TASO is collaborating with King’s College London (KCL)  and What Works for Children’s Social Care (What Works CSC) to examine the effectiveness of a text message intervention at improving the financial wellbeing and capability of students. We’re looking for higher education providers who are interested in examining the financial wellbeing of their students to partner with us.

Managing money while in higher education can be tough. Student loans in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are paid just three times a year and, for many, university represents the first experience of financial independence. The transition is often a bumpy one with many students turning to overdrafts, loans and credit cards when they struggle to smooth their consumption sufficiently. For those with money worries the impacts can be far reaching, frequently translating into poorer academic performance and higher drop out levels.

We anticipate that some of these financial difficulties could be eased with better financial practices (e.g. budgeting) and signposting to money management resources and university-level support or guidance. To this end, we are looking to trial a set of light-touch text messages aimed at promoting positive financial behaviours and help seeking. It is hoped that in providing such information we will increase students’ financial capability and positively impact their financial wellbeing.

TASO is excited to be part of this important project with KCL and What Works CSC. We recognise that many students face financial constraints at university, as student loans may not cover all of their living costs and adapting to financial independence can be a struggle. While financial support is important, we need to understand how other interventions, such as encouraging positive financial habits can help improve students’ financial wellbeing during the course of their higher education experience. Money is a big part of a student’s life and we look forward to seeing how this project could help students, especially widening participation among undergraduates. All students deserve to be able to fully immerse themselves in the university experience without having to worry about not having enough money to meet their needs.”

Dr Omar Khan, Director of TASO


For higher education providers, this is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the financial wellbeing of widening participation students and demonstrate a proactive step to trying to improve their financial wellbeing and continuation in higher education.

If you are interested in finding out more about what the trial would involve for your university and students, more information is available here.

Likewise, if you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact rain.sherlock@taso.org.uk.