Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Tara Hornor

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dean Campbell

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Lawrence Davenport


Student loan debt is one of the most pressing issues in the United States today. The rate of student loan debt in the United States continues to rise year after year, and the country is experiencing a crisis of increased student loan debt. A program that started with a budget of $15 million in 1965 to expand access to higher education has increased exponentially to over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt today. Students are ushered into the college experience often without possessing a firm grasp of basic financial literacy skills. Federal legislation mandates borrowers to take a 30-minute counseling session to learn the rights and responsibilities of borrowers, but the one-size-fits-all approach to delivering counseling is problematic. The purpose of this study was to understand better the perspectives of current and former undergraduate students that have taken part in the federal student loan entrance counseling program. For this research study, a qualitative multicase study was carried out. Data were collected from 20 participants using preinterview surveys and interviews. The sample population included 10 current undergraduate students who had taken part in the federally mandated student loan entrance counseling program and 10 participants who had graduated college in the last five years and also taken part in the counseling program. The study findings revealed that students felt overwhelmed by the student loan process; they did not consider the implications of borrowing student loans, they felt unprepared and undereducated, and they were not engaged in the entrance counseling program.

Keywords: student loan debt, federally mandated student loan entrance counseling, financial literacy, financial pedagogy, learning retention

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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