Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Assets and Liabilities, Educational Expectations, and Children’s College Degree Attainment

This research examines relationships among household assets and liabilities, educational expectations of children and parents, and children’s college degree attainment. Special attention is paid to influences of different asset types (financial vs. nonfinancial assets) and liabilities (secured vs. unsecured debt). Results indicate that, after controlling for family income and other parent/child characteristics, financial and nonfinancial assets are positively related to, and unsecured debt is negatively related to, children’s college completion. Furthermore, there is evidence that financial assets are positively associated with the education expectations of parents and children. Policy directions are suggested.

Project: College Success


Zhan, M., & Sherraden, M. (2009). Assets and liabilities, educational expectations, and children’s college degree attainment (CSD Working Paper No. 09-60). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.