The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), with collaboration from the Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA), has published a study describing higher education enrollment patterns among youth recipients of health and social services. The report utilizes data in the year following the 2008-09 Washington State public high school graduation. The study population included 26,565 graduates in Washington State who received both a regular high school diploma at the end of the 2008-09 academic year and services from DSHS at any point between the State Fiscal Years (SFY) 2006 and 2009.
Key findings indicate that graduates who received DSHS services in high school were less likely to pursue higher education compared to graduates who did not receive such services. Of the graduates who experienced DSHS services, those involved with behavioral, family, or economic risk were less likely to enroll than graduates that only received medical assistance services. Results of this report also show that youth recipients of DSHS were more likely to need remedial coursework and more likely to pursue community or technical college than a four year institution.