Students with disabilities are increasingly enrolling and participating in two-year, four-year, and other institutions of higher education. Federal policies and initiatives addressing the educational needs of students and adults with disabilities provided impetus for these increases. For example, mandates within the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) have resulted in K-12 public schools increasingly preparing students for postsecondary education. Nonetheless, students with disabilities continue to face financial challenges as well as low educational expectations in their pursuit of postsecondary education. Family assets may provide a framework for addressing these challenges and provide specific implications for policy as well as educational practice.
Cheatham, G., Smith, S. J., Elliott, W., & Friedline, T. (2013). Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges. Children and Youth Services Review 35(7), pp. 1078-1086
This is the first study to examine whether parents’ college savings is positively associated with enrollment in postsecondary education of students in special education programs. In addition to examining postsecondary school enrollment among students with disabilities, we also examine whether students’ and parents’ college expectations act as a mediator between parents’ college savings and postsecondary school enrollment. We find that while not all types of college savings are associated with postsecondary enrollment, college bonds are a consistent and strong statistically significant predictor of postsecondary enrollment of students with disabilities. Further, we find evidence that students’ and parents’ college expectations act as a partial mediator between college bonds and enrollment in postsecondary school.
Cheatham, G. and Elliott, W. (2013). The effects of college savings on postsecondary school enrollment rates of students with disabilities. Economics of Education Review, 33(1), pp. 95-111.