Paying for the Prestige: Differences in College Investment between Asian American and White Families

Kimberly A. Goyette, Yongai Jin, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Much research has focused on the relative success of Asian Americans in U.S. higher education, particularly their high rates of enrollment and graduation compared to White Americans. In this research, we investigate one factor that may influence these outcomes: whether Asian American families invest more financially in their children’s college education. Using data from the 2015–2016 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, we find that Asian American families contribute more not only absolutely but also proportionate to their incomes. This is not due to their greater financial resources but is related to Asian American students’ attendance at more selective institutions. Asian American families may adopt college investment strategies that place more value on selective institutions, perhaps because of perceived intrinsic value, high esteem in their social networks, limited information about other institutions, and/or because they anticipate that such experiences more easily translate into desired occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-88
Number of pages18
JournalSociology of Race and Ethnicity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Asian Americans
  • family
  • higher education
  • immigration
  • mobility


Dive into the research topics of 'Paying for the Prestige: Differences in College Investment between Asian American and White Families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this