Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

  1. Evaluation of the 2011 GEAR UP priority: Lessons learned about integrating CSAs within GEAR UP

    The federally funded Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) is one of the most widely known U.S. programs which attempts to increase college enrollment and completion rates among disadvantaged students. GEAR UP has three main aims specifically targeted toward disadvantaged students historically underrepresented in higher education: (1) to increase academic performance and preparation for higher education, (2) to increase the rates of high school graduation and participation in higher education, and (3) to increase students’ and families’ knowledge of higher education options, including academic preparation and financing.

    In 2011, an invitational priority was announced by the Department of Education (DOE) that encouraged grant applicants to include financial access and Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) in their programming for students and their families. In a September press release, DOE announced 66 new GEAR UP grantees from the 2011 application cycle. Nineteen grantees were state entities and 47 were community-education partnerships.

    In 2012, researchers from the Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) at the University of Kansas launched a multi-method evaluation of 2011 GEAR UP grantees who accepted the invitational priority. AEDI combed through the GEAR UP applications and identified 33 grantees that explicitly stated in their abstracts the intention to open CSAs and/or teach financial education to students and their families. Among these 33 grantees, 25 programs completed AEDI’s initial survey. AEDI selected five programs to participate in a follow-up survey and in-depth interviews and focus groups during on-site visits. The study aimed to answer four primary research questions: (1) How well prepared do GEAR UP programs perceive themselves to be for planning and implementing CSAs? (2) What steps have GEAR UP programs taken to plan and implement CSAs? (3) What obstacles have GEAR UP programs encountered? and (4) What strategies have GEAR UP programs used to overcome obstacles that they encountered?

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (Ed.). (2013). Evaluation of the 2011 GEAR UP priority: Lessons learned about integrating CSAs within GEAR UP. Lawrence, KS: Asset and Education Initiative.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    Children's Savings Account Report Year 2013

  2. Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges

    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.

    Citation

    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

    Authors

    Cheatham, Greg, Smith, Sean J., Elliott III, William, Friedline, Terri

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  3. From Disadvantaged students to college graduates: The role of CSAs (Chapter 4 - Brief)

    Minority and low-income children have many of the same aspirations for college as more advantaged children, but their enrollment and completion rates lag. This contradiction between high expectations and constrained achievement provides one of the more vivid illustrations of failure of the education path to act as the great equalizer. Addressing the educational challenges facing disadvantaged children will require innovations that can create greater equality of opportunity, such that their innate talents and academic effort translate into meaningful access to college. Evidence points to differences in asset accumulation as part of the key to explaining educational gaps. Children’s savings for school, even at very low levels, may empower low-income high school graduates to enter and succeed in college. Some of these effects may be a result of children’s changed engagement with institutions, which they see as supportive of their aspirations and consistent with their normative expectations. Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) can be a step toward changing the educational trajectories of disadvantaged, but talented, children in the U.S.

    Related items: Briefs:

    From a Debt-Dependent to an Asset-Based Financial Aid Model Institutional Facilitation and CSA Effects CSAs As An Early Commitment Financial Aid Strategy How CSAs Facilitate Saving and Asset Accumulation Designing for Success Investing In Our Future Children’s Savings Accounts and a 21st Century Financial Aid System Executive Summary

    Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and The Future of Higher Education Infographics

    College Savings Accounts: More Degrees, Less Debt The Role of Institutional Facilitation in Academic Success Reports

    Examining The Canadian Education Savings Program and Its Implications for U.S. Child Savings Accounts (CSA) Policy

    Citation

    Elliott, W. & Rauscher, E. (2013). From disadvantaged students to college graduates: The role of CSAs (Chapter 4 - Brief). In W. Elliott (Ed.), Giving children a financial stake in college: Are CSAs a way to help maximize financial aid dollars? (Biannual Report of the Assets and Education Field). Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Rauscher, Emily

    Children's Savings Account Brief Year 2013

  4. High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes

    Student debt is understood as an investment in expanding access to higher education, but there is some evidence that debt may work at cross-purposes by impairing or, at least, failing to support, educational outcomes.

    For some students, the prospect of high-dollar student debt may discourage enrollment.

