New Study Shows Youth Who Experience Homelessness Less Likely to Attend College
Chapin Hall research highlights intersection between youth homelessness and educational outcomes
Chicago, IL – November 4, 2019 – Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago today released a new report highlighting the intersection between youth homelessness and educational outcomes. The report, Missed Opportunities: Education Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness in America, reveals that the 4.2 million young people who experience homelessness each year are less likely to enroll in college, and youth who left school before high school graduation were considerably more likely to experience homelessness.
Adolescence and young adulthood represent critical developmental windows, and Chapin Hall’s research shows that every day that young people experience the stress of housing and educational instability represents a missed opportunity to support healthy development and promote successful transitions to adulthood. Key findings include:
- Youth who do not have a high school diploma or a GED face a greater risk of experiencing homelessness;
- Young people who experience homelessness are less likely to attend a four-year college, and even when they do, many still struggle with homelessness;
- Opportunities for young people to advance their education and economic standing may depend on local community resources; and,
- Young people need more information about educational resources from homelessness services providers.
“Too often, homelessness prevents young people from realizing their full potential in their education and careers,” said Bryan Samuels, executive director of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. “In order to more effectively prevent and eventually end youth homelessness, we must ensure that homelessness and education systems are working together to improve outcomes for young people.”
The report provides recommendations for preventing youth homelessness and promoting educational attainment including: helping schools to identify youth experiencing homelessness earlier, before they reach a crisis; building partnerships across schools and service sectors so that students encounter minimal disruption to their education when they change school districts; and, collecting information on housing situations of college applicants and those admitted so that institutions can make resources available to students with housing challenges.
This report is the ninth in a series of research briefs on youth experiencing homelessness in America. The previous briefs covered other critical findings from the Voices of Youth national study:
- A paper published in the Journal of Adolescent Health was the basis for the first brief, which identified high levels of youth homelessness nationwide. The first Voices brief on National Estimates found that one in 10 young adults, and one in 30 teens ages 13-17, experienced homelessness over the course of a year.
- The second brief found LGBTQ youth are more than twice as likely to experience homelessness as their peers, and are more likely to suffer adversities before and during homelessness.
- The third brief found pregnant and parenting teens frequently experience homelessness and as many as 1.1 million children have a young parent who has experienced homelessness during the past year.
- The fourth brief summarizes key lessons learned from conducting point-in-time counts of youth experiencing homelessness in 22 diverse counties across the United States.
- The fifth brief showed rural youth experience homelessness at similar rates to urban youth.
- The sixth brief revealed the diverse causes and conditions of housing instability.
- The seventh brief explored the unique experiences who experience homelessness after spending time in foster care.
- The eighth brief provides a summary of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions for youth experiencing homelessness.
To view the full report, click here.
# # #
Background information about Voices of Youth Count
Voices of Youth Count is made possible through a grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Office of Policy Development and Research) and support from other funders including Chapin Hall, Arcus Foundation, Ballmer Group Philanthropy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Campion Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Dr. Inger Davis, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Liberty Mutual, Melville Charitable Trust, and Raikes Foundation. Chapin Hall is solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations in Voices of Youth Count publications. Such statements and interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the government or any of Chapin Hall’s other partners.
Background information about Chapin Hall
Chapin Hall is an independent policy research center at the University of Chicago focused on providing public and private decision-makers with rigorous research and achievable solutions to support them in improving the lives of children, families and communities. Chapin Hall partners with policymakers, practitioners, and philanthropists at the forefront of research and policy development by applying a unique blend of scientific research, real-world experience, and policy expertise to create solutions for improving the lives of children, youth, and families.
# # #