Report | May. 2014

Fostering Independence: The Need for a Statewide Foster College Success Initiative

Apurva Mehrotra, Lazar Treschan

Summary: New York State is home to nearly 20,000 youth living in foster care. In 2012, just over 4,000 college-aged foster youth either remained in care or exited the foster system. We estimate that fewer than a quarter of college-aged foster youth are enrolled in college or vocational school in New York; compared with a statewide average of 60 percent of public school students who enroll in post-secondary education after they graduate. This report examines the barriers to college enrollment and retention for youth in care or formerly in care and argues for a comprehensive college success initiative for New York State. We review successful models from around the nation, and draw on interviews with foster youth who have pursued post-secondary education. This report was commissioned by the Youth in Care Coalition.

Issues: Opportunities for Youth

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