From Foster Care to University: An Ethnography of Academic Challenges




Lord, Kayli V.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Students who experience foster care (SEFC) face unique challenges when they attend college, and little is known about their struggles in higher education. Childhood trauma, economic instability, and lack of support from family can make it difficult for SEFC to imagine any future for themselves, let alone pursuit of a college degree. To date, research on SEFC and academic achievement in higher education is quantitative, highlighting their low academic performance as compared with the general college student population. Drawing on in-depth interviews with SEFC, I explore how they experience and navigate mental health and academic challenges during college. I aim to fill the gaps in quantitative research by showing the nuanced experiences of SEFC while addressing the specific barriers and facilitators SEFC experience while attending Texas State University.



Foster care, Ethnography, Higher education


Lord, K. V. (2022). <i>From foster care to university: An ethnography of academic challenges</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI