In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation mandating that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, sell the widely popular social media app to an American buyer or face a ban in the U.S. While the legislation must still pass in the Senate to become law, the possible end of TikTok in the U.S. is a major concern for millions of users.

To find out how one of TikTok’s most devoted user groups, Gen Z college students, feel about the potential ban, surveyed 929 current four-year college students ages 18 to 24 in March 2024.

The survey found that 75% of students use TikTok at least a few times a month, with nearly half (47%) reporting daily TikTok use. Among college students who use TikTok daily or a few times per week, on an average day, nearly 18% spend six or more hours on TikTok, while 47% spend three to five hours on the app.

Key findings:

  • Nearly half of college students use TikTok daily
  • 75% of regular TikTok users get help with school work on the app
  • 30% of regular TikTok users believe a ban will negatively impact their grades
  • 45% of regular users say their mental health will worsen if TikTok is banned
  • 41% of college students oppose a TikTok ban
  • 7 in 10 frequent TikTok users say app has a positive impact on their life

More Than Half of Student TikTok Users Say Ban Would Impact Their Grades

Among college students who use TikTok regularly (defined as at least a few times per month), more than half believe banning the app would impact their grades.

Thirty percent say their grades will worsen if TikTok is banned, while 24% believe their grades would improve. Forty-six percent say a TikTok ban won’t have any impact on their grades.

The majority of these students (75%) get at least some help with their school work from TikTok. Twenty-two percent get a great deal of help from TikTok, 24% get a lot of help, and 29% get some help.

A slightly higher number of students, 79%, find TikTok resources to be at least somewhat helpful with school work. One in four say the app is extremely helpful, 26% say it’s very helpful, and 31% describe it as somewhat helpful.

According to’s Chief Education and Career Development Advisor Huy Nguyen, many of the elements that make TikTok such a popular entertainment app also explain its appeal as a source of educational content.

“College students gravitate towards TikTok because they can easily search and find creators that they can relate to in a concise and engaging format that breaks down complex information into manageable, bite-sized videos,” Nguyen says. “This approach not only caters to Gen Z’s preference for quick and engaging content but also leverages the power of visual storytelling to make learning more effective. TikTok’s algorithm also allows for real-time personalization, so viewers are exposed to continuous content that resonates with their personal experiences and aspirations.”

However, Nguyen warns that there are pitfalls students should be aware of when relying on TikTok for school work and other information,

“​​The content on TikTok may not be vetted properly and can lead to misinformation and inaccurate perspectives of reality,” Nguyen says. “Students may also develop an overreliance on TikTok, potentially at the expense of developing critical research skills and opposing perspectives. Additionally, the platform’s emphasis on quick, short-from, content production can sometimes oversimplify complex topics, misleading students rather than enlightening them.”

45% of College TikTok Users Say Mental Health Will Worsen Without App

In addition to help with school work, many college students who use TikTok regularly also turn to the app for its mental health content. Twenty-one percent report consuming a great deal of mental health-related content on the app, 31% consume a lot of this type of content, and 34% consume some.

Forty-five percent of these students believe that a TikTok ban will worsen their mental health, while 25% say their mental health would improve without the app. Thirty percent say a ban wouldn’t have an impact on their mental health.

Women, 72% of whom use TikTok daily, compared to 58% of men, are more likely to say that losing TikTok would worsen their mental health. Nearly half of women college students who use TikTok regularly (49%) say their mental health will deteriorate if TikTok is banned, compared to 37% of men. Meanwhile, 32% of men believe their health will improve if TikTok is banned, compared to 21% of women.

Nine in 10 students find the mental health content on TikTok useful, with 26% saying it’s extremely helpful, 34% saying it’s very helpful, and 30% saying it’s somewhat helpful.

91% of College TikTok Users Get Career Advice from TikTok

TikTok has also established itself as a key source of career information and advice for Gen Z. Of students who use TikTok at least a few times a month, 28% get ‘a great deal’ of career-related content from TikTok, while 33% get a lot of career-related content, and 30% get some.

Twenty-eight percent of these students find the career-related content they get from the platform extremely helpful, 38% say it’s very helpful, and 27% find it somewhat helpful.

Losing TikTok as a career resource would negatively impact their ability to navigate their career, 39% of college TikTok users say. Twenty-six percent believe a ban would positively impact their ability to navigate their career, and 35% say this change wouldn’t have an impact on their career.

More than Half of College TikTok Users Say a Ban Would Leave Them Less Informed

TikTok also serves as a main source of news and information for its regular college student users. Of students who use TikTok at least a few times a month, 34% consume a great deal of news on TikTok, while 33% consume a lot of news on the app, and 24% consume some news.

More than half of these students (56%) say they’ll be less informed if a TikTok ban goes into effect. One in four believe they will be more informed without the app, and 19% say there’d be no change in how informed they are.

Women are more likely than men to say they’ll be less informed, by a rate of 61% to 48%.

Despite evidence that TikTok regularly spreads misinformation, the majority of students who use the app regularly believe that the news they get on the platform is reliable. Twenty-seven percent say the news they get from TikTok to be extremely reliable, 30% find it very reliable, and 31% find it somewhat reliable.

Nguyen encourages students to perform their due diligence in vetting information and advice they encounter on the platform.

“Look for advice from respected professionals, institutions, or subject matter experts rather than treating all creator content equally,” Nguyen says. “Cross-reference information with other authoritative sources on other platforms, and discuss questionable advice and information with teachers, advisors, or others they personally trust for additional verification and context.”

4 in 10 College Students Oppose TikTok Ban

Among all survey respondents, including those that rarely or never use TikTok, there’s a divide in opposition and support for a U.S. ban on the app.

Forty-one percent of college students oppose a TikTok ban, with 16% opposed and 25% very opposed. Meanwhile, a similar number of students, 40%, are very supportive of a ban (17%) or supportive (23%). Nineteen percent of students aren’t sure whether or not they support or oppose a TikTok ban.

Women are twice as likely as men to be very opposed to a TikTok ban, by a rate of 43% to 22%.

“For students concerned about how a TikTok ban could negatively impact their lives, I would emphasize the importance of developing self-reliance and not becoming overly dependent on any single platform or source of information. Adopting a diversified approach to information gathering and personal development builds resilience and can guide students to better outcomes for academic success, career readiness, and overall well-being,” says Nguyen.

3 in 4 student TikTok users say app has impacted their lives positively

Seventy-three percent of students who use TikTok say the app has had a positive impact on their life, with 34% saying the impact is ‘very positive’ and 39% saying the impact is ‘somewhat positive.’

Nineteen percent of students are neutral on TikTok’s impact on their lives, and 8% say it’s had a somewhat or very negative impact on their lives.


This online poll was commissioned by and conducted on SurveyMonkey Audience from March 21, 2024 to March 25, 2024. In total, 929 current full-time college students ages 18-24 completed the survey. Please email [email protected] with any questions.