Watt, T., Faulkner, M., Bustillos, S., & Madden, E. (2018). Foster Care Alumni and Higher Education: A Descriptive Study of Post-secondary Achievements of Foster Youth in Texas. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-10.
View the infographic on foster care alumni and higher education here.
In 1993, Texas became one of the first states to adopt a post-secondary tuition and fee waiver for foster youth. In the present study, we examine the post-secondary achievements of a cohort of foster youth in Texas. Youth formerly in care were followed from age 18 to 24. Academic data reveal that only 1.5% of the youth received a bachelor’s degree and 2% received an associate’s degree or certificate, despite the state tuition and fee waiver. While we cannot assess causality, our descriptive data indicate potential waiver benefits in terms of post-secondary enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. However, results reveal that a significant percentage of emancipated youth who enroll in college (all waiver eligible), do not utilize the waiver (46%). In addition, the graduation rate for waiver recipients, while higher than non-recipients, is low. Study findings suggest that waivers may be a viable strategy for promoting higher education among foster youth. However, to substantively improve post-secondary outcomes for foster youth, tuition legislation must be supplemented with initiatives specifically designed to promote waiver utilization as well as college retention and graduation.
Watt, T., Faulkner, M., Bustillos, S., & Madden, E. (2018). Foster Care Alumni and Higher Education: A Descriptive Study of Post-secondary Achievements of Foster Youth in Texas. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-10. doi.org/10.1007/s10560-018-0569-x