A message from Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton

Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton shares his thoughts with the community about progress the university has achieved in making higher education accessible and affordable.

Five strategies to improve 529 plan access for all income levels

State-sponsored college savings plans, often called 529 plans, offer tax incentives to facilitate saving for postsecondary education. Low- and moderate-income families are less likely to have college savings than higher-income families. To address this inequity, a number of states have launched 529 savings match incentive programs. A recently released CSD report examines the program design of all state 529 savings match programs and offers recommendations aimed to facilitate access, increase program participation and perhaps reduce administrative costs.

New College Savings Initiative aims to advance college success for all families

The New America Foundation and Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis announce a new College Savings Initiative to examine and improve 529 college savings plans so more people have the opportunity to attend and complete college. “Saving money is not easy, but research shows many people can save when they have incentives and a way to do so. More low-income families may save with well-designed 529s and incentives,” said Margaret Clancy, Policy Director at CSD. “We will study 529 innovations to see which ones are effective. This will inform 529 policy so that it can benefit families of all income levels.”

Depression, suicide are the major health issues facing college students, says student health director

One in three college students is depressed.The numbers are startling. National studies have shown that one in three college students is depressed and one in four contemplates suicide. Why are young people so much more anxious and stressed than previous generations? What can be done to solve this problem? Alan Glass, M.D., director of Student Health and Counseling at Washington University in St. Louis, says recognizing the signs of depression and suicidal tendencies and keeping the lines of communication open are key to diverting a tragedy.