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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of the financial literacy of California college students
by Gilligan, Heidi Linn, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 250; 3530674
Abstract (Summary)

The rising costs in tuition and changes in financial aid resources place California Community College (CCC) and California State University (CSU) students in a precarious situation. As students take on more debt in the form ofloans to finance their college education, it is concerning that many may not have a solid understanding of personal financial management strategies or skills. Now, more than ever, it is important that educational leaders take proactive steps to understand the components of financial literacy of California college students. The interplay of financial literacy and increases in tuition are of particular concern at the CCC and CSU as these large public university systems serve many first generation, low income, and minority college students.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to refine current knowledge of the financial literacy levels and the potential influences on financial literacy levels of California college students. A conceptual framework was developed utilizing the theories of social capital, self-efficacy, consideration of future consequences and financial stress. This framework guided the development of a survey instrument that included modified or adopted measures of demographic characteristics, financial literacy, financial self-efficacy, consideration of future consequences, and financial stress. The sample included 691 students, approximately 80% California Community College students and nearly 20% California State University college students.

The findings revealed that socioeconomic status, race, parental education, and class level influenced the financial literacy scores of California college students. A factor analysis on the modified scales of financial self-efficacy, consideration of future consequences, and financial stress indicated that these instruments are appropriate for use with California college students. A hierarchical regression revealed that race, class level, and consideration of future consequences influenced the financial literacy scores of California college students.

The findings provide a greater understanding of the components that influence the financial literacy of California's college students. Based on the results, recommendations are made for the development of financial education programs for college students that address their stage of life, cultural factors, family influence, economic conditions, and behavioral patterns.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Locks, Angela M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Social studies education, Higher education
Keywords: California, Community college students, Financial literacy, Financial stress, Student services
Publication Number: 3530674
ISBN: 978-1-267-70358-3
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