Articles & Special Issues Asset Building Financial Inclusion

What Shapes Assessment of Ability to Pay for Children’s College Education?

Many parents have concerns about the cost of their child’s college and lack information about preparing for those expenses. Parents’ assessment of ability to pay for college are likely to influence their investments in a child’s education, and may in turn affect the child’s educational commitment and attainment. These potential outcomes lead us to investigate what accounts for parents’ assessment. We use logistic regression to analyze data collected from mothers with newborn children (N = 2,566). The findings demonstrate that the mother’s assessment of ability to pay for the child’s education are significantly associated with material hardship experiences, financial management skills, educational expectations, and her education level. We discuss research and policy implications of promoting positive financial assessment for college early.

Project: SEED for Oklahoma Kids


Kim, Y., Huang, J., & Sherraden, M. (2014). What shapes assessment of ability to pay for children’s college education? Journal of Consumer Affairs, 48(3), 486–514. doi:10.1111/joca.12049