    Low-income students who are loan-averse may actually decide not to enroll in college at all in order to avoid debt.

    Debt over a certain amount (about $10,000) may depress graduation rates and harm post-college financial security, especially for those in the bottom 75% of the income distribution.

    As the student debt threshold level increases so too does the dropout level, particularly for poor and minority students.

    Higher student loan debt in the first year of college may be associated with lower probabilities of graduating from college among low-income and black students.

    Studies suggest that a $1,000 increase in student debt is associated with a 3% increase in students dropping out of college.

    Student debt is an ineffective tool with which to tackle the U.S.’ greatest educational challenge: helping students prepare to succeed academically in college. Unlike college savings programs, the prospect of costly student debt does not motivate students to prepare for college.

    Related items: Briefs

    Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Infographics

    Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Brief Year 2013

  5. How CSAs facilitate saving and asset accumulation (Chapter 5 - Brief)

    Traditional theories of savings would lead observers to believe that low-income children are unlikely to accumulate any assets, given their limited incomes and their parents’ limited ability to transmit financial knowledge and skills. However, empirical evidence and institutional theory suggest that low-income children can indeed save and that crafting structures that can facilitate their saving—including Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs)—may help savings to serve as a pathway to economic mobility for these disadvantaged youth.

    Related items: Briefs:

    From a Debt-Dependent to an Asset-Based Financial Aid Model Institutional Facilitation and CSA Effects CSAs As An Early Commitment Financial Aid Strategy From Disadvantaged Student to College Graduates: The Role of CSAs Designing for Success Investing In Our Future Children’s Savings Accounts and a 21st Century Financial Aid System Executive Summary

    Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and The Future of Higher Education Infographics

    College Savings Accounts: More Degrees, Less Debt The Role of Institutional Facilitation in Academic Success Reports

    Examining The Canadian Education Savings Program and Its Implications for U.S. Child Savings Accounts (CSA) Policy

    Citation

    Elliott, W, Friedline, T., and Kakatoi, S. (2013). How CSAs facilitate saving and asset accumulation (Chapter 5 - Brief). In W. Elliott (Ed.), Giving children a financial stake in college: Are CSAs a way to help maximize financial aid dollars? (Biannual Report for the Assets and Education Field). Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Friedline, Terri, Kakoti, Sally

    Children's Savings Account Brief Year 2013

  6. Improving college progress among low- to moderate-income (LMI) young adults: The role of assets

    Little is known about the impact of assets on low- to -moderate-income (LMI) young adults’ college progress. In this study college progress refers to young adults who were currently enrolled in, or who have a degree from, a 2-year college or a 4-year college. Findings from this study suggest LMI young adults with school savings were more than three times as likely to be on course than LMI young adults without any savings or who had savings but had not designated any of it for school. In regard to net worth, we found no evidence to suggest that higher amounts of negative net worth were statistically significant; however, high positive net worth was associated with LMI young adults college progress. Findings suggest policy instruments designed to assist adolescents to save such as universal Child Development Accounts may be a simple and effective strategy for helping to keep LMI young adults on course.

    Citation

    Elliott, W., Constance-Huggins, M.,* and Song, H.* (2013). Improving college progress among low- to moderate-income (LMI) young adults: The role of assets. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 34, 382-399.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Constance-Huggins, Monique, Song, Hyun-a

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  7. Institutional Facilitation and CSA Effects (Chapter 2 - Brief)

    In addition to helping children finance college, much of the interest in creating asset-building policies for children is based on their potential for changing how children think and act. An institutional facilitation theory can help explain how assets may influence children’s expectations for college and in turn, their educational outcomes. This theoretical understanding can also guide CSA policy, to maximize the potential for positive impact on children’s educations.

