May 13, 2018

Question of the Day: What percent of high school seniors feel unprepared to manage the cost of college?

Answer: 39% 


  • How prepared do you feel for paying and managing the cost of college? Explain your answer.
    • If you feel prepared, what helped get you to this stage? 
  • What steps can you take to be better prepared for this decision? 
  • What are three most burning questions you have about paying for college? Be specific. 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Junior Achievement Press Release):

According to a new survey conducted on behalf of Junior Achievement USA and Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank, a troubling majority of high school juniors (52%), high school seniors (39%) and college freshman (34%) say they are unprepared for managing and paying for the cost of college.

The research also reveals why college-bound and college-age teenagers likely feel ill-prepared. The number of teens with less than $1,000 in their college savings accounts is staggering – 39% of juniors, 30% of seniors, and 29% of college freshmen. Well over half of each class agrees they have not done enough research on how to pay for college. And, a large majority of each class has either never spoken to their parents or only spoken to their parents once about paying for and managing the cost of college.


Help your students get prepared for playing PAYBACK, an award-winning game where students learn to navigate their way through college while balancing their finances with their happiness, connections and focus. 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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