Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Missouri

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Child Welf. Man. § 5.3.1

The services of the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (CFCP) program include assistance in obtaining a high school diploma, career exploration, vocational training, and job placement and retention.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Child Welf. Man. §§ 5.3.1; 5.7.1; 5.7.2

The goals of the CFCP program include the following:

  • To assist youth who are likely to remain in foster care until age 18 prepare for and enter postsecondary training and education institutions
  • To make available vouchers for education and training, including postsecondary learning and education, to youth who have aged out of foster care

Other resources available to youth in foster care include the following:

  • Youth in foster care are eligible to take the American College Test for free.
  • When completing the Free Application for Student Financial Aid, the youth can mark himself or herself down as a one-person family. This will help the youth receive the most financial aid available.

In addition, youth age 15 or older in foster care are eligible to receive a visit to a State university, community, or technical college or an armed services recruiter before being adopted or terminated from foster care. The visit is to include an entry application process, financial support application and availability, career options with academic or technical training, a campus tour, and other information and experience desired by the youth.

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 173.270; Child Welf. Man. § 5.7.3

To be eligible for a tuition waiver award, a student shall meet the following requirements:

  • Is a resident of this State
  • Has graduated within the previous 3 years from high school or passed the general educational development (GED) examination
  • Has been in foster care or other residential care under the department of social services on or after any of the following:
    • The day preceding the student's 18th birthday
    • The day of the student's 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day
    • The day the student graduated from high school or received a GED
  • Applies to and has been accepted at the institution no later than either of the following:
    • The third anniversary of the date the student was discharged from foster or other residential care, the date the student graduated from high school, or the date the student received a GED diploma, whichever is earliest
    • The student's 21st birthday
  • Applies for other student financial assistance, other than student loans, in compliance with Federal financial aid rules, including the Federal Pell Grant
  • Applies to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education for a determination of eligibility
  • Completes a minimum of 100 hours of community service or public internship within a 12-month period beginning September 1st for each year in which the student is receiving a tuition and fee waiver award under this section

The Department of Higher Education, in collaboration with participating State institutions of higher education, shall by rule determine the community service and public internships that students may participate in to meet the requirements of this subdivision. A student may fulfill this requirement by completing the necessary community service or public internship hours during the summer.

In policy: Persons eligible for federally funded Education and Training Vouchers (ETVs) include the following:

  • Youth currently eligible for CFCP services
  • Youth who were adopted or obtained legal guardianship from foster care after their 16th birthday

The following additional requirements apply:

  • Youth shall remain eligible until age 26, provided they are making satisfactory progress.
  • A youth must be enrolled at least one semester prior to turning age 26 as all funding ends at the 26th birthday.
  • Youth must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • Youth must demonstrate academic success or motivation in school (generally a 'C' average or its equivalent or as otherwise agreed upon with the plan) or in a training program.
  • Youth must be accepted to an accredited or preaccredited public or nonprofit college, university, vocational school, or certified training program.
  • Appropriate scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance must be explored and utilized.
  • There must be reasonable assurance the youth will graduate from the educational or training program.
  • Personal assets (bank account, car, home, etc.) are not worth more than $10,000.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 173.270; Child Welf. Man. § 5.7.3

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education shall make provisions for institutions under the board's jurisdiction to award a tuition and fee waiver for undergraduate courses at State institutions of higher education for any student, beginning with incoming freshmen in the 2010 fall semester or term, who meets eligibility criteria.

The tuition and fee waiver provided by this section shall be awarded on an annual basis, subject to appropriation to reimburse the institution, and shall continue to be available, if the student is otherwise eligible under this section, as long as the student remains in good academic standing at the State institution of higher education.

The waiver provided by this section for each eligible student may be used for no more than 4 years of undergraduate study and may only be used after other sources of financial aid that are dedicated solely to tuition and fees are exhausted.

In policy: Through the ETV program, youth may receive up to $5,000 per year or the total 'cost of attendance.' The cost of attendance includes the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board for youth formerly in foster care who left care at age 18 or after but have not reached age 21
  • Rental or purchase of required equipment, materials, or supplies (including a computer)
  • Allowance for books, supplies, transportation, etc.
  • Special study projects

Room and board assistance also may be available to eligible youth age 21 to 23 if they are enrolled full-time in a postsecondary educational or training program.

Youth may receive funding for a maximum of 5 years. The funding does not have to be received consecutively in years but will end on the youth's 26th birthday regardless if the youth has been receiving funds for 5 years.