Addressing the Educational Needs of Older Youth

Roxana Torrico Meruvia, MSW

Child Welfare, School Social Work

Practice Perspectives


Access to higher education has become increasingly essential to obtain economic independence and success in today’s labor market. Despite the increased cost of tuition, the demand for higher education has increased over the past forty years (Settersten & Ray, 2010). Young people who graduate from college have significantly better prospects in the workforce than those that do not access higher education (Brock, 2010). Someone with a bachelor’s degree will earn about $2.1 million over their lifetime; this is estimated to be one-third more than someone who does not complete college and twice as much as someone who has only earned a high school diploma (Brock, 2010). As the cost of living increases, the need for higher education will become even more important, especially for the 28,000 young people transitioning out of foster care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).

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