Higher Education for Youth Formerly in Foster Care

The Challenge

Youth exiting the foster care system lag behind their peers in postsecondary attainment. Fewer youth aging out of foster care apply to and attend college. Among those youth who do attend college, roughly 14% go on to graduate. Colleges offer limited targeted support for this population, which is particularly important for these young people, since they face financial barriers, limited family support, and the challenge of being a first generation student.

The Project

Through this Emerging Leader Fellowship, Seth Morones worked with The Field Center to increase the supports available to youth aging out of foster care with the goal of increasing degree attainment at Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities. The Field Center is currently engaged in this work in the Greater Philadelphia region and is looking to scale its reach to schools across the Commonwealth.

This Emerging Leader Fellowship enabled Seth to:

  • Develop a statewide directory of higher education supports available to youth aging out of foster care and disseminate the directory to key stakeholders.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research, including an analysis of the statewide utilization of federal Chafee funds for youth in foster care attending college and interviews with key stakeholders and institutions about resources currently offered to foster youth.
  • Provide training and technical assistance to a cohort of colleges and universities in developing campus-based support programs for youth aging out of foster care.
Seth Morones's Headshot

Seth Morones-Ramirez, MSEd

Emerging Leader Fellow

2017 - 2019

The Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research, University of Pennsylvania

Current Position

Strategy Analyst
Opportunity Network, School District of Philadelphia



Project Updates