USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Hughes Bruce

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. Rebecca Harris, Ph. D. Economics Instructor, Kate Tiedemann College of Business

Second Advisor

Thesis Committee Member: Dr. Xiaomin Guo, Ph. D., CFP Instructor of Finance, Kate Tiedemann College of Business

Third Advisor

Honors Program Director: Dr. Thomas Smith, Ph. D Professor of Political Science


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued



The United States has had an overall decline in financial literacy over the past decade which can have devastating consequences if not solved as soon as possible. While the issue is known by many in a general sense, not enough is known about how different demographics are affected and not enough is being done to solve the problem. Using both general trends as well as specific and empirical studies, this thesis aims to present a complete review of the issue including identifying the most troubled areas and providing several ways in which the United States can begin to combat the problem. This thesis’ findings show that those who need financial education the most are not receiving it as much as they should. Providing financial education to those who truly need it will not only improve the lives of many Americans, but it will also improve the overall economy of the United States. Policymakers and those in positions to influence financial education can use these findings to better implement financial education programs.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg May 8th, 2020.