Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


There has been a proliferation of student loan debt over the past decade. The indebtedness that students incur while attending college reduces their discretionary income once they enter repayment after graduation. For graduates, there is an opportunity cost along with personal and professional life decisions being made based on this debt. For example, some students are choosing the enter the workforce after obtaining their undergraduate degree instead of pursuing a graduate degree. The purpose of this study was to examine the decisions that currently enrolled undergraduate students are making about obtaining student loans based on information supplied to them about their current indebtedness. This study utilized a quantitative, cross sectional research design that looked at students who were given a letter that detailed their current outstanding loan debt. The study then reviewed what decisions the student made about securing future federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loan amounts, and if they decided to decrease their borrowing amounts. A paired sample t-test was used to determine if there was a statistical difference between what students borrowed. The results of this study concluded that students borrowed less as a percentage of their total available loan funds after receiving the informational debt letter. Furthermore, this study showed the importance of educating students about their current level of indebtedness before they secure future student loans.



student loan debt