• Home
  • Publications
  • Publication Search
  • College completion's role in the transmission of inequality (Chapter 1 - Brief)

Building expectations, delivering results: Asset-based financial aid and the future of higher education

Children's Savings Account
Publication type: 

The price of higher education has increased dramatically in recent decades as higher education financing has shifted from a collectively funded public good to reliance on individual and family contributions. This cost burden has implications for education’s ability to serve as an equalizing force in the U.S., but asset-based financial aid models may have the potential to transform our financial aid system. While high student loan debt may hinder college completion and even serve as a deterrent to enrollment among some disadvantaged students, promoting asset development may reduce the need for loans and improve educational outcomes. Policies that combine smaller student loans with asset-based approaches could create a financial-aid model that builds college readiness among low-income students, improves their access to college, and increases their chances of success in higher education and of financial security post-graduation.

Read the brief


Elliott, William (Ed.), (2013). Building expectations, delivering results: Asset-based financial aid and the future of higher education. In Biannual report on the assets and education field. Lawrence, KS: Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI).

New Book Released

Today’s student loan system is in place because of a political compromise, and growing discontent with student debt may signal that this arrangement has run its course. While there are resources and organizations in place to help those struggling with debt, the time has come to consider a new direction for financial aid, William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis argue in “Student Debt: A Reference Handbook.”

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times