College Graduates and Financial Security-Seren Bezzant

Social Comparison is defined as one’s evaluation of their own ideas and abilities by comparing themselves to others.


In yesterday’s Deseret Newspaper as article entitled “College Students’ financial fantasies meet reality.” This article explores the fear college grads are facing when they graduate. They fear they won’t be able to find a job and if they do, they won’t be able to find a good paying job. The following figure, which was published with the article, shows that college grads on average say they’ll need 81,600 dollars in order to feel secure, which is much higher than what an actual college graduate makes, which on average is 21,900 dollars. The article speculates that college graduates are comparing their lifestyles to their parents and are disregarding the work that goes into it.


This illustrates the social comparison theory because college graduates are overestimating how much money they’ll need to feel secure because they are comparing their lifestyles to their parents and other successful adults around them. By doing this they are underestimating the work it takes to get to such a comfortable financial position. By comparing themselves to their parents they are not able to assess their financial situation accurately.

  1. #1 by Carmen on June 6, 2012 - 5:55 PM

    I can definiely attest to this principle. Although I still have a few years to go before I graduate, I am worried about how I’m going to be able to finance my future out of college. Not to mention paying off student loans! I find that after talking with my parents about the jobs that I wish to achieve after graduation, they have to constantly remind me of their first jobs out of college (retail sales and customer service). It’s very easy to overestimate my future income when I speak with those who are older than me and have had more time creating a career for themselves. – Carmen Mowrey

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