Professor William Elliott spoke with WalletHub about college affordability and student loan debt. He calls for a new approach in how we think about the cost of higher education. “I want to frame the question more like, should students and their parents have to think mostly about the return on investment when picking a college? It leads to inequity,” said Elliott. “Kids who are forced to rely on debt must make decisions not based on their ability (what they have done in school and what they can do) or what is best in the long run for their career but on what they can afford. This is not an education system designed to be the great equalizer in society, instead, it is part of a system that places some people at the top and others at the bottom.
Professor William Elliott III spoke with MarketWatch about the role children's savings accounts can play in countering racial wealth inequality. "Education in itself will never reduce wealth inequality in America, it can be a part of it and it's really important, but if we're talking about inequality, you've got to have wealth and start off with assets," he said. "But unless the government, philanthropists and others provide a significant amount of money, the accounts won't narrow the gulf in wealth between Black and white and rich and poor households."
Professor William Elliott III spoke with the New York Times about how establishing college savings accounts early transforms expectations about the future and impacts savings. “A savings account for a low-income kid means a lot more to them than it does for a wealthy kid.”
Professor William Elliott III weighs in on the student debt debate with Morning Consult. The ballooning U.S. student debt is more than two times what Americans owed a decade ago, and borrowers are delaying life milestones like home buying. “It’s not just about getting a degree; it’s also about what position you’re in when you get that degree,” said Elliott.
Professor William Elliott’s research on child savings accounts is featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Children with a bank account designated for college, with $500 or less, were three to four times more likely to go to college than those without an account”, Elliott said.
Professor William Elliott’s essay, “ Leveraging Free College and Children’s Savings Accounts for a 21st Century Wealth Building Agenda” was published in the College Promise Campaign Policy Brief.
Professor William Elliott III essay “How Do You Weather a Short-Term Financial Crisis?” is published in New America.
William Elliott III, Social Work Professor and Director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion research on Children’s Savings Accounts is highlighted in a new Brookings Institute report, “Four policies to help the middle class, and how to pay for them”.
Elliott is a leading researcher in the fields of college savings accounts, college debt and wealth inequality. Elliott’s research challenges individual beliefs and cultural values that surround funding for college, student debt, inequality, systemic patterns of poverty and educational justice
Professor William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis, co-authors of Making Education Work for the Poor: The Potential of Children's Savings Accounts, served as panelists for the New America event, Making Education Work: Is Attacking Wealth Inequality the Answer? The event focused on educational achievement, wealth inequality, and the future of the American Dream.
Professor William Elliott and the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion recently contributed a paper, “Making Education Work for the Poor: The Potential of Children’s Savings Accounts” to the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group compendium. They have also been asked to speak at a Child Poverty Action Group Congressional briefing, Our Kids, Our Future.
University of Michigan
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