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Passport to College Promise: College Assistance and Support for Former Foster Youth

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Mason Burley, Matt Lemon - December 2012

Washington State’s Passport to College Promise program (Passport) was created in 2007 to increase post-secondary educational outcomes for former foster youth. Passport consists of three components: 1) pre-college preparation provided to high school-age foster youth; 2) a scholarship for former foster youth attending eligible in-state schools; and 3) academic and support services from Designated Support Staff at participating colleges.

Washington is one of only two states that provide these kinds of “wraparound” services in addition to financial aid for former foster youth attending college. In this evaluation of the program, we compared outcomes for Passport students relative to common college performance benchmarks: retention, persistence, and completion. About two-thirds of Passport students remained enrolled for more than six months during their first year. These students had retention and completion outcomes similar to other (non-foster) students. Several recommendations for program improvement are also provided based on interviews with program staff and a review of available data.

Report ID: 12-12-3901

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