Study Shows Generation Z is Saving Money at a Much Younger Age Than Its Predecessors

National Society of High School Scholars' Annual Career Interest Survey Dives Into Fiscal Pragmatism of This Young Generation

For the last 10 years, Generation Z has watched their parents or guardians, and perhaps even older siblings, weather the Great Recession and the Student Debt Crisis. It’s clear that they feel the financial pressure of the era they were born into, and according to the National Society of High School Scholars’ (NSHSS) 2018 Career Interest Survey, they are saving money at a younger age.

“Our 2018 Career Interest Survey not only shows us that Generation Z has high expectations for their future career, but they are also realistic in their approach to financial security,” says James W. Lewis, President of NSHSS. “The lasting economic impact of the past 10 years has given this generation a sense of caution and even some anxiety, and companies that can account for this influence stand the best chance of attracting these great young minds.”

Our 2018 Career Interest Survey not only shows us that Generation Z has high expectations for their future career, but they are also realistic in their approach to financial security.

James W. Lewis, President of NSHSS

The NSHSS 2018 Career Interest Survey, which gives insight into the fiscal pragmatism of Generation Z, found that 24 percent of these high-achieving scholars are the first in their family to attend college, and a large portion, 76 percent, plan to attend graduate school. Following their pursuit of education, the majority expect to get a full-time job either before graduating from college or within six months of graduation. While employment during their time in high school or college may be pertinent to their career goals, the motivation seems to be predominantly economic.

The Millennial mindset was to attend the best college possible. Many paid with loans and are now burdened by school debt. Gen Z has witnessed the student debt crisis and seems to be putting more focus on paying as they go. Students expressed a very real sense of needing employment to contribute to the cost of their education (70 percent), though a small percentage (15 percent) actually said they were working to contribute to tuition payments.

However, a vast majority of Gen Z reported that they would contribute to their college tuition through a salary earned from a job in college (70% percent) and/or through personal savings (49 percent).

While many aim to work their way through college and pay as they go, they are still under immense financial pressure to cover all of the costs associated with higher education.

Due to this, almost all of the survey respondents (88 percent) will seek grants or scholarships, and more than half (53 percent) will still end up taking on student loans.

About the Career Interest Survey

All survey respondents are NSHSS members, and all are part of Generation Z and Millennials. NSHSS is a distinguished academic honor society for high achieving students that offers member-exclusive scholarships and connects outstanding scholars with colleges and universities around the globe. In addition, NSHSS members can participate in exclusive member events across the U.S., unique study abroad and experiential learning opportunities and benefit from a host of partner offers, plus a network of peers and mentors.

The survey was performed during the Spring of 2018 and represents the voices of more than 16,000 high school and college-aged individuals. It includes every ethnicity, spans across all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. High school students represent 71 percent of the participants – 40 percent of whom are current seniors. Forty-nine percent of respondents are 18 years or younger.

See more economic security facts from the 2018 Career Interest Survey, or visit the official website of NSHSS for more information.

About National Society of High School Scholars

NSHSS is a distinguished academic honor society, recognizing and serving the highest-achieving

student scholars in more than 23,000 high schools across 170 countries. With more than 1.5 million members spanning high school to college to career, NSHSS members are academically outstanding emerging leaders in their schools, workplaces, and communities.

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Source: NSHSS