Increasingly, college graduation is seen as a necessary step toward achieving the American Dream. However, large disparities exist in graduation rates. This study examines the college progress of young adults. Findings suggest that 57% of young adults between the ages of 17 and 23 are “on course,” that is, are currently attending or have graduated from college. Those with family assets and savings of their own are more likely to be on course. In multivariate analysis, both net worth and youth school savings are strong predictors of college progress. Youth school savings and parental savings for youth are strong predictors of youth’s college expectations and appear to have indirect effects on college progress, through expectations.
Subsequent publication: Elliott, W., III, & Beverly, S. G. (2011). Staying on course: The effects of savings and assets on the college progress of young adults. American Journal of Education, 117(3), 343–374. doi:10.1086/659211
Project: College Success