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A Qualitative Analysis of Students’ Experience Using Student Loans and Financial Literacy at a Community College
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The research paper examines what students believe and understand about student loans and financial literacy at a local community college. Participants were interviewed using structured and semi-structured questions about student loans and financial literacy. Baxter Magolda’s Theory of Self-Authorship was used to analyze the results for this study. Analyzing the results, traditional college-aged students found the in-person loan entrance counseling beneficial. However first-time loan borrowers had a different experience compared to continuing students who were previous loan borrowers on how and what kind of knowledge that was retained on student loans. Students in the research study did not know the meaning of financial literacy, and when students were asked to describe what kind of financial literacy information they received, students defined financial literacy based on their financial priorities and what specific financial literacy information was valuable to them. Students also had similar responses on what kind of financial literacy information they would like to receive which reflected student’s personal financial status and what financial topics were important to them. Finally, students in the research study displayed various financial behaviors. Some students acknowledged that they needed to change their financial behavior, lacked financial understanding such as loan terminology, displayed proactive financial behaviors, and shared their experiences with other loans specifically car loans which affected students in how they managed their student loans.