Brief Finds Odds of Going to College 66% Lower for Parenting NMDs vs. Non-Parenting

As part of the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study, Professor Mark Courtney and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have released an issue brief examining a wide range of predictors of high school completion and college entry at ages 19 and 20.

The study found that foster youth with alcohol or substance use problems and those who experienced sexual abuse prior to entering care may be at heightened risk of not completing high school. The study also found that youth in rural and suburban counties were more likely to finish high school than were youth in large urban counties.

A number of predictors of college enrollment were also uncovered. Foster youth who had not repeated a grade, who had higher reading proficiency, and who aspired to go to college were more likely to enroll. Young people who had changed placements more often while in care were less likely to enter college, along with those who became parents. The odds of going to college were about 66 percent lower for participants who were already parents at age 17 compared to non-parents.

Lastly, the amount of time youth remained in care past age 18 was significantly associated with both the likelihood of completing a high school credential and the likelihood of entering college. Each month in care past age 18 increased the expected odds of completing high school by about eight percent, and of entering college by about six percent. To read the issue brief, follow this LINK.