Date of Award

Spring 6-7-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Richard Baskerville

Second Advisor

Dr. Wesley Johnston

Third Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen


As the cost of higher education continues to grow at astounding rates, research shows that, in most cases, students and their families face some level of debt to pay for their undergraduate degrees (Layman, 2011). This research study will use an engaged scholarship approach to address the reason some students repay their educational debt and some students’ intent to repay their debt is quite different from the desired behavior. Additionally, we review the factors that affect students from underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds that are, unfortunately, the largest contributor of delinquent student loan debt. Specifically, this study will identify elements using qualitative measures that influence the student’s intent and behavior to act that will assist universities in policy development to change the perceived value and the academic sustainability of the student while understanding the student’s behavior related to socioeconomic barriers and self-sacrificing influences.

Additionally, two theories are used as lenses to ground this study. The theory of reasoned action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010) is used as the focal theory, and place attachment theory (Scannell & Gifford, 2010) is used as an instrumental theory. The empirical results of this study offer factors that influence educational debt repayment and policy design.