May 25, 2023
Have you ever wished you could read students’ minds to gain valuable info about how you can improve processes and services on campus? Well, wonder no more. To help our clients create a better campus experience for students, Transact Campus partnered with Jason Dorsey (called a “research guru” by Adweek) and the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) to conduct an in-depth national study of current college students, high school juniors and seniors. CGK is the leading research firm in generational studies and solutions. The unprecedented study, “Exploring Financial Habits and Technology Use Among College Students,” surveyed 1,376 participants ages 16 to 30 online. The majority of the study’s subjects were Gen Z (93%), with 7% classified as Millennials.
Gen Z is the fastest-growing, most influential generation of current higher education students. They bring a different set of priorities, norms, and expectations from campus recruiting and student retention to on-campus security and digital payments.
Transact is motivated to deliver student research-based insights to help campus administrators better understand what members of Gen Z want and expect. By doing a deep-dive into the trends, emotions, and behaviors that drive their demands and experiences, they will be better-equipped to leverage these findings to maximize student reach and engagement.
Our ultimate goal was to bridge the gap between emerging trends and campus strategy. A wide range of areas were explored in this study, such as:
Some of the questions we hoped to answer through this study included:
Student payment expectations: 3 things you should know
“72% said ease of payment should be one of the ways colleges are rated on student experience.”
“Over half (53%) said the most frustrating or annoying payment process is paying for tuition.”
“The #1 frustration across every single type of college expense situation was not having the option for mobile payments.”
When discussing student IDs, security, and technology in general, the study revealed that Generation Z has grown up with smartphones, digital payments, and social media, and this technology drives the way they think, act, study, work, and conduct business. Here are some insights gleaned on these topics:
Student IDs, security, and technology: 3 surprising insights
“77% said technology is very important or somewhat important when deciding on which college or continuing education institution they want to attend.”
“A majority (55%) think colleges that don’t offer digital IDs are ‘stuck in the past.’”
“70% of traditional college-aged Gen Z students (18-22) and 72% of the fully study sample (current high school and college students) think the availability of digital IDs is an important factor when deciding on which college they want to attend.”
It’s clear from the research data that students would be happier if campuses streamlined and simplified processes. By providing more convenient, user-friendly experiences, colleges will be better poised to recruit and retain students in the future.
The data from this study is invaluable to Transact’s Product Management team and helps us better understand how students prefer to use their ID’s and make payments as well as helping us to better understand the technical challenges that they face on campus. This research will help ensure that we are focusing on the top priorities for our clients while building out our product roadmap and payments solution strategy.
Information + insights = action!
A study of this magnitude took months to coordinate and execute—this was truly a team effort that involved a lot of moving parts. Thanks to the partnership and collaboration of the research team at CGK, we can share these unprecedented insights
with Transact and our clients. We commissioned this research so you wouldn’t have to; we’re proud to present information you need to know but can’t find anywhere else.
We’re confident that by studying and analyzing students’ spending and technology trends, campus administrators will be able to better meet and exceed students’ needs. The data gleaned here will help schools allocate the resources
they need to effectively prioritize goals and take actionable measures to create the best student experience possible.
Now that you have this information, what should you do next?
The most exciting aspect of what the research study uncovered is that the technology students want and expect already exists and is available. Here are a few actions you can take now to better meet students’ technology expectations and enhance their total campus experience: