William Elliott III

Senior Research Fellow, Family-Centered Social Policy

William Elliott III is an associate professor at the University of Kansas (KU) and founder of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion in KU’s School of Social Welfare. He received his PhD and master’s in social work from George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Geneva College in Beaver Fall, PA. Elliott is a non-resident senior research fellow for New America’s Asset Building program. He has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education and the 2016 University of Kansas Scholarly Achievement Award. 

He is a leading researcher in the fields of children's savings and college debt. However, is research interests are broadly focused on public policies related to issues of economic inequality and social development. Numerous news and media outlets such as the National Journal, PBS Newshour, NPR, US NewsWashington Monthly, the Washington Post, and others have featured his work. His research has served as the impetus for Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs and policies across the U.S. He is currently conducting research on the following CSA programs: Prosperity Kids in New Mexico, K2C in San Francisco, Promise Indiana, and the Harold Alfond College challenge in Maine. He has received research funding from such sources as the Ford Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and Citi foundation.  

All Work

Borrowed Time

Income-driven repayment of college loans—a key tool for helping low-income borrowers—may exacerbate the very problems it tries to solve.


ASSET BUILDING and NEW AMERICA
In Maine, Three Generations Work The System To Save For College

Asset Building Fellow William Elliott III was featured on an NPR podcast about Maine's automatic college savings program.


The Soup to Nuts Approach to Financing College

The presidential campaign trail is littered with ideas for making college more affordable. Rachel Black, William Elliott III, and Melinda Le


ASSET BUILDING
From 529s to CSAs

A pioneering model for cultivating college-bound identities and transforming 529s into powerful and progressive CSA's.


ASSET BUILDING and NEW AMERICA NYC
Paying the Price

Once seen as the Great Equalizer, the value of higher education in the era of soaring college debt has come into serious question.


ASSET BUILDING and FAMILY-CENTERED SOCIAL POLICY
How Student Debt Stunts Financial Growth

Income-based repayment misses the mark when it comes to solving the most damaging effects of educational loans.


ASSET BUILDING
What Can Canada Teach Us About Child Savings Accounts?

A report outlining some lessons from Canada’s CSA experiences and how they might inform CSA policy in the United States.


ASSET BUILDING
New Report: Are Student Loans the Best We Can Do?

Student borrowing was supposed to reflect an agreement between aspiring college students and the government; the latter would use loans to a


ASSET BUILDING
Ideas for Refining Children's Savings Account Proposals

“Creating a Financial Stake in College” is a four-part series focusing on the relationship between children’s savings and college success.


ASSET BUILDING
We Save, We Go to College

“Creating a Financial Stake in College” is a four-part series focusing on the relationship between children’s savings and college success.


ASSET BUILDING
Does Structural Inequality Begin with a Bank Account?

“Creating a Financial Stake in College” is a four-part series focusing on the relationship between children’s savings and college success.