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Student wellness is an important topic on college campuses nationwide as higher education and student life administrators are becoming increasingly concerned with stress among students. Given that stress has been shown to negatively impact student persistence (Letkiewicz, in press), increased scrutiny of graduation rates from federal and state governments should motivate administrators to understand the causes of stress among students. More specifically, stress resulting from personal financial difficulties is worth exploring in more detail given the challenge college students and recent graduates face regarding the growing burden of student loans. The institutional environment surrounding the college education decision has changed dramatically – grants and other forms of aid have not kept pace with the rapid increase in tuition (College Board, 2011; Draut, 2007). As a result, students are relying more heavily on student loans in order to pay for their education (Draut, 2007). “Working your way through college” is no longer realistic since tuition has increased more rapidly than inflation for the last few decades.

Research regarding sources of stress confirms the influential role that personal financial problems play in the lives of college students. Financial difficulties are often cited among college students as sources of stress (Northern, O’Brien, & Goetz, 2010)

can also include psychological or emotional effects (Northern et al., 2010). Much of the literature on financial stress has focused on stress outcomes. Research has documented the following negative outcomes of financial stress: (a) depression (Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Clark-Lempers, Lempers, & Netusil, 1990), (b) anxiety (Andrews & Wilding, 2004), (c) poor academic performance (Andrews & Wilding, 2004; Harding, 2011), (d) poor health (Northern et al., 2010), and (e) difficulty persisting towards degree completion (Letkiewicz, in press; Joo, Durband, & Grable, 2008; Robb, Moody, & Abdel-Ghany, 2011). Other research has focused on coping behavior of financially-stressed students, such as seeking help (Britt et al., 2011; Lim, Heckman, Letkiewicz, Fox, & Montalto, 2012). Hayhoe, Leach, Turner, Bruin, and Lawrence (2000) examined spending habit differences among college students and included financial stress as a variable in their model. Financial stress was measured by summing the number of positive responses to seven financial stressors, such as “not able to save for an emergency” and “not able to pay utilities.” Hayhoe et al. (2000) found that the number of good financial behaviors was negatively associated with number of financial stressors. Very few studies have examined factors related to the likelihood of reporting financial stress. Brougham, Zail, Mendoza, and Miller (2009) examined different sources of stress, including academics, financial, family, social, and daily hassles, but the primary focus of their study was to identify coping behavior among students. They found that college students were more likely to report financial stress than college men (Brougham et al., 2009). Anticipated debt has also been shown to be a strong predictor of financial stress among medical students (Morra, Regehr, & Ginsburg, 2008). Archuleta, Dale, and Spann (2013) found that among college students, higher levels of financial satisfaction were significantly and negatively related to financial anxiety. As discussed by Northern et al. (2010), some researchers have used financial data exclusively to measure financial stress. While being unable to pay bills and other financial difficulties may indeed produce stress, there are important psychological aspects of stress that may be missed when using financial data alone (Northern et al., 2010). Being unable to pay bills on time may plausibly be a stressful event for one student, but not for another student. Stress is certainly a complex construct, but the differences in measurement of financial stress are likely a result of a lack of theory-based research. Many of the studies mentioned above do not include an explanation of the theoretical framework used to investigate issues related to financial stress.

a review of studies on financial related issues and college students (Joo, Durband & Grable, 2008; Kadison & DiGeronimo, 2004; Robb, 2011) provided some background information on the topic; however, there seems to be a lack of current research focused on this area of concern.  search for studies specific to undergraduate residential college students produced results mainly focused on interpersonal relationship issues and maladaptive coping and so did not yield as much as I had hoped existed specific to my research question and sub-questions. A few studies specific to nonwhite residential college students focused on socioeconomic, acculturation stressors, academic preparedness and the impact of stress on students in general also informed my research question(Crockett et al., 2007; Matlin, Molock, and Tebes, 2011).

Considering financial stress as a possible predictor of issues in academic and social functioning and satisfaction among undergraduate residential college students, this chapter presents a review of literature related to research on financial stress in the general population as well as literature specific to the undergraduate college population. Studies on issues in college student’s academic and social functioning and satisfaction, retention rates, and support networks including familial support, peer support, community, and professional support are also reviewed. In this study, financial stress was examined as the independent variable impacting two dependent variables: 1) academic functioning and satisfaction, and 2) social functioning and satisfaction associated with undergraduate student’s success in college. To investigate the relationship between the independent variable and the two dependent variables, I asked the following: What is the relationship between financial stress and academic and social functioning and satisfaction in undergraduate residential college students’s experiences? Moreover, what are undergraduate residential colleges students’s attitudes about seeking professional help with issues related to financial stress and their academic and social functioning, including help from college counseling centers, the college’s financial aid office, and other on and off campus resources? Further, do undergraduate residential college students identify their academic and social functioning and satisfaction as related to financial stress? Hence, this literature review is intended to provide a basic knowledge base of the context within which financial stress, academic functioning and satisfaction, and social functioning and satisfaction are interconnected as possible predictors of undergraduate residential college success.


Academic success depends on a variety of factors and these factors can have both a positive and/or negative influence on a child’s ability to stay motivated and succeed in school. For children living in high-poverty, urban environments, there are increased challenges when it comes to succeeding in school (Murray & Malmgren, 2005). Numerous research investigations summarize the challenges faced by students growing up in high-poverty urban settings. These investigations highlight the challenges posed by high rates of home and neighborhood violence and crime, increased levels of mental illness, poor-quality schools, and multiple family stressors that potentially interfere with children’s adjustment and success in school as well as in other aspects of their lives. Despite these challenges, some children are resilient and overcome the negative circumstances exposed to or trusted upon them. This study however is majorly on the challenges of financial stress and its impact on students’ academic achievement.


The main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of proper and effective class management on teaching and learning process, specifically the study intends to:

1.     Identify the causes of financial stress among students

2.     Find out the impacts of financial stress on students enrollment to schools

3.     Find out the effects of financial stress on the academic performance of students

4.     Proffer solution to the problem of financial stress among students


The following research questions was formulated to guide this research arrive at a valid conclusion:

1.     What are the causes of financial stress among students

2.     What is the impacts of financial stress on students enrollment to schools

3.     What are the effects of financial stress on the academic performance of students

4.     What can be done to solve the problem of financial stress among students


Ho: financial stress has no significant effects on the academic performance of students

Hi: financial stress has a significant effects on the academic performance of students


This study will expose the government at various level, stakeholders involve in education policies, teachers, school management on the challenges of financial stress on students’ academic performance and help proffer some real life solutions,. And finally this projects will serve as reference for others who wants to embark on the same research.


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