Date of Award



© 2021 Crystal L. Harris

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Aniello Trotta

Second Advisor

Laura Bertonazzi

Third Advisor

Karla Hull


As the largest generational cohort in the workforce, millennials are poised and ready to take over the leadership helm. Even with the plethora of data about millennials, there is still a gap in the research literature about millennial leaders in higher education. Currently, higher education leadership research typically focuses on executive roles although providing access, helping students persist, and getting them graduated thrive in offices like financial aid. The purpose of this study was to explore how attitudes, beliefs, and values influence the leadership experiences of millennial financial aid administrators in higher education. This study sought a diverse group of financial aid administrators to address two questions, what are the leadership experiences of millennial financial aid administrators in higher education based on their attitudes, beliefs, and values and do psychographics (attitudes, beliefs, and values) have an impact on how millennial financial aid administrators in higher education describe their leadership style? Using semi structured interview questions rooted in addressing attitudes, beliefs, and values, the analysis uncovered five major themes from the participants’ experiences associated with understanding psychographics, the adaptable millennial, disconnect to empathy, holistic financial aid practices, and a need for progression. This study showed that experiences can be expressed through psychographics, and attitudes, beliefs, and values can influence a person's leadership style. Based on the study’s findings it was recommended that the role of the financial aid administrator be re-imaged to align with current generational leaders and educating campus partners about the dynamics and influence of financial aid offices.


Ed.D. Dissertation