According to a resource article by the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Education Law Center, and Juvenile Law Center, only 20 percent of youth in foster care actually pursue a postsecondary education compared to the 60 percent of youth in the general population. Foster youth are often discouraged by the lack of financial support from a family or cosigner to pursue higher education. But there are options that can help youth face this dilemma head on.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Every youth should fill this application out. States determine how much aid a student can receive based on his/her financial status. Foster youth, orphans and wards of court are considered independent. This opens the door for more former and current foster youth to attend higher education.
- Education Training Vouchers
- These vouchers “provide a student with up to $5,000 towards the cost of attending a post-secondary program of education or training”. For more information, visit http://www.nrcyd.ou.edu/etv.
- Tuition Waivers
- The amount provided by tuition waivers vary from state to state. Some states’ waivers cover tuition fully, some cover the remaining amount after federal aid, while others cover full tuition, room, board, etc. Eligibility also varies from state to state. Check this website for more information on the different tuition waivers: http://www.nrcyd.ou.edu/etv/tuition-waiver.
- Youth in foster care should always look into scholarship. There are scholarships specifically targeting foster youth.
- On-Campus Programs
- More and more colleges/universities provide supportive programs for both foster care youth and the general student population. These programs cater to an array of needs. Whether or not a youth may need the services, it is always a good idea to do research on these programs. Its a good way to reach out to other students and to build relationships.
For a more detailed list of resources, follow this link for the original article
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