Min Zhan

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Zhan received her bachelor’s degree in history from Peking University, China in 1991, and her PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. She joined the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Dr. Zhan’s research centers on identifying social policies and other factors associated with the long-term economic well-being of low-income families with children. Specifically, her research examines the impact of educational approaches, specifically in the forms of postsecondary education and financial management training, on the long-term economic well-being of low-income families. She also examines the role of asset development, an approach that aims to develop human capital and to promote economic security for low-income families through facilitating their financial asset accumulation. Dr. Zhan’s interests focus on financial asset development, human capital development, financial literacy and education, and program evaluation. Dr. Zhan is currently working on or planning several projects, including: evaluating the impact of education loans on college graduation and postgraduate career choices; evaluating the financial and well-being outcomes of a law school clinic specializing in elderly financial abuse; and, examining financial assets, debt, and financial service utilization of low-income population.


BA, History, Peking University, Beijing, 1991

MA, History, Peking University, 1994

PhD, Social Work, Washington University, 2001

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assets Social Sciences
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loan Social Sciences
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education Social Sciences
well-being Social Sciences

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Research Output 2002 2019

  • 35 Article
  • 2 Review article
  • 1 Conference contribution
low income
working hours

The impact of a promise: A loan replacement grant, low-income students, and college graduation

Gershenfeld, S., Zhan, M. & Hood, D. W., Mar 1 2019, In : Review of Higher Education. 42, 3, p. 1073-1100 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

low income

Education loans and asset building among black and Hispanic young adults

Zhan, M. & Xiang, X., Aug 2018, In : Children and Youth Services Review. 91, p. 121-127 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hispanic Americans
young adult
Young Adult

How Much Is Too Much: Educational Loans and College Graduation

Zhan, M., Xiang, X. & Elliott, W., Nov 1 2018, In : Educational Policy. 32, 7, p. 993-1017 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patterns of financial attributes and behaviors of emerging adults in the United States

Sinha, G., Tan, K. P. H. & Zhan, M., Oct 2018, In : Children and Youth Services Review. 93, p. 178-185 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Young Adult