Personal Finance Beliefs and Behaviors: A Longitudinal Analysis of Pharmacy Graduates

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Objectives: 1) Describe personal finance (PF) perceptions of the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Gatton College of Pharmacy Class of 2014 upon and 1-year post-graduation; 2) Examine the association between PF elective course completion during pharmacy school and post-graduation PF behaviors. Method: Students enrolled in the ETSU Class of 2014 completed a self-administered questionnaire that assessed student characteristics (e.g, participation in a PF elective during school), PF characteristics (e.g., student loan indebtedness), perceptions (e.g., confidence in ability to manage PF), and behaviors (e.g., monthly budgeting) one week prior to graduation and 18 months post-graduation. Paired and independent samples statistical analyses were conducted to examine changes in responses over time and PF course participation. Results: Sixty percent of the cohort completed both questionnaires. Students reported an average student loan debt balance of $155,571 (±$83,853) 18 months post-graduation and average loan term length of 17.3 (±8) years. Students’ concerns about their student loan debt were significantly higher prior to graduation as compared to 18 months post (p=0.01). No significant differences were noted for student loan debt amount or student loan term length across PF elective participation. Students who took the personal finance elective were significantly more likely to develop monthly budgets (p=0.01) and report positive career satisfaction as compared to students who did not (p=0.04) 18 months post-graduation. Implications: To our knowledge, this is the first study to track PF perceptions and behaviors of pharmacy graduates longitudinally. Continued tracking and analysis will inform PF curricular integration and alumni personal and professional development.


Anaheim, CA

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© Copyright American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. This abstract was originally published in (2016). 117th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Anaheim, California, July 23-27, 2016. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 80, Issue 5, Article S2.

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