An investigation of the level of financial aid knowledge and degree of satisfaction among students at Tennessee State University

Terri L Allgood, Tennessee State University


In higher education, the opportunity to persist is problematic for many reasons but for most students, affordability poses the greatest challenge. Given that a majority of today's students are either uninformed about the financial aid process or misinformed about the financial aid process, the animus of this study was to determine the level of financial aid knowledge of Tennessee State University students. Noting that another potential threat to post-secondary scholarship is lack of motivation, the study also sought to ascertain the level of motivation to persist for students at Tennessee State University. Last, the study gauged the degree of satisfaction students had with the Financial Aid Office at Tennessee State University. At the .05 level of significance, nine null research hypotheses were tested to answer these questions: Are students knowledgeable of financial aid? Do they have a financial game plan? Are they motivated to persist? Are they satisfied with the campus Financial Aid Office? Through perpetual observation of Tennessee State University students' lack of literacy and unpreparedness in financial aid matters, coupled with their continual complaints about the Financial Aid Office, this study was thus fueled by the researcher. Using a qualitative, descriptive research model, data was collated from subjects completing the Tennessee State University Financial Aid Survey - Fall/Spring 2003–2004 . This 18-question instrument was administered to a sample of 404 students of all enrollment levels, all receiving federal financial aid, during the fall and spring terms of 2003–2004. Summary findings and conclusions of the research revealed that Tennessee State University students had some knowledge of financial aid, although minimal; they were late planners, although motivated to complete FAFSAs themselves; and finally, they were most dissatisfied with the length of the process, current office structure, office personnel, and levels of service. Remembering that the mission of Tennessee State University is to educate and serve, we must develop students who are responsible in citizenship and leadership and this can begin with the Financial Aid Office.

Subject Area

School administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Terri L Allgood, "An investigation of the level of financial aid knowledge and degree of satisfaction among students at Tennessee State University" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3167768.