    Related items: Briefs:

    From a Debt-Dependent to an Asset-Based Financial Aid Model CSAs As An Early Commitment Financial Aid Strategy From Disadvantaged Student to College Graduates: The Role of CSAs How CSAs Facilitate Saving and Asset Accumulation Designing for Success Investing In Our Future Children’s Savings Accounts and a 21st Century Financial Aid System Executive Summary

    Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and The Future of Higher Education Infographics

    College Savings Accounts: More Degrees, Less Debt The Role of Institutional Facilitation in Academic Success Reports

    Examining The Canadian Education Savings Program and Its Implications for U.S. Child Savings Accounts (CSA) Policy

    Citation

    Elliott, W., & Sherraden, M. S. (2013). Institutional Facilitation and CSA Effects (Chapter 2 - Brief). In W. Elliott (Ed.), Giving Children a financial stake in college: Are CSAs a way to help maximize financial aid dollars? (Biannual Report On the Assets And Education Field). Lawrence, KS: Assets And Education Initiative.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Sherraden, Margaret Sherrard

    Children's Savings Account Brief Year 2013

  8. Investing in our future: Moving from adequacy to asset-building, and improving educational outcomes (Chapter 6 – Brief 2)

    Part of the explanation for rising inequity in educational attainment between disadvantaged children and their wealthier peers may be found in the different access to capital development—human and financial—afforded to these groups of children, within U.S. policy structures. Where wealthy children benefit from their families’ ability to make college a likely part of their future, low-income children are more likely to perceive increasing college costs as insurmountable burdens. Where wealthy families receive considerable tax benefits from participating in state 529 college savings plans, low-income families participating in means-tested public assistance face strict penalties if they save money. These inequities are manifest, then, in lower college enrollment and graduation rates for disadvantaged children, and we collectively pay the price in lost productivity and a constrained ability to compete in the global economy.

    To the extent to which evidence suggests that assets can alter these educational trajectories, CSA policy may be considered an investment in our shared future. CSAs would provide an alternative to current consumption-based welfare supports for low-income households and may help to close the gaps by using the lever of U.S. policy commitment to provide disadvantaged children with access to transformative asset development.

    Related items: Briefs:

    From a Debt-Dependent to an Asset-Based Financial Aid Model Institutional Facilitation and CSA Effects CSAs As An Early Commitment Financial Aid Strategy From Disadvantaged Student to College Graduates: The Role of CSAs How CSAs Facilitate Saving and Asset Accumulation Designing for Success Children’s Savings Accounts and a 21st Century Financial Aid System Executive Summary

    Building Expectations, Delivering Results: Asset-Based Financial Aid and The Future of Higher Education Infographics

    College Savings Accounts: More Degrees, Less Debt The Role of Institutional Facilitation in Academic Success Reports

    Examining The Canadian Education Savings Program and Its Implications for U.S. Child Savings Accounts (CSA) Policy

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Lewis, M., Elliott, W., Cramer, R. and Black, R. (2013). Investing in our future: Moving from adequacy to asset-building, and improving educational outcomes (Chapter 6 – Brief 2). In W. Elliott (Ed.), Giving children a financial stake in college: Are CSAs a way to help maximize financial aid dollars? (Biannual Report on the Assets and Education Field). Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative.

    Authors

    Lewis, Melinda, Elliott III, William, Cramer, Reid, Black, Rachel

    Children's Savings Account Brief Year 2013

  9. Is student debt jeopardizing the short-term financial health of U.S. households.

    In this study, the authors use the Survey of Consumer Finances to determine whether student loans are associated with household net worth. They find that median 2009 net worth ($117,700) for households with no outstanding student loan debt is nearly three times higher than for households with outstanding student loan debt ($42,800). Further, multivariate statistics indicate that households with outstanding student loan debt and a median 2007 net worth of $128,828 incur a loss of about 54 percent of net worth in 2009 compared with households with similar net worth levels but no student loan debt over the same period. The main policy implication of this study is that outstanding student debt may jeopardize the short-run financial health of households. However, this topic is complex and more research is needed before suggesting policy prescriptions.

