Americans are reconsidering investing in higher education due to COVID-19

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – Since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the education sector, Americans are reconsidering investing in higher education, according to a new Edward Jones and Morning Consult study. Respondents cited concerns over the current economic climate and the quality of online learning as top reasons some students are considering skipping higher education and choosing to look for full-time employment or internships instead.

a person walking down a sidewalk next to a building: Saving for your child's college education with the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic

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Saving for your child’s college education with the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic

On Friday, Investment Strategist for Edward Jones, Nela Richardson joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to share the details of the survey revealing concerns over education investment and will discuss current tools available to assist with planning for college. She also discussed the ongoing effort to increase financial literacy around topics like education savings with an in-school pilot for high school students and teachers and an at-home curriculum for families whose children are currently learning remotely.


  • 81% of those currently saving for an in-person, four-year college or university cited concerns that the quality of education may suffer if universities move to online learning, including access to tools and resources necessary for education (47%), lack of community aspect at school, such as sports teams, clubs and on-campus housing (35%) and required in-person lab time (31%).
  • Behind retirement (46%) and emergency funds (44%), their child’s education (21%) was the third-most frequently cited life event that Americans are currently saving for and prioritizing, followed by their own education (11%).
  • Less than half of adults (45%) accurately recognize a 529 plan as an education savings tool. Roughly one-third of Americans were aware of the proper uses for 529 plans (29%); 28% recognized that 529s can be used for K-12 expenses and 29% reported awareness of the features and potential tax benefits that 529 plans offer.

For more information about education savings, go to

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