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Factors That Undermine College Retention

1. Lack of college readiness:
2. Lack of family support
3. Lack knowledge of available resources
4. Family issues (e.g. single parent, trying to support bio-parent or siblings)
5. Housing challenges (e.g. holidays, summer break)

Odds That Must Be Changed

- 67% of foster care alumni who enter college drop out before graduation
- Less than 2% of former foster youth complete a bachelor's degree, compared with 24% of the general population
- Only 3% of 21-year-olds complete a bachelor's degree by age 25, as compared with 24% of the general population

Practices That Change the Odds

Connecticut covers the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, books, tutoring and health insurance for foster care youth/alumni.

The goal of the California Guardian Scholars Initiativeis to "connect disadvantaged former foster youth with post-secondary education and training." This program is currently in place at 20 colleges, universities and technical schools in California.

It provides former foster youth with:
- Year-round housing
- Financial aid
- Counseling
- Academic tutoring and support (e.g. through a college mentor)

Outcome Measurement

What is the impact of campus support programs on college retention or graduation rates?

Chapin Hall published a 2009 study on college support programs in California and Washington State titled: Helping Former Foster Youth Graduate from College.