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Call AFC's Education Helpline
(866) 427-6033
Monday to Thursday
10 am to 4 pm 

Read Christian's Story

Christian is a 19-year-old from El Salvador who was in the 9th grade for the fifth time and whose principal had suggested that he sign himself out of high school.

Resource library: View AFC's guidebooks, fact sheets, and more

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Who We Serve

Students Who Are Over-Age for their Grade Level

Students Who Are Over-Age for their Grade Level

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) serves all New York City students from birth through age 26, including middle school and high school students who are over the typical age for their grade level or who are behind in credits.

AFC provides individual case assistance to youth, families, and service providers who work with over-age youth to help them navigate the New York City Department of Education, including:

  • Accessing alternative paths to a high school diploma; 
  • Navigating special education referral, evaluation, and services; 
  • Identifying services available to address mental health and substance abuse issues; 
  • Accessing transition and vocational services; 
  • Addressing school push-out; and 
  • Re-enrolling in school. 


For families who meet income guidelines, this may also include legal representation at hearings and mediation to help families secure appropriate school placement and services.

Community Education

AFC also provides informative workshops and trainings for parents, youth, and service providers about the rights and options of over-age students in NYC.

To schedule a workshop on the rights of over-age students, or to find out more about our work in this area, please contact Ashley Grant at 212-822-9548 or agrant@advocatesforchildren.org.

Guides & Resources

Note: The following resources are in PDF format and will open in a new window. To view PDF files, download the following free software: Get Adobe® Reader®.

Did You Know?

►  Students have the right to remain in school until the end of the school year in which they turn 21.

►  Over-age students are between 2 and 11 times more likely to drop out of school than their on-track peers.

►  Nearly 1 in 4 middle school students in NYC is a year or more over-age.

►  In the 2013-14 school year, 8,644 middle school students were three or more years over-age in NYC.

►  Students need 44 credits to graduate from high school. Last school year, more than 14,300 NYC students had fewer than 11 credits and were at least 17 years old.

Policy Work

Through our work with over-age students and their families, we work to identify trends affecting over-age students and engage in policy efforts to eliminate barriers and expand educational opportunity for these young people.

Recent initiatives include:

Helpful Web Sites