Memo From CalYOUTH: Predictors of High School Completion and College Entry at Ages 19/20.
Chapin Hall Issue Brief
Okpych, Nathanael J. Courtney, Mark E. Dennis, Kristin.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH).
Published: August 2017
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
1313 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
This brief examines factors that influence the likelihood of California young people in foster care finding high school and enrolling in college. It first investigates predictors of high school credential completion by age 19 among CalYOUTH participants who had not yet completed a high school credential at the time of their baseline interview. Of the 611 study participants interviewed at age 19, 545 had not yet earned a secondary education credential. It then examines college entry among 711 CalYOUTH participants. Findings indicate that among young people who had not earned a high school credential by the baseline interviews at age 17, which was about 90% of CalYOUTH participants, two in three completed a credential by Wave 2 when they were 19 years old. Results of the study suggest that foster youths with alcohol or substance use problems and foster youths who experienced sexual abuse prior to entering care may be at heightened risk of not completing a high school credential; youths in rural/ suburban counties were more likely to finish high school; over half of foster youth had enrolled in college by ages 19–20; 2-year colleges are an important access point to higher education for foster youth; foster youths who had not repeated a grade, who had higher reading proficiency, and who aspired to go to college were more likely to enroll; early parenthood decreased the chances that foster youth would enter college, as well as youth who had changed placements more often in care; and youth who remained in care past age 18 were more likely to complete a higher school credential and enter college. 2 tables, 3 figures, and 13 references.
California; foster adolescents; education; academic achievement; postsecondary education; risk factors; resilience