Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - New Jersey

Date:

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Pol. Man. CP&P-VI-A-1-100

Chafee program services include the following:

  • Academic support, which are services designed to help a youth complete high school or obtain a general educational development (GED) diploma. Such services include the following:
    • Academic counseling
    • Preparation for a GED, including assistance in applying for or studying for a GED exam
    • Tutoring, help with homework, study skills training, and literacy training
    • Help accessing educational resources
  • Education financial assistance, which are payments that are paid for or provided by the State agency for education or training, including the following:
    • Allowances to purchase textbooks, uniforms, computers, and other educational supplies
    • Tuition assistance and scholarships
    • Payment for educational preparation and support services (i.e., tutoring)
    • Payment for GED and other educational tests

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Pol. Man. CP&P-VI-A-1-100

Chafee program services include postsecondary educational support, which are services designed to help a youth enter or complete postsecondary education, including the following:

  • Classes for test preparation, such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • Counseling about college
  • Information about financial aid and scholarships
  • Help completing college or loan applications
  • Tutoring while in college

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 30:4C-103; 30:4C-104; Pol. Man. CP&P-VII-A-1-300

A child shall be eligible to qualify for the Statewide Tuition Waiver Program if the child meets the following requirements at the time of the initial application to the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for a tuition waiver:

  • The child is age 16 to 23.
  • The child meets any of the following criteria:
    • Has been in the care and custody of the division for 9 months or more following the child's 16th birthday
    • Is or has been residing in an independent-living arrangement or transitional living program operated or approved by the division
  • The child has received a high school diploma or a certificate of high school equivalency.
  • The child has been granted admission to a New Jersey public institution of higher education or county vocational school.

A child who meets the eligibility requirements listed in this section may apply to the DCF commissioner for a tuition waiver in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner.

Each child approved for the program shall be required to enroll in a full-time degree, diploma, or certificate program or course of undergraduate study and retain satisfactory academic progress during the time the child qualifies for a tuition waiver.

The applicant shall complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the level of need and eligibility for State and Federal financial aid programs. If the sum of the tuition waiver plus other Federal, State, and institutional student financial assistance, except loans, exceeds the total cost of the child's tuition, the tuition waiver shall be reduced by the amount exceeding that cost.

In policy: The applicant for the New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between age 16 and 22
  • Be in the care and custody of DCF, Division of Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P), for 9 months or more following the youth's 16th birthday
  • Reside in or have resided in a CP&P-paid placement for at least 2 years or was adopted through CP&P after age 12
  • Reside in or have resided in an independent-living arrangement or transitional living program for youth in out-of-home placement approved for payment by CP&P or the Federal Government
  • Possess a high school diploma or certificate of high school equivalency
  • Has been granted admission to an accredited degree- or certificate-granting postsecondary institution

The applicant also must submit the following:

  • Proof of a completed FAFSA
  • A completed and signed tuition waiver application
  • Proof of acceptance or current enrollment from the postsecondary institution the applicant is planning to attend or is currently attending
  • Most recent school transcript
  • A letter of recommendation from an adult who knows the applicant well
  • A one-page essay

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 30:4C-102; 30:4C-103; Pol. Man. CP&P-VII-A-1-300

In DCF, there is created the 'Statewide Tuition Waiver Program.' The purpose of the program is to provide State-paid tuition to children who have been under the care and custody of the Division of Youth and Family Services and who are interested in pursuing a college or postsecondary vocational education at a public institution of higher education or county vocational school in this State.

Upon receipt of an application, the DCF commissioner shall review the application and, if the child meets the program eligibility requirements, approve the application and notify the appropriate New Jersey public institution of higher education or county vocational school that the child qualifies for a tuition waiver.

Eligibility for the program shall be limited to 5 years from the date the child applied to the commissioner for a tuition waiver.

In policy: The New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program provides financial assistance to eligible youth seeking a postsecondary education. The program assists youth with the following educational needs:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Special equipment and computer
  • Child care costs

Students attending classes full time at a New Jersey public college, university, or technical school are eligible to receive the full cost of their tuition, based on good academic standing. A maximum of $5,000 per year can be awarded to students who attend part time, in State, or out of State. The same applies to students attending private schools, full time or part time.