Abstract

Young people transitioning from foster care to college experience unique identities and circumstances that make being successful in college especially challenging. We used qualitative survey data from 248 college graduates who were formerly in foster care to explore the strengths, challenges, and supports they experienced while in college that affected their success. A qualitative content analysis of responses to 3 open-ended survey questions revealed 7 global themes related to participants’ college experiences: positive self, overcoming, interpersonal relationships, finances and logistics, academic orientation, physical and mental health, and independent living skills. Subordinate themes are identified and participant quotes are provided to help illuminate participants’ postsecondary experiences. A primary goal for this study is to increase awareness of this hidden population on college campuses and provide a better understanding of their unique circumstances and needs. This information can be used by colleges and advocates to improve support services for these youth.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-3382
Print ISSN
0897-5264
Pages
pp. 263-279
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-22
Open Access
No
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