Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Pennsylvania

Date:

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 55, Part V, Subpt. C, Ch. 3140, Appx. A

Direct services include preparation for a general educational development (GED) degree or higher education.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

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

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 24, § 26-2602-K(c)

In order to receive a fostering independence waiver under this section, an individual must be a current resident of this Commonwealth and eligible for the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program under the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-169), as administered by the Department of Human Services, and must have applied for all available Federal and State grants.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 24, §§ 26-2602-K; 26-2603-K; 26-2604-K

There is established a fostering independence waiver program for individuals who satisfy the eligibility requirements described in § 26-2602-K above.

Beginning with the fall 2020 semester, each institution of higher education shall award a fostering independence waiver for undergraduate courses at the institution for each eligible individual. The fostering independence waiver shall have subtracted from it the amount of any Federal grants, State grants, or other scholarships or grants the individual receives. An individual shall receive a fostering independence waiver for 5 years, whether or not consecutive, or until the individual reaches age 26, whichever occurs first, provided that the individual remains eligible under the criteria described above.

The Department of Education shall work with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency as well as the Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Human Services to ensure that individuals eligible for the program apply for all available Federal and State grants.

The department, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, shall do all the following:

  • By January 1, 2020, and January 1 each year thereafter, prepare and provide information for dissemination by county agencies, the department, the Department of Human Services, and institutions of higher education that does the following:
    • Describes the availability of the program established under this article
    • Explains how to participate in the program
    • Includes information on all available Federal and State grants
  • Ensure that eligible individuals who may also be eligible for services and programs under 72 P.S. § 1738-E are informed of these services and programs

Each institution of higher education shall do the following:

  • Provide technical assistance to eligible individuals in completing admissions applications and financial aid applications
  • Disseminate the information to recipients of a Chafee Education and Training Grant who are eligible individuals and post the information on the institution's publicly accessible internet website

Each institution of higher education shall designate an appropriate staff person or persons as the point of contact (POC) for students eligible for the program. The POC may be comprised of one or more qualified staff members to provide the appropriate support or expertise required for the duties specified in this section. The POC shall have or ensure the delegation of the following duties:

  • Assisting students in obtaining verification of eligibility for the program from the courts, the county agency, or the Department of Human Services
  • Assisting eligible individuals in accessing available Federal and State financial aid resources and in identifying further scholarship and grant opportunities, in consultation with the institution's financial aid department
  • Serving as the primary contact for all individuals applying to or attending the institution who are eligible under § 2602-K(c)
  • Providing all individuals applying to or attending the institution who voluntarily disclose that they are eligible under § 2602-K(c) with information and referrals for on-campus support services and resources, including admissions, housing, financial aid, health, mental health, tutoring, career, academic advising, and other services
  • Providing all eligible individuals applying to or attending the institution with information and referrals, as available, for off-campus support services, including transitional housing and medical insurance and services
  • Posting POC contact information on the institution's publicly accessible internet website