Are Asian Households in the U.S. More Likely than Other Households to Help Children with College Costs?

  • Congrong OuyangEmail author
  • Sherman D. Hanna
  • Kyoung Tae Kim
Original Paper


We test whether Asian parents place more importance on helping their children with college costs than parents in other racial/ethnic groups. Some previous research has shown that Asian parents are more likely than comparable White parents to list saving for college as an important goal, but does that indicate that they place more importance on helping their children with college costs? Descriptive analyses of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances indicate that Asian parents are more likely than White parents to (1) expect to contribute to their children’s college costs and (2) list college as an important saving goal. Our logistic regression controlling for household characteristics shows that among households with at least one child age 13 to 17, Asian parents are not different from parents with other racial/ethnic identification in expecting to contribute to their children’s college costs. Controlling for household characteristics and expecting to contribute to their children’s college costs, White parents have less than half of the odds of listing college as an important saving goal as Asian parents. However, listing college as a saving goal may not be a good indicator of the importance placed by parents of college for their children, as there are other ways to help with college costs, including borrowing, contributing out of current income, and some parents may consider the goal as having been met by their own previous savings or the savings of relatives.


College saving Financial planning Asian households Social norms Racial/ethnic differences Survey of consumer finances 

JEL Classification

D11 D12 D14 I2 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving with Human and Animal Participants.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Sciences DepartmentOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Consumer SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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