Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Benjamin S. Selznick

Karen A. Ford

Jeanne Horst


For college undergraduates, the thought of managing money is often new, exciting, and terrifying in the same breath. Some students have learned well from their parental and prior academic influences, and yet others may be overwhelmed by a lack of those same resources. As postsecondary institutions endeavor to level the proverbial playing field, helping college graduates launch into meaningful, financially independent lives, it begs additional consideration on the intervention methods that might be most impactful.

This study examined a for-credit, curriculum-based intervention specific to personal finance topics. It attempted to answer several key questions: How knowledgeable are students relative to financial literacy and wellness upon entry to college?, What role do parents play in shaping that knowledge?, and, Beyond all prior influences, can a college course produce significant differences in students’ knowledge, bolstering both their confidence and competence in handling their own financial affairs? Results indicate that intentional course content does indeed produce improvements in financial literacy and wellness, advancing the case for more curriculum-based intervention options. Implications for structuring campus-wide efforts and the leadership that governs those efforts are included as well, noting the benefits to a host of stakeholders when these efforts transition from campus initiatives to changes in campus culture.



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