

    Next Steps & Feedback

    In the months to come, we look forward to expanding this dataset and providing new and interesting insights.  In the meantime, we welcome your feedback and questions.  Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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