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2013). Is student debt jeopardizing the short-term financial health of U.S. households. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Review, 95(5), 1-20.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Nam, Ilsung

    College Debt Journal Article Year 2013

  10. Policies to promote economic stability, asset building, and child development

    This paper makes the case that the pattern low-income families walk into is a present time-oriented or consumption-based welfare system, with attendant incentives and disincentives; in contrast, the pattern higher-income families walk into is future-oriented or asset-based. These two divergent systems do not deliver equitable educational outcomes for children. To ensure that higher education can play an equalizing role in the U.S. economy, the nation needs a better welfare system for the poor, one that builds on the asset-accumulation structures that serve the needs of advantaged families. This new institutional approach would undo the current system of educational advantages for higher-income children over low-income children and, in turn, redress educational inequalities in America. In order to create a level playing field welfare policies are needed that enable low-income families to accumulate assets. In this paper we discuss policies that might help low-income families accumulate assets, including modifications to existing income supports, as well as the development of complementary asset-based institutions.

    Citation

    Lewis, M., Cramer, R., Elliott, W., and Spraque, A. (2013). Policies to promote economic stability, asset building, and child development. Children and Youth Services Review, 36, 15-21.

    Authors

    Lewis, Melinda, Cramer, Reid, Elliott III, William, Sprague, Aleta

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2013

  11. Probability of living through a period of economic instability

    Welfare Based on Assets, a Way to Smooth Out Economic Instability and Develop Children's Human Capital is a four-part series of reports that focuses on the relationship between economic instability (i.e., income shocks, asset shocks, home loss, and asset poverty) and children's human capital development. Collectively, these reports build on the compelling observation that the pattern low-income families walk into is a present time oriented or consumption based pattern of behavior; in contrast, the pattern higher income families walk into is future oriented or asset based. In this first paper we find that between 2005 and 2009 the probability of a low-income child living through an income shock is between 43% (major shock) and 55% (minor shock). In contrast, the chance of a high-income child experiencing an income shock is between 6% (major shock) and 15% (minor shock) during the same period. We also find that the probability that a child will experience a net worth asset shock close to doubles for a child living in a black or low-incom

    Citation

    Elliott, W., Nam, I., and Friedline, T. (2013). Probability of living through a period of economic instability. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), p. 453-460.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Nam, Ilsung, Friedline, Terri

    Wealth Transfer Journal Article Year 2013

  12. Reimagining how students and families pay for college: From debt dependency to asset reliance

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (2013). Reimagining how students and families pay for college: From debt dependency to asset reliance (CSD Fact Sheet 13-29). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    College Debt Fact Sheet Year 2013

  13. Small-dollar accounts, children's college outcomes and wilt

    This is paper four of four in the Small-Dollar Children's Savings Account series, which studies the relationship between children's small-dollar savings accounts and college enrollment and graduation. This series of papers examines three important research questions using different subsamples: (a) Are children with savings of their own more likely to attend or graduate from college? (b) Does dosage (i.e., having no account, only basic savings, savings designated for school [of less than $1, $1 to $499, or $500 or more]) matte? And (c) is having savings designated for school more predictive than having basic savings alone? In this study we use a sample of children who expect to graduate college prior to leaving high school as a way of looking at wilt. In this study “wilt” occurs when a child who expects to graduate from college while in high school does not graduate college by 2009. Using propensity score weighted data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and its supplements we created multi-treatment dosages of savings accounts and amounts to answer the previous questions. We find that in the aggregate children who expect to graduate college prior to leaving high school (high-expectation children) and who designate savings for school of $500 or more are about two times more likely to graduate college than high-expectation children with no account. High-expectation low- and moderate-income (LMI) children who designate school savings of $1 to $499 and $500 or more are about three times more likely to graduate college than LMI children with no account. Further, high-expectation black children who have school savings of $500 or more are about two and half times more likely to graduate from college than their counterparts with no savings account.

