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CFS Webinar: An Analysis of Foster Care Placement History and Post-Secondary Graduation Rates

Prior research has documented significant disparities in post-secondary educational attainment between young adults who had been in foster care and their peers in the general population.

This study uses survival analysis to compare the four-year college graduation rate of students who had been in foster care to the graduation rate of first generation, low-income students at the same university.  Estimates from discrete time hazard models indicate that former foster care students graduated at a slower rate than their non-foster care peers even after controlling for gender and race. In addition, although students in poor academic standing (cumulative GPA below 2.0) graduated at the same rate regardless of whether they had been in foster care, having been in foster care had a negative effect on the graduation rate of students in good academic standing (cumulative GPA's at or above 2.0). The implications of these findings for increasing post-secondary educational attainment among college students who had been in foster care are discussed.


Angelique Day is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Her dissertation entitled, "An Examination of Post-Secondary Educational Access, Retention, and Success of Foster Care Youth," was awarded the prestigious dissertation award in August 2011 by the Section on Child Maltreatment from the American Psychological Association, and the findings were recently published in the top ranked Children and Youth Services Review journal.

To learn more, please see the documents to the right and the link below.

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Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline." 

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