High School Graduation

California high school students in foster care have the highest dropout rate and lowest graduation rate among any at-risk student subgroup. East Bay Children’s Law Office’s Education Advocacy Program assists Alameda County foster youth in achieving their high school completion goals by helping them to identify the different paths to graduation available to them.


Are There Reduced Credit Requirements Under AB 167/216?

Foster youth who transfer schools any time after completion of their second year of high school are qualified for an exemption from any/all local school graduation requirements in excess of the state high school graduation requirements unless the student is reasonably able to complete the local requirements by the end of the student’s fourth year. Once a student qualifies for the exemption, they remain qualified even after court jurisdiction is terminated and/or the student transfers to a new school.

Click here to view California’s minimum high school graduation requirements.

Do You Have a Right to Partial Credits?

California high schools are required to accept and award partial credits for any coursework satisfactorily completed by foster youth even if the youth transfers schools prior to completion of the course. Foster youth are not required to retake courses or portions of courses they have already completed at another school.

How Does AB167/216 Affect College Admissions?

Both the UC and CSU systems require applicants to have completed UC-approved “A-G” coursework requirements prior to admission. Foster youth should be aware that these requirements are more extensive than the reduced credit requirements under AB167/216 and chose coursework accordingly. Schools are not permitted to prevent foster youth from taking or retaking courses required for admission to UC and CSU schools.

Click here to view UC/CSU’s “A-G” requirements.

Helpful Resources

EBCLO’s High School Graduation Toolkit

This guide offers tools to protect the rights of foster youth in their paths towards high school graduation.

Foster Youth Graduation Exemption Requirements Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet outlines graduation requirements for foster youth and potential exemptions to local requirements.

Map to Higher Education

This tool helps foster youth navigate the world of higher education.

Transition Services to Support College and Career Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet shares resources to help youth complete high school and transition into college and career.

Additional Links

Know Your RIghts

It can be challenging for youth and young adults to know the rights that they have. This page is a great start.

Transition Aged Youth (TAY)

EBCLO works with many TAY, and we’ve compiled tips for young people who are participating in extended foster care or want to return to extended foster care. 


EBCLO’s Education Advocacy Program works to help youth succeed in school.