Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Georgia

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Child Welf. Pol. Man. # 13.0

Independent Living Program (ILP) services assist students in obtaining a high school diploma. Secondary education program services provide assistance with the following:

  • Tutoring
  • College applications
  • Graduation fees
  • Drivers education
  • American College Tests/Scholastic Aptitude Tests

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Child Welf. Pol. Man. # 13.0

The ILP helps youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 prepare for and enter postsecondary training and education institutions. Examples of activities that assist students to prepare for college include the following:

  • College tours and preparatory workshops
  • Financial resources and assistance
  • Postsecondary education assistance

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Code § 20-3-660

Tuition, ancillary student fees, and the cost-of-living expenses for any undergraduate program of any Georgia public postsecondary institution, including all 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities and institutions of the Georgia Community and Technical College System, shall be paid for a youth in Georgia's foster care system or a youth who has been adopted who is a full-time or part-time student, if the student meets all entrance requirements and maintains academic eligibility while enrolled at the postsecondary institution and if any of the following apply:

  • The student's family receives State-funded adoption assistance under § 49-5-8.
  • The student is currently committed to the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) within the Department of Human Services and placed in a family foster home or placed in accordance with § 15-11-212 (a)(2)(C).
  • The student is in an ILP and the placement is funded by DFCS.
  • The student is a child who was in the permanent legal custody of and placed for adoption by the DFCS following the child's 14th birthday.

The student shall be eligible and remain eligible for the grant as long as the following are true:

  • The student applies for entrance to the institution within 3 years of receipt of his or her high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma.
  • The student maintains satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the institution attended.
  • The student has not reached age 26.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Code § 20-3-660; Child Welf. Pol. Man. # 13.0

From funds appropriated by the general assembly for such purpose, there is created a program of grants for the payment of postsecondary tuition, ancillary fees, and living expenses for children in Georgia's foster care system and children who have been adopted.

A student who meets the eligibility criteria of this section and lives outside the State at the time of application to a Georgia postsecondary institution may apply for the grant as though he or she were still a resident of this State.

The student shall do the following:

  • Obtain the application for the grant through DFCS
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine the level of need and eligibility for State and Federal financial aid programs

If the student's financial need for total cost of attendance exceeds the available funding from all sources, except loans and the work-study program, the foster care tuition grant shall be used to cover the excess assessed need for cost of attendance at the postsecondary institution.

Cost-of-living expenses and necessary fees shall be determined for this program by the institution in which the student enrolls. Cost of living may include, but is not limited to, room, board, books, fees, supplies, transportation fees, and a basic health-care policy endorsed by the institution in which the student is enrolled.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to do the following:

  • Guarantee acceptance of or entrance into any postsecondary institution for a child in foster care or child who has been adopted
  • Limit the participation of a student in foster care or a student that has been adopted in any other program of financial assistance for postsecondary education
  • Require any postsecondary institution to waive costs or fees relating to tuition, fees, room, and board
  • Restrict any postsecondary institution or DFCS from accessing other sources of financial assistance, except loans, that may be available to a student in foster care or a student that has been adopted from foster care
  • Prevent the student from maintaining the grant if transferring to another public postsecondary institution in this State, provided that the student meets all the requirements of the transferring and receiving institutions

In policy: The ILP funds postsecondary financial support services through the Federal ETV program as well as State ILP college funding. Services that may be funded through these programs include application fees, registration fees, tuition, room and board, course books and supplies, tutoring, testing, and stipends for hygiene and personal maintenance.