Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level





Rapert, Molly


Individuals in rural communities face unprecedented economic challenges due to a lack of financial education and a decline in the prevalence of community banks. These problems have continuously grown exponentially without successful attempt at remedy. The community banks that once served as the center of economic activity and prevalence in rural communities are leaving these communities quickly- leaving many without access to lines of credit, personal relationship banking, and without necessary financial education in a world with more financial options than ever. Access to banking and higher financial literacy proficiency rates are almost directly linked to better financial outcomes like savings rates or retirement planning. Without proper research, guided action, and a more in-depth look at what exactly is going on, the rural population will continue to face the consequences of these forces. Current research is clear that this problem is both real and prevalent. What has not been clearly answered by current research, though, is what can be done to remedy this or if it is even efficient to do so given the current technological offerings of banks. Banking and policy leaders from rural areas know the dire situation the best and, therefore, can offer valuable insight to the issue. Currently (to the researcher’s knowledge), there exists no centralized research that brings together the ideas and experiences of these individuals. To accomplish just this, the research project gathered insights, data points, and other thoughts from these leaders via in-person meetings. Questions asked were both quantitative and qualitative in nature and the project synthesizes, analyzes, and compares their contributions and draws conclusions based on these findings. As stated above, this research is critical and it is believed that it will offer unprecedented insight, guidance, and recommendations to banking professionals, policy makers, and community leaders.


community bank, financial literacy, capital, rural, bank, finance