Challenges in the Transition to Higher Education for Foster Care Youth

Piel, M.H.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
New Directions for Community Colleges
Enrolling and Supporting Foster Youth
Volume: 2018

Issue: 181

In this journal article, the author discusses research that demonstrates the challenges foster youth face at the postsecondary level and opportunities for improved systemic and programmatic support for this population to pursue higher education. Research indicates that more than 70 percent of youth in foster care aspire to continue their education at the postsecondary level, yet only 39 percent enroll in a two- or four-year institution, and only about 10 percent graduate with an associate or bachelor’s degree by age 25. Foster youth are also more likely than low-income, first-generation students to drop out of college after their first year, suggesting their challenges in postsecondary education are more complex than financial support alone. Studies show that a lack of preparation for independent living and attention to contextual considerations such as housing, employment, mental health, and health care also contribute to poor educational outcomes for students with a history of foster care. (author abstract modified)


Full-text available for free download at:
Accession Number: