Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Nonprofit organizations--Employees; College graduates--United States--Finance, Personal; Nonprofit organizations--Vocational guidance;


In the United States today college students graduate with more than $35,000 in student loan debt (Berman, 2015). There is little research as to what the impact of this debt has had on the career choices and trajectories of these graduates particularly those considering entering the nonprofit sector. The nonprofit sector serves millions of people across the United States every year (National Center for Charitable Statistics, 2016). In order to stay current, these organizations need to hire highly qualified professionals. The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) offers a professional credential to students that enter their program. This credential titled Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) is a mark of the preparedness and readiness of college graduates to enter the nonprofit field. Those with a CNP are proven to be seven times more likely to rise to the level of director or higher in the nonprofit field than those who do not have the credential (Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, 2015a).

This study investigates Certified Nonprofit Professionals select demographics and career demographics and college student loan debt. The study analyzes Certified Nonprofit Professionals from around the country. Demographics that were considered include gender, graduation year, race, educational degree, student type (traditional, nontraditional, etc.) and leader/member (concerning the participant’s involvement in the student organization). Career demographics include sector of first job, length of time in first job, whether the respondents’ job was hourly or salary, and whether or not they had a second job.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Julianne Gassman

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 124 pages)



File Format