Exploring Financial Habits and Technology Use Among College Students

A 2023 National Study of Current College Students and High School Juniors and Seniors

This research study was designed to uncover the missing trends, expectations, behaviors, and unmet needs that higher education institutions need to know but can’t find anywhere else.

Transact conducted a national study of 1,376 Students (Ages 16-30)


Gen Z in High School (ages 16-18)


Traditional College-Aged Gen Z (Ages 18-22)


Gen Z (Ages 23-26)


Millennials Attending College (Ages 27-30)

Students walking

Emerging Generations are Driving Payment Experience

The research study found that college students in America today are frustrated with the current process of paying for tuition, for books, for housing, and they crave more seamless and mobile friendly options. They expect all of these to be easily integrated into their digital experience and readily available whether they are on campus or engaging through remote learning and off-campus experiences.

72% payments should be ways colleges are rated
74% say payments should be ways colleges are rated
66% students feel safer and more control when paying online
Students walking

Student IDs, Security, and Emerging Generations

The heightened emphasis on safety in the past few years has made it a top priority for higher education institutions of all sizes and locations, including urban and rural areas. For campus administrators, the issue of safety is multifaceted, as students expect both ease of movement and convenience, while also demanding a comprehensive approach to ensure the security of everyone on campus.

75% People
3/4 of students say colleges that require student IDs make them feel safer when they're on campus.
Smiling students

Not only do students expect greater access to be granted with their IDs, but they also expect their IDs to be available digitally.

This new generation of Gen Z has even higher expectations of their student ID to get them access to everything from their dorms and the library to food delivery and mobile payments.

55% think colleges that don't offer digital IDs are stuck in the past
70% think it's  annoying
        to take their ID everywhere
61% say the top disadvantage of physical IDs is replacement cost

Download the research study now