Skip to Content
News Releases
Students experiencing income disruption at double the rate of adults due to COVID-19: CIBC poll

Income disrupted for over two-thirds of Canadian students with half worried about being able to attend post-secondary school this fall 

TORONTO, July 6, 2020 /CNW/ - A new CIBC poll has revealed that 87 per cent of post-secondary students in Canada are experiencing one or more financial concerns including how tuition and living expenses will be funded next term. 68 per cent of those polled indicate their income would be impacted by the pandemic, compared to 36 per cent of adult Canadians.

With the economic disruption from COVID-19, 35 per cent of post-secondary students said they no longer have a job placement or summer job this year, and 33 per cent have lost income due to a reduction of work hours. As a result:

  • 51 per cent worry about being unable to attend school next year
  • 73 per cent worry about the impact of COVID-19 on their current finances and 70 per cent worry about their long-term financial situation

Students experiencing income disruption at double the rate of adults due to COVID-19: CIBC poll (CNW Group/CIBC)

"The effects of COVID-19 have significantly disrupted students from being able to keep their summer jobs or finding new employment opportunities. It's a very difficult time for this group, as so much of student life is about planning for the future," says Jamie Golombek, Managing Director, Tax and Estate Planning, CIBC and co-author of the 'Post-Secondary Education Budgeting In The Era of COVID-19' report. "While the uncertainty of the job market may feel overwhelming, there are things students can do right now to take control of their current personal finances, and better position themselves for the coming year."

Here are five things students can do to help achieve their goals in times of financial uncertainty:

  • Stay on top of personal finances. Having an understanding of saving and spending habits is important, and the vast majority (80 per cent) of Canadian post-secondary students claim to have a very good or good understanding of their personal finances. Managing money by making financial decisions around planning for the short-term and long-term starts by analyzing how much money is spent, saved, and how often.
  • Revisit your budget. Creating a budget and reviewing it regularly can help track everyday spending. Our survey revealed:
    • 81 per cent of students adhere strictly or somewhat strictly to a budget
    • Since the start of COVID-19, 71 per cent have reviewed their budget

Tools like the CIBC Student Budget Calculator can help students reassess their fixed and discretionary expenses as income fluctuates.

  • Set up – or boost – your emergency fund. With close to one in four (38 per cent) not having an emergency fund, the pandemic has revealed how critical having one is when it comes to paying for fixed expenses at times of economic uncertainty. With most students putting a pause on travel (55 per cent) vacations (42 per cent) or large purchases (31 per cent) – reallocating those discretionary dollars to an emergency fund can help bring financial peace of mind.
  • Explore financial support options. Of those surveyed, nearly half (46 per cent) have applied for federal student programs such as the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit or Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. Among those who have sought support, more than 9 in 10 (94 per cent) found the government relief helpful. Looking ahead to the fall semester, students say they'll be turning to scholarships or bursaries (35 per cent), part-time employment (32 per cent) and more help from family (29 per cent). For those entering select first year health care programs, applications for the CIBC Future Heroes Bursary Program are being accepted until July 15.
  • Talk to an advisor. Knowing where to go for good advice can be difficult, but the survey suggests that 75 per cent of students agree that financial advice is more important than ever. Many turn to family and friends (58 per cent) and to online research (41 per cent), and only 13 per cent rely on a financial advisor. The most common guidance they are seeking is: general financial advice (48 per cent), savings (44 per cent) and tips and tools on managing a budget (34 per cent).

Information and support programs can be found online at the CIBC Student Support Centre.

"Every student's financial situation is unique and it can be overwhelming to manage current finances while also thinking ahead to next year and beyond, and yet it's important to do both," says Golombek. "Seeking expert advice and taking concrete actions can help build financial confidence even during times of financial uncertainty."


From May 22nd to May 27th 2020 an online survey of 1,053 Canadian post-secondary students who are Maru Voice Canada (Maru Voice Canada) panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.9%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at


For further information: or 416-586-3609.