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ERIC Number: ED509352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Hopes & Hurdles: California Foster Youth and College Financial Aid
Cochrane, Deborah Frankle; Szabo-Kubitz, Laura
Institute for College Access & Success
This report examines why former foster youth in California are not receiving the aid they are likely eligible for, from inadequate or poorly targeted information about college costs and financial aid to structural obstacles within the aid process and programs. While many of this report's findings and recommendations are specific to foster youth, some apply to low-income, first-generation college-going, and underrepresented students generally. In researching this topic, the authors analyzed financial aid programs and data from state, federal, and private sources pertaining to college access and affordability for foster youth both before and after emancipation. While the barriers to college are considerable, ensuring that foster youth know that financial aid is available would improve access in a meaningful way. The benefits are real, and the cost of inaction is great. By age 19, one in seven foster youth no longer in care has been homeless, almost half receive public benefits, and more than a quarter have been arrested (Courtney and Dworsky, 2005). The youth who are working typically earn poverty-level wages, with one study finding that 90 percent of recently emancipated youth had earned less than $10,000 the previous year (Courtney and Dworsky, 2005). Helping more foster youth attend and afford college will not only help these disadvantaged young people realize their potential, but also save the state and federal governments money spent on prisons and public assistance while increasing tax revenues from the greater earnings of well-educated citizens. (Contains 25 footnotes.)
Institute for College Access & Success. 405 14th Street 11th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 5110-559-9509; Fax: 510-845-4112; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Stuart Foundation; James Irvine Foundation; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California