LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
KU prof: College savings accounts lead to success for low-income students
How can we help young people from low-income families have an opportunity to go to college and succeed? A KU social welfare researcher writes that one answer could be to provide such students with college savings accounts like those that higher-income families might create — even if they don't actually contain that much money.
Terri Friedline, an assistant professor at the KU School of Social Welfare, wrote in a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education published online today (viewable without a subscription) about that idea, which she says comes from research by the school's Assets and Education Initiative.
She says that the government would do more to encourage low-income students to succeed if it based financial aid less on loans and more on accounts that would accumulate savings over time.
This is due partially to a psychological benefit: For reasons still being studied, Friedline writes, students with savings set aside for education are more likely to end up graduating from college. It's even true for students with savings of $500 or less.
An interesting idea, to be sure.