Evidence supporting the link between savings and college success is growing. Three studies out of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis offer a connection between assets and college enrollment and completion. “This research underscores the importance of policies and programs that help Americans of all income levels to save for college,” says Margaret Clancy, policy director and College Savings Initiative director at CSD. In a study forthcoming in the Journal of Children and Poverty, CSD researchers found that among youth who expected to graduate from a four-year college, those with a savings account in their name were approximately six times more likely to attend college than those with no account.
Child Development Accounts are savings accounts that begin as early as birth and allow parents and children to accumulate savings for post-secondary education, homeownership or business initiatives. “There is evidence that when there are savings and assets in the household – particularly savings in a child’s name – that children have greater educational attainment, are more likely to do well in high school, attend college and graduate from college,” says Michael Sherraden, PhD, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development at the Brown School. Sherraden recently was named to TIME Magazine’s TIME 100.