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PATHWAYS to Postsecondary Success is a five-year set of mixed-methods studies focused on maximizing opportunities for low-income youth to earn higher education credentials. The project aims to
  • advance research on poverty;
  • produce useful tools that improve educational opportunities; and
  • inform the U.S. policy agenda on the relationship between poverty and education.

The project includes analyses of national datasets, a survey of California youth, case studies of youth and their interactions with various educational institutions, and the development of a monitoring tool to track educational opportunities for low-income youth.

Together, these studies will assess differences in postsecondary trajectories of various populations of low-income youth, document the supports and barriers to postsecondary success inside and outside school walls, and monitor the opportunities for postsecondary attainment.

Download PDF version of the Project Description


Profiles of Young Adults in California

PATHWAYS to Postsecondary Success has launched a site—Profiles of Young Adults—that presents descriptive data about California’s young adult population. To be of maximum use to policymakers, government agencies, schools, businesses, and community members, we have made these data accessible by both county and legislative districts.

The profiles can help answer such questions as:

  • How many young adults in your area are living in poverty? 
  • How many are making a living wage?
  • How does the unemployment rate of young people in your county compare to the state or national average?
  • Are youth in your congressional district pursuing postsecondary education on par with their counterparts across California?

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Executive Summary Cover

PATHWAY's final report calls for a richer, more comprehensive and humane understanding of the lives of low-income youth. With this viewpoint in mind, the report  highlights five factors that matter when thinking about and promoting success for low-income college students. These factors – student voices, diversity, assets, connection between K-12 and high education sectors, and institutional supports and conditions – are key for all student success initiatives.