Flywire Survey Reveals Students Optimistic About International Education

63% of students surveyed currently study abroad or plan to in the future

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the education affordability crisis with students around the world. This is according to the new report, Passport to Higher Education: A Global Payments Study, from Flywire Corporation (Nasdaq: FLYW) which found that currently 71% of undergraduate students are having difficulties making their education payments due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This financial burden has also led three in five (61%) students surveyed to consider delaying their higher education.

Flywire, a global payments enablement and software company, surveyed over 1,000 college students in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and China who are either currently studying abroad or plan to in the future. The survey uncovers major trends as the education sector grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international education.

“Affordability issues in higher education are nothing new, however the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic added an additional layer of stress and uncertainty for international students when it comes to payments,” said Sharon Butler, Executive Vice President of Education at Flywire. “As vaccinations increase worldwide, and students prepare for the return of in-person learning in the fall, institutions can play a significant role in providing a fulfilling and affordable experience that all students deserve.”

Students Optimistic About International Education

Optimism around international education offers a promising outlook on the bounce back of studying abroad. Over half of students (63%) are still interested in studying internationally as their biggest motivations for doing so are the opportunity for new cultural experiences (47%), the academic reputations of schools abroad (43%), on-campus experience (37%) and value for the cost (38%).

That said, over half (56%) of all students feel the process of obtaining a student visa in the next year will change due to the shifting global political climate. Undergraduates in the U.K. (65%) and U.S. (61%) are the most likely to expect a change – significantly more so than their counterparts in Canada (49%) and China (48%).

Debt Holds Students Back from Opportunities

The political climate can also have an impact on relieving student debt. This is an issue largely facing students in the U.S. where the majority (89%) of those expected to pay off their student loans said their debt has prevented or delayed them from pursuing the following opportunities:

  • Saving for a house/real estate (47%)
  • Traveling (38%)
  • Furthering their education (37%)
  • Pursuing an internship or job opportunity (29%)
  • Investing in relationships (23%).

As such, it’s not surprising that three in five U.S. students (60%) support President Biden’s anticipated plans to reduce the burden of student loan debt in some capacity.

Installment Options and Efficient Payment Process Can Improve Experience

Institutions can begin to tackle affordability by implementing payment plans, as seven in ten students say the option to merely pay their educational bills in installments would provide much needed relief.

The process of making tuition payments should also not be overlooked with 72% of students stating that it has become a significant stressor because of the pandemic. Although the stress is largely attributed to financial difficulties (41%), over a quarter (28%) say it’s driven by unclear processes from their institution followed by the lack of online payment options (20%).

“With over three in four students stating that access to a simplified payment process would improve their higher education experience, institutions can take an active role in alleviating some of the stress for students paying for university,” explained Butler. “By implementing flexible payment options and online payment methods, international and domestic students can spend more time focusing on getting the most out of their education and preparing for life outside of the classroom.”

Survey Methodology

Flywire commissioned Engine Insights to conduct a survey of adults 18 years of age or older in five countries to understand the role payments play in their pursuit of higher education. This survey is among 1,010 students, with 202 from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and China. This survey was conducted online between March 12 and 18, 2021.

About Flywire

Flywire Corporation (Nasdaq: FLYW) is a global payments enablement and software company. Flywire combines its proprietary global payments network, next-gen payments platform and vertical-specific software to deliver the most important and complex payments for its clients and their customers.

Flywire leverages its vertical-specific software and payments technology to deeply embed within the existing A/R workflows for its clients across the education, healthcare and travel vertical markets, as well as in key B2B industries. Flywire also integrates with leading ERP systems, so organizations can optimize the payment experience for their customers while eliminating operational challenges.

Flywire supports 2,250+ clients with diverse payment methods in more than 130 currencies across 240 countries and territories around the world. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA, USA with global offices. For more information, visit www.flywire.com. Follow Flywire on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our future operating results and financial position, our business strategy and plans, market growth, and our objectives for future operations. Flywire intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as, but not limited to, “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “target,” “plan,” “expect,” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions, and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Flywire's forward-looking statements include, among others, Flywire’s future financial performance, including its expectations regarding our revenue, cost and operating expenses, including changes in technology and development, selling and marketing and general and administrative expenses (including any components of the foregoing), gross profit and Flywire’s ability to achieve, and maintain, future profitability; Flywire’s business plan and its ability to effectively manage its growth; Flywire’s market opportunity, including estimates regarding its total addressable payment volume; Flywire’s cross-border expansion plans and ability to expand internationally; anticipated trends, growth rates, and challenges in Flywire’s business and in the markets in which it operates; the sufficiency of Flywire’s cash and cash equivalents to meet its liquidity needs; political, economic, legal, social and health risks, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health measures that may affect Flywire’s business or the global economy; beliefs and objectives for future operations; Flywire’s ability to develop and protect its brand; Flywire’s ability to maintain and grow the payment volume that it processes; Flywire’s ability to further attract, retain, and expand its client base; Flywire’s ability to develop new solutions and services and bring them to market in a timely manner; Flywire’s expectations concerning relationships with third parties, including strategic partners; the effects of increased competition in Flywire’s markets and its ability to compete effectively; future acquisitions or investments in complementary companies, products, services, or technologies; Flywire’s ability to enter new client verticals, including its relatively new B2B sector; Flywire’s expectations regarding anticipated technology needs and developments and its ability to address those needs and developments with its solutions; Flywire’s expectations regarding litigation and legal and regulatory matters; Flywire’s expectations regarding its ability to meet existing performance obligations and maintain the operability of its solutions; Flywire’s expectations regarding the effects of existing and developing laws and regulations, including with respect to payments and financial services, taxation, privacy and data protection; economic and industry trends, projected growth, or trend analysis; Flywire’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees; Flywire’s ability to maintain, protect, and enhance its intellectual property; Flywire’s ability to maintain the security and availability of its solutions; the future market price of Flywire’s common stock; and other factors that are described in the "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of Flywire's Prospectus, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available on the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov/. Additional factors may be described in those sections of Flywire's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, expected to be filed with the SEC in the third quarter of 2021.

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