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March 2006Vol. 7, No. 2Barriers to Higher Education for Youth in Foster Care

Youth in foster care have a greatly reduced chance of attending college, and programs designed to assist low-income and first-generation college students often do not reach out to youth in foster care. A publication from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) reviews the factors that contribute to the low rate of college attendance by youth in foster care and makes recommendations about what policymakers can do to make college a viable option for more of these youth.

Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth: A Primer for Policymakers provides basic information on the characteristics of youth in foster care, adult life skills, mental health, and educational attainment. With this basic information, policymakers will be better able to follow through on the recommendations to increase college attendance and better the lives of youth in foster care.

Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth, by T. R. Wolanin, is available on the IHEP website: (PDF 4.14 MB)

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express last covered the topic of higher education for youth in foster care in the following articles:

  • "Casey Foster Care Alumni Achieve Success in High School Graduation, Employment" (February 2004)
  • "Improving Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth" (December 2002/January 2003)