The effects of college savings on college enrollment and the mediating role of parental expectations and discussions about college among students from low-income households
Children and Youth Services Review
Given the high college costs and inadequate financial aid available to students today, college savings are a promising strategy to pay for higher education. This study is designed to test the effect of parents’ savings for college on their children's two-year or four-year college enrollment among students from families with low incomes, hypothesizing the statistically significant and positive association between college savings and college attendance. In addition, this study pays special attention to the mediating role between college savings and college attendance of parents’ college expectations and discussions about college plans with their children. This study utilizes the Education Longitudinal Study (2002/06) with families with household incomes at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines (FPL). Since the outcome variable, two-year or four-year college attendance, is polytomous, multinomial logistic regression analyses were used. To test mediation effects, both the Baron and Kenny approach and multiple mediation bootstrapping were employed. Results of this study suggest college savings are significantly associated with parental college expectations, parent-child discussions about college, and two-year college attendance. Both parental expectations and discussions about attending college mediate the relationship between college savings and college attendance. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
Hyun a. Song and Helen E. Petracchi. "The effects of college savings on college enrollment and the mediating role of parental expectations and discussions about college among students from low-income households" Children and Youth Services Review (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104553