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Objective. Educational aspirations are an important predictor of eventual attainment. We examine if immigrant parents have higher aspirations for their children compared to native-born parents and whether they are more likely to maintain high aspirations over time.

Methods. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K), we document differences in the formation and maintenance of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian parents' college aspirations for their children between kindergarten, third, and fifth grades. We also examine the role of acculturation in the stability of immigrant parents' aspirations.

Results. We find that immigrant parents are more optimistic about their children's educational trajectories than are native-born parents and that over time they are more likely to maintain consistently high aspirations for their children.

Conclusion. Immigrant parents do not see their children's future as downwardly mobile, and instead remain optimistic, consistently reinforcing messages about college plans throughout childhood.