Date of Conferral







Leilani Gjellstad


Florida implemented Statute 1009.45 as of July 1, 2017, to require colleges and universities to provide annual student loan debt notifications to students to inform them about their student loan obligations. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to examine how college students in the State of Florida make financial decisions about their education, focusing on the influence of the notifications and what additional supports would help them improve their decision-making. There was a gap in the literature in identifying what information students were using from the notification. Rational choice and human capital theories were used for the conceptual frameworks. Both theories provide details on how and why individuals make decisions about their current and future status. The research question attempted to identify what student loan borrowers report as important when making financial decisions about their education and how they use the information on the notification. Ten participants were interviewed who were 18 or older, were undergraduate or graduate students at a college in Florida, and borrowed federal student loans between 2018 and 2022. Collected data were coded in search of categories, subcategories, and emergent themes. The finding showed that students support Statute 1009.45; however, there is a gap in delivering and presenting the notification to students. To effect positive change, the results may be used to provide political leaders, higher education leaders, and other stakeholders in Florida with information to assess some positive and negative aspects of Statute 1009.4. This study was important because of student loan debt's financial impact on borrowers and the economy.