Asset Building Financial Inclusion Practice & Research Tools

The Impact of Family Assets and Debt on College Graduation

There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in college graduation rates. Pairing that with rising college costs and the recent recession has negatively affected the net worth of minority households. We examine the extent to which parents’ financial assets and debt influence their children’s chances of graduating from college. We devote special attention to racial/ethnic gaps in rates of college graduation. Both assets and debt are measured during the time of college enrollment.

Project: College Success


Zhan, M., & Lanessko, D. (2013, October). The impact of family assets and debt on college graduation (CSD Fact Sheet No. 13-37). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.