Asset Building Briefs & Summaries Financial Inclusion

The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing “Wilt” Between Expectations and College Attendance

Access to college in America is widely believed to be based on merit, but soaring costs have made college an elusive goal for many. This study seeks to define the determinants of “wilt”, which occurs when a young person who expects to graduate from college has not completed this goal by ages 19-22. The findings indicate that youth with a savings account designated for school are almost four times more likely to attend than those without an account. Policy implications are discussed.

This briefs concisely summarizes key points from CSD Working Paper 10-01, which bears the same title. The paper was published in 2011 by the  Journal of Children & Poverty.

Project: College Success


Elliott, W., III, & Beverly, S. (2010, January). The role of savings and wealth in reducing “wilt” between expectations and college attendance (CSD Research Brief No. 10-04). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.