Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Mississippi

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Code of Rules § 18-006-104, Part IX

The resource guide is designed to assist youth in locating and enrolling in educational or vocational programs appropriate to their needs, interests, abilities, and goals, including high school or general educational development (GED) programs, colleges or universities, vocational training programs, and special education services.

The Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services (DCPS) offers a stipend to help defray senior/final-year expenses for youth receiving a high school diploma, GED, or a certificate of attendance at the close of the school/program year in which the stipend is requested.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Code of Rules § 18-006-104, Part IX

A college-bound stipend is available to youth in care who plan to attend a postsecondary education program. Allowable purchases are items needed to furnish a residence (on or off campus), such as a bedspread, curtains, rugs, refrigerator, microwave, trunk, bookcase, small appliances, computer, furniture items, and books/resource materials.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Code of Rules § 18-006-104, Part IX

The following individuals will be considered for the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program:

  • Youth currently in the custody of DFPS
  • Youth who have left custody at age 16 years or older and have not yet reached age 21 and have been in custody for at least 6 consecutive months after age 16
  • Youth who were adopted at age 16 and have not yet reached age 21
  • Youth who graduate high school or receive a GED or a certificate of attendance
  • Youth who have participated in the ETV program prior to their 21st birthday in order to continue receiving ETV funds until their 23rd birthday

Youth must first apply for and have received confirmation from the institution through an award letter to include the Pell Grant, Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant, scholarships, or other grants, if applicable.

The applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in an institution of higher education, as defined by the higher education act that offers the following:
    • Awards a bachelor's degree or is no less than a 2-year program (associate degree)
    • Provides no less than 1 year of training toward gainful employment
    • Provides training for gainful employment through a vocational program that has been in existence for at least 2 years
  • Be in good standing with the college, university, or vocational training school
  • Maintain a grade-point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Make progress toward completing the program he or she is enrolled in

Priority will be given to the full-time students in the event ETV funding is depleted during the Federal fiscal year.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Code of Rules § 18-006-104, Part IX

The ETV program is a Federal program that provides supplemental resources to meet the cost of attendance in postsecondary educational and vocational programs, as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, for all youth aging out of custody. This program makes vouchers of up to $5,000 per year available to eligible youth attending postsecondary education. The amount that a youth attending school full-time may receive is limited to $5,000, which must be utilized during the fiscal year. Part-time students may receive $2,500 per fiscal year.