2012 News

New reports on children’s savings and college success shape research agenda on assets and education

Today, the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis (CSD) and the New America Foundation released the first report of four in the series “Creating a Financial Stake in College.” The series, which builds on a set of longitudinal studies led by William Elliott III and colleagues at CSD, outlines the vital role children’s savings plays in achieving college success. 

In “Creating a Financial Stake in College,” Elliott presents research results that show savings during childhood is associated with positive college outcomes and argues that the development of universal savings opportunities, such as Child Development Accounts, might increase college savings, positive academic expectations, and college attendance and completion.

“We should recognize the power of savings to influence college attendance, and work to create opportunities for more children to succeed in college,” said Elliott, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas.

These four reports provide a foundation for the upcoming Assets and Education Research Symposium, co-organized by CSD and the University of Kansas School of Social Work. At the March 2012 Symposium, leading scholars will present new research on assets and education, review and critique the research to date, and guide future research efforts in the field.

“The Symposium will focus special attention on educational equity, and the potential of assets to help close the gaps that exist between those who get the education they need to build fulfilling lives and those who do not,” said Michael Sherraden, Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School and Director of CSD. Elliott’s research, along with other research conducted at CSD, has been key to identifying these gaps, especially their implications for low-income and minority children and youth.

The first report in the Creating a Financial Stake in College series, “Why Policymakers Should Care about Children’s Savings,” is available here. Three additional reports will be released, one per week through the month of January.