    Citation

    Elliott, W., Song, H-a, and Nam, I. (2013). Small-dollar accounts, children's college outcomes and wilt. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (3), p. 535-547.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Song, Hyun-a, Nam, Ilsung

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  14. Small-dollar children’s saving accounts and children's college outcomes by income level

    This is paper two of four in the small-dollar children's savings account series in this issue that examines the relationship between children's small-dollar savings accounts and college enrollment and graduation. This series of papers uses different subsamples to examine three important research questions: (a) Are children with savings of their own more likely to attend or graduate from college; (b) Does dose (no account, only basic savings, savings designated for school of less than $1, $1 to $499, or $500 or more) matter; and (c) Is designating savings for school more predictive than having basic savings alone. Using propensity score weighted data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its supplements we created multi-treatment doses of savings accounts and amounts to answer these questions separately for children from low- and moderate-income (below $50,000; n = 512) and high income ($50,000 or above; n = 345) households. We find that low- and moderate-income children may be more likely to enroll in and graduate from college when they have small-dollar savings accounts with money designated for school. A low- and moderate-income child who has school savings of $1 to $499 prior to reaching college age is over three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate from college than a child with no savings account. These findings lead to policy implications that are also discussed.

    Citation

    Elliott, W., Song, H-a, and Nam, I. (2013). Small-dollar children’s saving accounts and children's college outcomes by income level. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (3), p. 560-571.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Song, Hyun-a, Nam, Ilsung

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  15. Small-dollar children’s savings accounts and children's college outcomes

    This is paper one of four in the small-dollar children's savings account series, which, studies the relationship between children's small-dollar savings accounts and college enrollment and graduation. This series of papers uses different subsamples to examine three important research questions: (a) are children with savings of their own more likely to attend or graduate from college? (b) does dose (i.e., having no account, only basic savings, savings designated for school [of less than $1, $1 to $499, or $500 or more]) matter? and (c) is having savings designated for school more predictive than having basic savings alone? Paper one of this series uses aggregate data from the newest wave of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and its supplements. Propensity score weighted findings suggest that children who have a small amount of money (e.g., less than $1 or $1 to $499) designated for school are 3 times and 2.5 times more likely, respectively, to enroll in and graduate from college, respectively, than children with no account. Findings also show that having savings designated for school might have a stronger effect on relationship with children's college outcomes than having basic savings that can be used for any purpose. The paper concludes by explaining how policies that create national children's savings programs might help cue a psychological process in which children form an identities as college-savers.

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (2013). Small-dollar children’s savings accounts and children's college outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (3), p. 572-585.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  16. Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes

    The financial aid system for low-income students mostly revolves around extending availability of student debt, while higher-income students benefit from asset-based investments, largely administered through the tax code. The result of this divide is seen in poorer educational outcomes for disadvantaged students and an erosion of the equalizing effects of higher education. Policy changes—in higher education and financing, taxation and public assistance, financial aid, and asset accumulation—can reset these respective paths, bringing greater equity and improved educational outcomes, particularly for currently-disadvantaged students.

    Related items: Briefs

    Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Infographics

    Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Brief Year 2013

  17. Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets

    The purpose of higher education is, in large part, to position students for later economic success. While those with college degrees command higher lifetime salaries than less-educated Americans, there is reason to worry that beginning adulthood burdened with significant loan balances may compromise household economic security by tilting balance sheets decidedly toward liabilities.

    About 18 percent of households in our sample have outstanding student debt. The average family in 2007 had about $26,018 in student debt, and this outstanding student debt can have a negative effect on household net worth. Specifically, median 2009 net worth for a household with no outstanding student debt is nearly three times higher than for a household with outstanding student debt.

    The recession seemed to hit households with student debt harder than those without such liabilities. The change in net worth between 2007 and 2009 represents a higher percentage of total 2009 net worth for households with outstanding student debt than it does for households with no outstanding student debt.

    A hypothetical household with exactly median 2007 net worth ($128,828) with outstanding student loans is associated with a loss of about 54% in 2009 net worth compared with a household with similar net worth but no student debt.

    The increasing student debt burden on households may not be equally shared at different wealth levels. While households at the 15th percentile of net worth with outstanding student debt lost less net worth than similar households at the 50th percentile from 2007 to 2009, the loss for households at the 15th percentile represents 285% of their 2009 net worth but only 54% for households at the 50th percentile.

    College graduation is not adequate protection against this loss of net worth. Living in a household with a four-year college graduate with outstanding student debt is associated with a net worth loss of $185,995.90 (about 63% less) compared with living in a household with a four-year college graduate with no outstanding debt.

