Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College for Community Health


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Pauline Garcia-Reid

Committee Member

Robert J. Reid

Committee Member

Beth Sapiro


This qualitative study explored the needs and experiences of college students who have aged out of the foster care system and facing housing instability at a large public institution. The study explores the participants' pre-college experiences and college journey to identify challenges they faced, sources of support, and unmet needs impacting their education. Analysis of 14 individual interviews highlighted key themes related to motivations, obstacles, and desired assistance across areas like finances, mental health, academics, and support systems. This work has implications for implementing tailored institutional support, community partnerships, transition programs, and advocacy efforts to promote resilience and success for this underserved student population. Understanding the multidimensional experiences of college students experiencing housing adversity can inform policies and practices that foster stability, belonging, and achievement on campus.

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