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Children’s Savings Accounts and Rural Children’s College Expectations: The Case of Kickstart Newaygo County

DOI: 10.4236/sm.2023.131003, PP. 43-61

Keywords: Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs), Identity-Based Motivation, Rural, Children, Educational Expectations

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Young children’s educational expectations for themselves, conceptualized as a college-bound identity (CBI), is theorized as an important and, fortunately, malleable self-concept predictive of educational attainment. Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) are emerging as an important intervention for shaping these expectations but have remained understudied among rural populations. This study utilizes survey data from a measure of CBI collected from N = 161 rural second graders and academic performance perceptions survey data from their parents. Findings support better performance of a global second-order factor describing CBI compared to a single-item measure of child educational expectations. Participation in the CSA is associated with greater levels of CBI and CBI was found to be positively associated with parent perceptions of child academic performance. These findings are among the first that examine CBI in young children in a rural context. Further research is needed to understand the causal sequence of these associations and how the dynamic between CSA programming and CBI manifests across age groups.


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