COVID-19 financial crisis

Nearly half of students (48%) have considered dropping out of university, or deferring a year, due to the financial fall-out of COVID-19, a new report from Blackbullion has found. Money and mental health: how financial wellbeing impacts students shows that 75% of students surveyed worry about finances, with 67% of those saying financial anxiety negatively impacts their mental health.

Blackbullion commissioned the report ahead of National Student Money Week.

Bank of Mum and Dad keeps students in studies

44% of those who have previously considered dropping out or deferring a year due to money constraints received financial support from their parent(s)/guardian(s), meaning they could stay on at university or avoid deferring their studies. 20% of respondents received additional funding from their university.

62% of respondents said they would turn to their parent(s)/guardian(s) for advice and support if they had financial difficulties. The reliance on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ suggests university inclusion strategies will be worryingly impacted over the longer-term, as students from lower income homes emerge as the hardest hit; 29% of university students surveyed whose financial situation has been affected by COVID-19 have not felt able to ask their parent(s)/guardian(s) for financial support.

Surveyed students identified a monthly gap of £329 to confidently complete their degree and cover all expenses. Shockingly, 22% of the students surveyed have £100 or less per month to live on and 9% of students are surviving on less than £50.

Over a fifth (23%) of the university students surveyed have had to move home with parent(s)/guardian(s) or stay with friends as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on their financial situation. And, when asked what students had to do due to a lack of money, 35% of respondents have had to skip a meal, 25% of students have been unable to purchase books for their course and 21% of students have had to turn off their heating due to finances.

Gender gap already in play in finances

Blackbullion’s report also identifies a gap in female students’ relationship to money compared to their male counterparts. The trend starts when deciding whether to go to university; 86% of female students factored the cost of living into their decision, compared to 78% of males.

What’s more, the female students surveyed have a monthly budget of £562, compared to £622 for male students. Moreover, 66% of female students feel they wouldn’t be able to complete their degree without the additional financial help they currently receive outside of the loans and grants system, compared to 51% of male students.

Nearly 70% of students say finances negatively impact mental health

Money concerns engulf all elements of student wellbeing for the current cohort of undergraduates. 67% of students surveyed, who worry about their financial situation, feel their mental health has been negatively affected by this worry. Other affected areas include optimism about the future (54%), motivation or productivity (47%) and the ability to focus and study (46%). Sleep (45%) and confidence (42%) were also areas suffering as a result of students worrying about their finances.

Again, Blackbullion found female students feel more exposed to the mental health impact of financial wellbeing; 78% of female students worry about finances, compared to 66% of male students. Of the students whose mental health was negatively impacted due to worrying about finances, 57% of female students regularly experience anxiety (compared to 30% of males) and 66% of female students found financial worries regularly trigger stress (compared to 43% of male students).

“It’s well reported that the pandemic has hugely impacted women in terms of employment and finances,” says Vivi Friedgut, CEO and founder of Blackbullion. “We’re now seeing that it reaches educational opportunities too.”

She adds, “Our research shows COVID-19’s impact goes far beyond the evident financial pressures, impacting the entire student experience, with students’ mental health at risk. We’re working closely with universities to take a holistic view of how we can better support students’ financial wellbeing. What’s clear is that despite the challenges, young people have the tenacity and resilience to create a better future for themselves and their communities.”

National Student Money Week, the UK’s largest financial awareness initiative for students, is run by NASMA (National Association of Money Advisers) and supported by Blackbullion, in partnership with Barclays.

Kelly McAlonan, NASMA Chair, comments,

“NASMA is proud to deliver our annual National Student Money Week campaign, supported by Blackbullion. National Student Money Week is even more important this year at a time when students across the country are feeling added financial strain and are struggling to balance budgets in an increasingly unsettled environment.”

“Coupled with the challenges of living and learning in a global pandemic, even those with the best laid plans can be easily thrown off balance. It's more important than ever to focus on the financial wellbeing and resilience of our students, and help them develop the skills needed to future proof their finances.”

A full copy of Blackbullion’s report is available here.


The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Blackbullion, and completed by 1,000 university students across the UK between 12th-19th January 2021. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles

When referring to males and females, these are people who have chosen to identify as either male or female at the beginning of the survey.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page