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Pathways to Higher Education for Native Hawaiian Individual Development Account Participants

Author(s): David W. Rothwell

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 4;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Native Hawaiian | assets | Individual Development Account | post-secondary education | social development

As the cost of higher education rises, a growing body of theory and research suggests that asset holding in the form of savings and net worth positively influence education expectations and outcomes. Native Hawaiians, like other Indigenous peoples, have disproportionately low college enrollment and graduation rates tied to a history of colonization. Using data from an Individual Development Account (IDA) program for Native Hawaiians, I examine the trajectories through the program and find: (a) welfare receipt and unemployment reduces the chances of IDA enrollment; (b) net worth increases the probability of IDA graduation; and (c) IDA graduates were more likely to gain a college degree over time compared to non-graduates. The study provides empirical evidence to the debate on asset-based interventions for Indigenous peoples.

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