Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Daniel Calhoun

Committee Member 1

Pamela C. Wells

Committee Member 2

Amy Ballagh


Financial stress and obligations have been identified as the number one reason students leave college. In an effort to address this, colleges and universities have begun to reevaluate their role and responsibility as it pertains to financial education. This has led some institutions to create student money management centers. These centers serve as a resource for students to receive financial counseling and education.

This research explores how administrators within college money management centers perceive and meet the needs of college students on issues of personal finance. Charmaz’ Constructivist Grounded Theory (2006) approach to qualitative research was utilized as the theoretical framework for this study. Interviews with 12 administrators of various student money management centers across the United States served as the primary data point for this study, of which three themes emerged, including (1) defining the various approaches to financial education (2) creating meaningful, impactful and intentional financial education, and (3) the application of knowledge. These themes highlight the various challenges institutions must overcome while attempting to meet the need of providing effective financial education for college students today. Findings indicated whether institutions opt to create a standalone center or expand the services and offerings of an existing program, financial literacy must become an institutional priority. In addition, implications for educational leaders are provided along with recommendations for further research.

Research Data and Supplementary Material