Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Kelly Burlison

Second Advisor

Nancy Kline

Third Advisor

Kristen Migliano


Student loan debt is the most common form of debt in the United States today outside of mortgage debt. The research for this study sought to (1) investigate whether financial literacy programs in the State of Florida have an impact on student debt levels, as well as (2) determine how the responsibility for the provision of financial literacy education was distributed throughout a university community. The research provided for a survey that was sent to 70 institutions in the State of Florida analyzing whether or not these institutions had financial literacy programs in place. A survey was also sent out to a private university in South Florida where the students and staff were invited to share opinions on a former financial literacy program and views on financial literacy in general. Finally, a comprehensive analysis of cohort loan default rates was conducted using publicly available data. There is broad consensus among those who participated in the research that financial literacy has a positive impact upon an institution’s cohort default rate. Literature suggests that cross-campus collaboration is the key to designing a successful financial literacy program. The research indicated a gradual increase in the default rate of the schools participating in the study, yet the change in the default rate as a percentage of the previous year was actually decreasing.


The iBook, Your Money, Your Way: Making Sound Financial Choices at College and Beyond, by Morgan O'Sullivan was created as a supplement to this dissertation. Download the iBook here:



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