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Media advisory: Professor can comment on student debt, effects on quality of life

Fri, 08/08/2014

LAWRENCE — As attention turns to the upcoming school year and continued concern about rising student debt levels, William Elliott III, associate professor and director of the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare’s Assets and Education Initiative, is available to speak with media about student debt, educational outcomes, saving for college and asset-based financial aid, and how debt affects quality of life and economic well-being.

A recently released Gallup Education Poll found that students who graduate with $25,000 or more of student debt reported having a lower quality of life and satisfaction in life than those who graduated without it. Elliott’s research has shown that having outstanding student debt can also put young people behind in attaining financial independence, delaying or derailing such financial milestones as saving for retirement and buying a home. Elliott’s research has also revealed the importance of initial asset levels for fueling later economic mobility, raising additional concerns about the effects of limited capital development for this generation of Americans.

With his colleagues at the Assets and Education Initiative, Elliott has called for establishment of savings accounts early in life dedicated to helping students pay for higher education. Their research about assets’ effects point to potential advantages of asset-based, rather than debt-dependent, financial aid. For example, AEDI analysis has shown that students with savings are up to six times more likely to attend college and graduate than their peers who do not have savings. In addition, those with savings are far less likely to graduate with crippling debt.

Elliott can speak about student debt in general, how the United States’ bifurcated welfare and financial aid systems prevent educational equality, proposed efforts to address student debt and other topics related to savings, education and poverty.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUstudents , faculty & staff: The Rec is closed due to a water main break. More info: http://t.co/JoW7azXzmv For updates: @KUAmblerRec
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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