According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), there are approximately 435,000 youth in foster care. Youth in foster care face a range of barriers to academic success. They are more likely to be suspended or expelled, experience higher rates of school absence, and typically change schools or move more frequently, which has been linked to negative educational outcomes due to attendance.
Only 55 % of youth in foster care had earned a high school diploma by age 19, and only about 3% earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to the national college completion rate of about 33%. Among young people aging out of foster care, unemployment rates are as high as 69% compared to only about 10% of young people ages 16 to 24 who are not in foster care.