Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Iowa

Date:

Support for Completing High School

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

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 232.2; 261.2

If the child is interested in pursuing higher education, the transition plan shall provide for the child's participation in the College Student Aid Commission's program of assistance in applying for Federal and State aid under § 261.2.

The commission shall develop and implement, in cooperation with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the judicial branch, a program to assist juveniles who are age 16 or older and who have a case permanency plan under chapter 232 or 237 or are otherwise under the jurisdiction of chapter 232 in applying for Federal and State aid available for higher education.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 261.87

A person is eligible for the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Program and Fund if the person is an 'eligible foster care student' who has a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma and is described by any of the following:

  • Is age 17 and is in a court-ordered placement under chapter 232 under the care and custody of DHS or juvenile court services
  • Is age 17 and has been placed in a State juvenile institution pursuant to a court order entered under chapter 232 under the care and custody of DHS
  • Is described by any of the following:
    • On the date the person reached age 18 or during the 30 calendar days preceding or succeeding that date, the person was in a licensed foster care placement pursuant to a court under the care and custody of DHS or juvenile court services.
    • On the date the person reached age 18 or during the 30 calendar days preceding or succeeding that date, the person was under a court order to live with a relative or other suitable person.
    • The person was in a licensed foster care placement pursuant to a court order prior to being legally adopted after reaching age 16.
    • On the date the person reached age 18 or during the 30 calendar days preceding or succeeding that date, the person was placed in a State juvenile institution pursuant to a court order under the care and custody of DHS.

A person who meets all the following requirements is eligible for the program:

  • Is a resident of Iowa and a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident
  • Applies in a timely manner for admission to an eligible institution and is accepted for admission
  • Applies in a timely manner for any Federal or State student financial assistance available to the student to attend an eligible institution
  • Files a new application and parents' confidential statement, as applicable, annually on the basis of which the applicant's eligibility for a renewed scholarship will be evaluated and determined
  • Maintains satisfactory academic progress during each term for which a scholarship is awarded
  • Begins enrollment at an eligible institution within 2 academic years of graduation from high school or receipt of a GED and continuously receives awards as a full-time or part-time student to maintain eligibility

However, the student may defer participation in the program for up to 2 years in order to pursue obligations that meet conditions established by the commission by rule or to fulfill military obligations.

Priority for scholarships under this section shall be given to eligible foster care students, then to eligible child survivors of police, peace officers, or firefighters, who meet the eligibility criteria.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 261.87

A qualified student at an eligible institution may receive scholarships for not more than the equivalent of eight full-time semesters of undergraduate study, excluding summer semesters. A qualified student attending part-time may receive scholarships for not more than the equivalent of 16 part-time semesters of undergraduate study. Scholarships awarded pursuant to this section shall not exceed the least of the following amounts, as determined by the commission:

  • The student's financial need
  • One-half of the average resident tuition rate and mandatory fees established for institutions of higher learning governed by the State Board of Regents