School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Ellen Lowrie Black


Debt, Finance, Financial Literacy, Student Loan


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Education Economics | Other Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the level of financial literacy of women with higher education degrees with student loan debt. The definition of financial literacy is an understanding of the impact of accumulating student loans to pay for education expenses. This study seeks to understand the experience by using the following four research questions: (1)When first obtaining student loans, what information was received regarding the loan process and expectations once no longer in school? (2) What contributing factors influenced participants’ decisions to take on student loans? (3) What obstacles and/or resources do participants believe would have changed their decisions to take on student loans? (4) What is the participants’ quality of life under the student loan burden? This study used a purposeful sample of 10 participants. The strategies for collecting data included personal stories, document analysis, and one-on-one interviews. The data analysis used the four-step approach of Moustakas (1994).