The College Savings Behavior of Foreign-born Parents in the United States

Molly Dondero, University of Texas at Austin
Melissa H. Humphries, University of Texas at Austin

This study examines the college savings behavior of foreign-born parents of high school students in the United States. Using data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, we explore three research questions: 1) Are foreign-born parents are as likely as native-born parents to save for their 10th-grader’s college education? 2) Is there variation by parental nativity in the types of college savings methods used? 3) Does acculturation affect foreign-born parents’ college savings efforts? Results show that Latino immigrant parents are less likely than white native-born parents and Latino native-born parents to save for their child’s college education. Latino immigrant parents who are saving for college are more likely to rely on informal savings methods. The college savings behavior of Asian immigrant parents does not differ significantly from that of white native-born parents or Asian native-born parents. Acculturation indicators such as English-speaking proficiency are positively associated with college savings efforts among foreign-born parents.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 118: Educational Achievement and Attainment