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WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Paul Mitchell (MI-10) introduced H.R. 5915, the Foster Youth Success in College Act, which amends the TRIO programs to require priority be given to homeless children and youth, and students in foster care. Federal TRIO programs are outreach and student service programs designed to identify and aid individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We have a moral imperative to helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds. My bill ensures that TRIO programs give a greater priority to students, who already qualify, who are also experiencing homelessness or in the foster care system,” said Mitchell. “The numbers clearly show that these students, who overwhelmingly want to obtain an education, are not receiving the support they need to achieve their goal. My bill will increase the resources available to these students, and allow them to fulfill their potential.”

According to the First Star Institute’s recently released survey of public 4-year colleges, Foster Youth Success in College:

“…Children and youth who experience foster care in the United States (U.S.) have not been well-poised to transition into secure, productive lives: 16% experience homelessness within three years of aging out, 24% experience housing instability in that time period; a majority face unemployment, underemployment, and/or have yearly earnings below the poverty line; and a significant number of Foster Care Alumni become incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system.”

“More than 20,000 youth age out of foster care each year, and many more exit care in the last few years before they leave high school. Despite their traumatic life experiences, 70% to 84% of youth who age out of care want to attend college. Only 20% attend college, with just 3-8% completing at least a bachelor’s degree. This is significantly lower than the more than 30% of the U.S. population aged 25 and older that have completed a bachelor’s degree or more.”

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