The graduation rate for Massachusetts Community Colleges is stuck at about 17% [that may be a bit low, as it doesn't count those who do graduate but get a two year degree in six or seven years - per the Massachusetts Area Planning Council's figures]. See http://www.metrofuture.org/
THE NEW IDEA: Many residents in their 40s-60s have homes with empty bedrooms because their own children have graduated, married, moved on.
Foster care and DSS services basically end at 18. For that reason among others, young people in the 18-24 year range who have aged out of foster care often lack homes and adult guidance. These are state-created “legal orphans”.
Additionally, some young adults who have been adopted are never successfully integrated into their adopted families and also find themselves without support during the “normal” college and trade school education period.
Massachusetts is poor in manufacturing and entry level work as well as having very high housing costs. For this reason, many of these young adults may start a community college, perhaps with tuition assistance, but cannot keep a roof over their heads, and may move to a “cheaper state” to survive and drop out.
Even without being made into legal orphans by the state, many other young adults must support themselves fully with no help from a kinship system. Many work very hard, taking one or two classes a semester for years while struggling to survive in the harsh Massachusetts economy.