    Others have found that an average student debt burden for a dual-headed household with bachelors’ degrees from four-year universities leads to a lifetime wealth loss of nearly $208,000.1 Over time, then, students with outstanding student debt make up some of the wealth loss, likely through leveraging their increased human capital into earnings potential. However, it appears that they still end up far behind their peers without student debt.

    Read the brief Related items: Briefs

    Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Infographics

    Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Brief Year 2013

  18. Student loans are not the answer

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (July, 2013). Op-Ed. Student loans are not the answer. Politico.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    College Debt Op-Ed Year 2013

  19. Student Loans are Widening the Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity

    Higher education plays a critical role in the U.S. economy, creating a ladder of economic opportunity for American children, especially for those in poverty. However, despite our collective belief in an American dream of equitable opportunities for all, higher education today increasingly reinforces patterns of relative privilege, particularly as students rely more and more on student loans to finance college access. As borrowing reduces the return on a college degree—by failing to support strong educational attainment and by compromising post-graduation financial security— the inequity of our financial aid system is laid bare. By investing in student borrowing to the exclusion of asset-based approaches with the potential to deliver superior outcomes, we jeopardize the legitimacy of the American dream.

    Reimagining financial aid to include asset accumulation for those currently disadvantaged has the potential to meet one of our most critical challenges: equipping enough students to succeed in college education to power future societal economic prosperity, at a cost individual students and our collective economy can afford. This report challenges current assumptions about the innocent nature of student loans and proposes asset-based complements that could transform higher education into an institution of equitable opportunity and a foundation of a revitalized America.

    Related items: Briefs

    Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Infographics

    Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Elliott, W. and Lewis, M. (2013). Are student loans widening the wealth gap in America? It’s a question of equity. Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI).

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Report Year 2013

  20. Testing an asset-building approach for young people: Early access to savings predicts later savings

    A major hypothesis of asset-building is that early access to savings accounts leads to continued and improved educational and economic outcomes over time. This study asks whether or not young adults (ages 18-22) in 2007, particularly among lower income households, are significantly more likely to own savings accounts and to accumulate more savings when they have access to savings accounts at banking institutions as adolescents (ages 13-17) in 2002. We investigate this question using longitudinal data (low-to-moderate income sample [LMI; N = 530]; low-income sample [LI; N = 354]) from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its supplements. Results from propensity score weighting and bivariate probit estimates support this hypothesis. Asset-building policies that extend early access to savings accounts may improve savings outcomes for young people from lower income households, which hopefully affords them with the economic resources needed to lead productive and satisfying lives.

    Citation

    Friedline, T., Elliott, W., and Chowa, G. (2013). Testing an asset-building approach for young people: Early access to savings predicts later savings. Economics of Education Review, 33(1), pp. 31-51.

    Authors

    Friedline, Terri, Elliott III, William, Chowa, Gina A.N.

    Children's Savings Account / Financial Inclusion Journal Article Year 2013

  21. The effects of economic instability on children’s educational outcomes

    Welfare Based on Assets, a Way to Smooth Out Economic Instability and Develop Children's Human Capital is a four-part series of papers that focuses on the relationship between economic instability (i.e., income shocks, asset shocks, home loss, and asset poverty) and children's human capital development. Collectively, these reports build on the compelling observation that the pattern low-income families walk into is a present time oriented or consumption based pattern of behavior; in contrast, the pattern higher income families walk into is future oriented or asset based. In the third paper we find in most cases income shocks and asset shocks do not appear to be harmful to children's educational outcomes. However, children living in liquid and net worth asset poor families have lower academic achievement scores, high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college graduation rates than children living in families that are asset sufficient. Overall, findings can be interpreted as suggesting that a bifurcated welfare system, with income-based programs for poor families and asset-based programs for higher income families, may provide higher income families with an educational advantage over low-income families and might ultimately help exacerbate educational inequalities in America.

