Improving College Graduation Rates for Foster Children

College graduation rates for foster children are miniscule compared to the normal population. What can schools do to help?

An old college building, representing college graduation rates for foster children

Children in the U.S. foster care system graduate from college at a rate of only three percent. A recent study conducted by the University of the Pacific, in California, sought to determine why, and how to remedy this problem.

The researchers followed seven students at a community college and found that the youth had limited or nonexistent computer skills because of lack of access to computers at their foster homes. Finances were a problem, because foster children often had no outside monetary assistance. Additionally, even though the study participants wanted to earn a four-year degree, they were not sure how to move on to another college after completing the community program.

To help foster youth make it to graduation, universities need to provide additional financial support, structured campus programs to make students aware of services like tutoring centers, and psychosocial support, say the researchers. As one of the teens in the study said, “I wish I had someone who cared about my future as much as I did, so they could help me along that path.”


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