“Wilt” occurs when a young person who expects to attend college while in high school does not attend college shortly after graduating. In this study we find that youth with no account in their own name are more likely to experience wilt than any other group examined. In multivariate analysis, youth who expect to graduate from a four-year college and have an account are approximately seven times more likely to attend college than youth who have no account. Youth who expect to graduate from a four-year college and have designated a portion of their savings for college are approximately four times more likely to attend college than youth who have no account. Additionally, when savings is taken into account, academic achievement is no longer a significant predictor of college attendance. Policy implications are discussed.
The paper’s key points are concisely summarized in CSD Research Brief 10-04, which bears the same title.
Subsequent publication: Elliott, W., III, & Beverly, S. (2011). The role of savings and wealth in reducing “wilt” between expectations and college attendance. Journal of Children & Poverty, 17(2), 165–185. doi:10.1080/10796126.2011.538375
Project: College Success