2023 Student Financial Experience Study

Amy Jenkins
July 16, 2023

There are stories we tell about college and its cost: that it is too expensive (it was always expensive), that the cost is steadily increasing (it is, but so is the amount of aid available), that the ROI isn’t there (perhaps true for some but for the majority, college can still transform their lives) and that the 42% who drop out for financial reasons are dropping out because that financial reason is an inability to pay.

Like the other stories, this last one about why students drop out does not capture the whole picture.

Meadow’s 2023 Student Financial Experience digs into how students feel about their bills, their school’s billing portals and the communications they receive from their schools around tuition payments.  We heard from 500 students about what is working, what is frustrating and how universities might improve.

What we learned was important for all institutions to hear:

  • 75% of students report having to reach out to their university because they did not understand something on their bill
  • 66% of students say that the financial experience impacts their school satisfaction
  • 62% of students finding paying their bill to be stressful
  • 41% said their bill was too confusing

Download the report to get:

  • Data on ways to increase student satisfaction and retention and improve payment outcomes
  • Insight about bill transparency that would benefit students and institutions
  • Guidance for communication strategies that will get students to engage
  • Recommendations from industry experts about how to improve the student billing process

This survey data highlights the immense opportunity for student accounts and financial aid to work together to end the frustration and anxiety created by current billing methods. By fostering trust and improved financial outcomes, institutions willing to collaborate will yield tremendous benefits in the long-term. Allowing students to fully understand their bills, and budget better for the cost of education, is a win for the entire industry–and above all, for students.

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