    Citation

    Elliott, W. (2013). The effects of economic instability on children’s educational outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), p. 461-471.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2013

  22. The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough To Say, "Students Will Eventually Recover"

    According to Shapiro, the American Dream “is the promise that those who work equally hard will reap roughly equal rewards” (Shapiro, 2004, p. 87); that is, the American Dream holds that this country is a meritocracy where effort and ability are the primary determinants of success. Institutions provide the economic conditions that make it possible for people to believe that their hard work and ability will determine their success or failure. This task is facilitated by Americans’ strong desire to feel as though their destiny can be controlled and that institutions will ‘echo’ their own contributions, rather than work against them.1 Primed to look for evidence of this ‘effort plus ability equals outcomes’ equation, Americans cling to this ideal, even as it recedes in reality for many. There is no evidence that Americans today are less capable or less committed than in previous generations, in the aggregate. Instead, particularly in today’s highly specialized, technology driven, global world, the upward mobility that animates the American Dream is only possible if effort and ability are combined with institutional might.

    Related items: Briefs

    Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity Infographics

    Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Executive Summary Year 2013

  23. Today: Two Paths To Higher Ed

    Higher education plays a critical role in the U.S. economy, creating a ladder of economic opportunity for American children, especially for those in poverty. However, despite our collective belief in an American dream of equitable opportunities for all, higher education today increasingly reinforces patterns of relative privilege, particularly as students rely more and more on student loans to finance college access. As borrowing reduces the return on a college degree— by failing to support strong educational attainment and by compromising post-graduation financial security—the inequity of our financial aid system is laid bare. By supporting and investing in asset-based savings approaches for all U.S. children, we have the potential to deliver superior outcomes and strengthen the American dream.

    Related items: Briefs

    Student Loan Debt Threatens Household Balance Sheets Status Quo: Divergent Financial Aid Systems Yield Disparate Outcomes High-Dollar Student Debt May Compromise Educational Outcomes Before College: Building Expectations and Facilitating Achievement Executive Summary

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Infographics

    Student Loan Debt: Consequences Tomorrow . . . And For Years to Come Reports

    Student Loans are Widening The Wealth Gap: Time to Focus on Equity The Student Loan Problem in America: It is Not Enough to Say, “Students Will Eventually Recover” Unequal Outcomes: Student Loan Effects on Young Adults’ Net Worth Accumulation

    Read Publication

    Citation

    Elliott, W. and Lewis, M. (2013). Are student loans widening the wealth gap in America? It’s a question of equity. Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI).

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Lewis, Melinda

    College Debt Infographic Year 2013

  24. “You pay your share, we’ll pay our share”: The college cost burden and the role of race, income, and college assets

    Changes in financial aid policies raise questions about students being asked to pay too much for college and whether parents’ college savings for their children helps reduce the burden on students to pay for college. Using trivariate probit analysis with predicted probabilities, in this exploratory study we find recent changes in the financial aid system place a higher responsibility on African American, Latino/Hispanic, and moderate-income students to pay for college themselves. We also find when parents open a savings account, start a state-sponsored savings plan, or open a college investment fund students are less likely to pay for college with student contributions. Therefore, we suggest in addition to grants and scholarships, policies that encourage accumulation of savings for college among minority and lower income families may help reduce the college cost burden they experience.

    Citation

    Elliott, W. and Friedline, T. (2013). “You pay your share, we’ll pay our share”: The college cost burden and the role of race, income, and college assets. Economics of Education Review, 33(1), pp. 134-153.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Friedline, Terri

    College Debt Journal Article Year 2013

  25. Direct effects of assets and savings on the college progress of Black young adults

    Descriptive data indicate that 62% of White young adults between the ages of 17 and 23 years were on course (i.e., either in college or have graduated from college) in 2007, compared with only 37% of Black young adults. Given this, finding novel and promising ways to promote college progress among Black young adults, in particular, is a growing concern for policy makers. Controlling for a number of factors, the authors find that young adults who have school savings as adolescents are more likely to be on course than young adults who did not have school savings regardless of race. The authors conclude that policies that help parents and adolescents accumulate savings may be a simple and effective strategy for helping keep young adults “on course” in their college education, while taking on less debt.

    Citation

    Elliott, W. and Nam, I.* (2012). Direct effects of assets and savings on the college progress of Black young adults. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(1), 89-108.

    Authors

    Elliott III, William, Nam, Ilsung

    Children's Savings Account Journal Article Year 2012