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Study results show that B.C. University students lack financial life skills and knowledge

Vancouver, B.C. (October 28, 2013) —  Sands & Associates, B.C.’s Largest Firm of Licensed Trustees and Administrators of Consumer Proposals announced today, the results of their first B.C. Student Finances Study, looking at B.C. university students’ thoughts and experiences with finances and credit. The study was conducted through an in-person survey of more than 350 students at two of B.C.’s largest universities – Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia.

With growing concern surrounding student and recent graduate debt levels and financial habits, Sands & Associates commissioned the study to gain further insight into the patterns and mind-set of students under 25.

Key findings from the 2013 B.C. Student Finances Study show that students’ lifestyle and financial models are heavily parent-funded and typically supplemented by student loans. Additionally, a large portion of B.C. university students are statistically unrealistic toward their financial expectations post-graduation based on current earning levels in the province. A significant proportion of students surveyed reported extremely optimistic timelines for paying off their student loans, with nearly 60 percent of students anticipating being free of student loans within one calendar year of graduation.  From credit card payments to anticipated salaries, the study found basic financial knowledge lacking for significant portions of the study population.

“I view these findings as concerning as a growing portion of the insolvent population are under the age of 30.  Anything that we can do to improve students’ awareness of financial realities and potentially help them correct their financial situation before it becomes too much to handle, would be a positive thing”, says Blair Mantin, VP of Sands & Associates.

“We deal with a lot of individuals who began accumulating debt in university and find themselves hopelessly indebted 5-10 years after graduation.  We did this study as a means of understanding some of the underlying causes of this phenomenon and to shine the spotlight on the realities students face in university, some of which may lay the foundation for needing to file a bankruptcy or a consumer proposal later in life.”

The B.C. Student Finances Study is intended to run annually to track changes in BC university students’ financial habits and perceptions.

To see the complete study and detailed findings, please click here.

Sands & Associates – BC Student Finances Survey 2013

About Sands & Associates:

Sands & Associates is British Columbia’s largest firm of licensed Proposal Administrators and Bankruptcy Trustees focused exclusively on personal and small-business insolvency services. Operating from 11 offices in the Lower Mainland, Sands & Associates uses a non-judgmental, empathetic, affordable approach to helping resolve financial difficulties. To learn more, visit