ERIC Number: ED570481
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Strengthening Policies for Foster Youth Postsecondary Attainment. Special Report
Sarubbi, Molly; Parker, Emily; Sponsler, Brian A.
Education Commission of the States
Postsecondary education in the United States has historically been the bedrock of individual social mobility and collective economic growth. Toward that end, policies at the state and federal levels have for decades sought to expand the reach of postsecondary education so as to provide individuals and communities with pathways to prosperity. Although progress has been far slower than is optimal, a greater percentage of individuals residing in the United States have completed or participated in postsecondary education than at any other time in the nation's history. As of 2015, 69 percent of high school graduates had participated in or completed some postsecondary education. Despite the relative success of public policies supporting the expansion of postsecondary participation, inequities remain. These inequities unnecessarily limit the ability of individuals to benefit from postsecondary enrollment and completion and can create additional obstacles for individuals already facing significant barriers to social mobility. Such is the case for youth within the foster care system, a population confronted by a labyrinth of state and federal public policies that can often fall short of their intent to support postsecondary enrollment and completion. This policy report provides an overview of the challenges youth who are in foster care, have been adopted, or have aged out of the foster care system confront when pursuing a postsecondary credential, including those barriers caused--often unintentionally--by public policies. Specifically, the report focuses on the treatment of these youth by state financial aid programs and offers potential remedies that state policy leaders may pursue as part of holistic efforts to support reducing inequities for this population and promoting their collective upward social mobility. Given the autonomy states have in adopting policies and responding to federal initiatives intended to support foster youth, state policymakers can create tangible educational pathways for foster care youth.
Descriptors: Foster Care, Youth, Postsecondary Education, Educational Attainment, Barriers, Public Policy, State Policy, Student Financial Aid, State Aid, Adoption, Federal Programs, Educational Vouchers, Federal Legislation
Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.ecs.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States
Identifiers - Location: Alaska; Arizona; Florida; Maine; North Carolina