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Society Failing Foster Youth Despite Uptick in College Programs, Report by Watchdog Non-Profit First

The first national picture of college-based programs to support foster youth was presented to Congress Tuesday. The report, "Foster Youth Success in College," issued by the Washington-DC based First Star Institute, surveyed more than 600 public 4-year colleges and universities. It documents the inadequacy of financial aid, including loans received by foster youth and former foster youth attending college. It also outlined college-based programs that help students who were or are in foster care overcome challenges an graduate.

Rep.Paul Mitchell, R-MI, spoke at the Report's release Tuesday, "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." The Report found "foster care alumni are a uniquely vulnerable population that society stepped in to parent...(but) failed...Foster care alumni experience homelessness and unemployment at rates that far exceed the general population. Only 3-8% of Foster Care Alumni end up with 4-year degrees, compared with more than a third of the general population.

Principal author of the Report, Noy Davis, states, "Colleges can do so much more to support those college students from foster care - by assigning a single point of contact at the university, providing housing during breaks and other services. And adequate financial aid for these students is essential to getting these students through college and hanging societys failure to support its fostr youth in collgee."

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