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Children's college aspirations and expectations: The potential role of children's development accounts (CDAs)

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  • Elliott III, William

Abstract

For many children, especially minority and low-income children, attending college is a genuinely desired but elusive goal. Research on aspirations and expectations may provide a way to understand the gap between what children desire and what they actually expect to happen. This study examines the potential role of Children's Development Accounts (CDAs) as a way to reduce the aspirations and expectations gap among at risk children using Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data. While the vast majority of children without a CDA aspire to attend college (80%), only 39% see it as a realistic possibility in their lives. That is an aspirations/expectations gap of 41 percentage points. Moreover, children with a CDA are nearly twice as likely to expect to attend college than children without a CDA. It appears that when the financing of college is perceived as being under children's own control, college attendance may become more of a reality. Children with a CDA are not only more likely to expect to attend college, they perform better in school. Having a CDA is associated with a 4.57 point increase in math scores. Moreover, findings suggest that children's college expectations act as a partial mediator between CDAs and children's math achievement.

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  • Elliott III, William, 2009. "Children's college aspirations and expectations: The potential role of children's development accounts (CDAs)," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 274-283, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:31:y:2009:i:2:p:274-283
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elliott, William, 2013. "The effects of economic instability on children's educational outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 461-471.
    2. Cheatham, Gregory A. & Smith, Sean J. & Elliott, William & Friedline, Terri, 2013. "Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1078-1086.
    3. Chen, Zibei & Elliott, William & Wang, Kaipeng & Zhang, Anao & Zheng, Haotian, 2020. "Examining parental educational expectations in one of the oldest children’s savings account programs in the country: The Harold Alfond College Challenge," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Elliott, William & Kite, Benjamin & O'Brien, Megan & Lewis, Melinda & Palmer, Ashley, 2018. "Initial elementary education findings from Promise Indiana's Children's savings account program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 295-306.
    5. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
    6. Kim, Youngmi & Huang, Jin & Sherraden, Michael & Clancy, Margaret, 2017. "Child Development Accounts, parental savings, and parental educational expectations: A path model," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 20-28.
    7. Blumenthal, Anne & Shanks, Trina R., 2019. "Communication matters: A long-term follow-up study of child savings account program participation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 136-146.
    8. Mason, Lisa Reyes & Nam, Yunju & Clancy, Margaret & Kim, Youngmi & Loke, Vernon, 2010. "Child Development Accounts and saving for children's future: Do financial incentives matter?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1570-1576, November.
    9. Oyserman, Daphna, 2013. "Not just any path: Implications of identity-based motivation for disparities in school outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 179-190.
    10. Huang, Jin & Guo, Baorong & Kim, Youngmi & Sherraden, Michael, 2010. "Parental income, assets, borrowing constraints and children's post-secondary education," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 585-594, April.
    11. Wheeler-Brooks, Jennifer & Scanlon, Edward, 2009. "Perceived facilitators and barriers to saving among low-income youth," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 757-763, October.
    12. Elliott, William & Song, Hyun-a & Nam, Ilsung, 2013. "Small-dollar children's savings accounts and children's college outcomes by income level," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 560-571.
    13. Fang, Shu & Huang, Jin & Wu, Shiyou & Jin, Minchao & Kim, Youngmi & Henrichsen, Courtney, 2020. "Family assets, parental expectation, and child educational achievement in China: A validation of mediation analyses," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    14. Fang, Shu & Huang, Jin & Curley, Jami & Birkenmaier, Julie, 2018. "Family assets, parental expectations, and children educational performance: An empirical examination from China," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 60-68.
    15. Loke, Vernon, 2013. "Parental asset accumulation trajectories and children's college outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 124-133.
    16. Elliott, William & Friedline, Terri, 2013. "“You pay your share, we’ll pay our share”: The college cost burden and the role of race, income, and college assets," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 134-153.
    17. Kim, Youngmi & Sherraden, Michael, 2011. "Do parental assets matter for children's educational attainment?: Evidence from mediation tests," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 969-979, June.
    18. Ansong, David & Wu, Shiyou & Chowa, Gina A.N., 2015. "The role of child and parent savings in promoting expectations for university education among middle school students in Ghana: A propensity score analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 265-273.
    19. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Sherraden, Michael & Gale, William G. & Rohe, William M. & Schreiner, Mark & Key, Clinton, 2013. "Long-term effects of Individual Development Accounts on postsecondary education: Follow-up evidence from a randomized experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 58-68.
    20. Elliott, William & Choi, Eun Hee & Destin, Mesmin & Kim, Kevin H., 2011. "The age old question, which comes first? A simultaneous test of children's savings and children's college-bound identity," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1101-1111, July.
    21. Rauscher, Emily & Elliott, William & O'Brien, Megan & Callahan, Jason & Steensma, Joe, 2017. "Examining the relationship between parental educational expectations and a community-based children's savings account program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 96-107.
    22. Ray Boshara & William R. Emmons, 2015. "A Balance Sheet Perspective on Financial Success: Why Starting Early Matters," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 267-298, March.

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