Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

David M. Piper, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Cathy C. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.


This mixed-method study investigates the level of financial literacy in junior and senior-level college students and the effect on subsequent student debt. Two-hundred-fifty-four junior and senior level students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania were surveyed using the Jump$tart Coalition® for Personal Financial Literacy college survey and seven students participated in a focus group session. Analysis of this research determined that level of financial literacy is not an effective predictor for student debt. A Chi-squared Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) technique revealed that it is the interaction of multiple factors, first-generation status, parent income, and student major, which more accurately reflected a student more likely to incur student debt.