Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Illinois

Date:

Support for Completing High School

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 20, § 505/8

To receive a tuition waiver, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Have earned a high school diploma from an accredited institution or a high school equivalency certificate or have met the State criteria for high school graduation before the start of the school year for which the applicant is applying for the waiver
  • Enroll in a qualifying postsecondary education program before the applicant reaches age 26
  • Apply for Federal and State grant assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Tuition and fee waivers shall be available to a student for at least the first 5 years the student is enrolled in a community college, university, or college maintained by the State of Illinois as long as the student makes satisfactory progress toward completing his or her degree. The age requirement and 5-year cap on tuition and fee waivers shall be waived and eligibility for tuition and fee waivers shall be extended for any applicant or student who the department determines was unable to enroll in a qualifying postsecondary school or complete an academic term because the applicant or student: (i) was called into active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces; (ii) was deployed for service in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; or (iii) volunteered in the Peace Corps or the AmeriCorps.

To receive a stipend for an apprenticeship, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in an apprenticeship training program approved or recognized by the Illinois Department of Employment Security or an apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Not be a recipient of a scholarship or fee waiver for a postsecondary education program
  • Be younger than age 26 before enrolling in a qualified apprenticeship program

Apprenticeship stipends shall be available to an eligible youth for a maximum of 5 years after the youth enrolls in a qualifying apprenticeship program as long as the youth makes satisfactory progress toward completing his or her apprenticeship. The age requirement and 5-year cap on the apprenticeship stipend shall be extended for any applicant who the department determines was unable to enroll in a qualifying apprenticeship program because the applicant: (i) was called into active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces; (ii) was deployed for service in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps; or (iii) volunteered in the Peace Corps or the AmeriCorps.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 20, § 505/8

Effective January 1, 2020: Each year the Department of Child and Family Services shall select a minimum of 53 students (at least 4 of whom shall be children of veterans) to receive scholarships and fee waivers that will enable them to attend and complete their postsecondary education at a community college, university, or college.

Youth shall receive a tuition and fee waiver to assist them in attending and completing their postsecondary education at any community college, university, or college maintained by the State of Illinois if they are youth for whom the department has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement.

The community college or public university that an applicant attends must waive any tuition and fee amounts that exceed the amounts paid to the applicant under the Federal Pell Grant program or the State's Monetary Award Program. The department may provide the student with a stipend to cover maintenance and school expenses, except tuition and fees, during the academic years to supplement the student's earnings or other resources as long as the student consistently maintains scholastic records that are acceptable to the student's school and to the department.

Subject to appropriation, the department shall provide eligible youth an apprenticeship stipend to cover those costs associated with entering and sustaining through completion of an apprenticeship, including, but not limited to, fees, tuition for classes, work clothes, rain gear, boots, and occupation-specific tools. The following youth may be eligible for the apprenticeship stipend provided under this subsection: youth for whom the department has court-ordered legal responsibility, youth who aged out of care at age 18 or older, or youth formerly under care who have been adopted and were the subject of an adoption assistance agreement or who have been placed in private guardianship and were the subject of a subsidized guardianship agreement.