Graduate level health professions students graduate with some of the highest student loan debt levels of any educational disciplines. The reason for such heavy reliance on student loans in professional school is partially attributed to the high cost of tuition for a professional degree. Professional students often have no choice but to take on large amounts of student loan debt in order to pursue a degree in the health professions, thus obligating them to potentially affect their lifestyles for many years to come.
Because of the challenges these students face, many college and university financial aid offices have expanded upon the mandatory loan debt counseling, developing a variety of educational sessions, some even offering comprehensive financial literacy education programs. However, these programs are very rarely measured to evaluate the impact of these teachings upon financial decision-making. This study was conducted to find the value in the efforts schools made in developing and facilitating these financial literacy programs. It examined if the content schools set out to teach translated into positive changes in financial decision-making.
The mixed-methods study consisted of a written survey using a semantic differential scale and a series of focus groups. Three graduate health professions institutions participated: Colleges of Optometry, Medicine, and Dental Medicine. The results suggested that financial literacy education did make an impact on graduate level health professions students’ subsequent financial decision-making at the three institutions studied. The results suggested that participation in financial literacy programs particularly made an impact on the students’ decisions about the usage of credit cards and reviewing and monitoring credit reports and scores. There also appeared to be some influence on students’ decisions in the areas of student loan borrowing, budgeting, and spending.
|Commitee:||Keener, Barbara, Styer, Audrey|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education finance, Health education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Financial decision-making, Financial literacy education, Financial literacy evaluation, Graduate level financial aid, Health professions students, Medical student loan debt|
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