Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - South Dakota

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

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

Planning for Postsecondary Education

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

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Dept. of Soc. Ser. Website

From the Department of Social Services website: Youth currently and formerly in foster care eligible for independent-living program services are eligible for Education and Training Voucher (ETV) funds. To receive ETV funds, a youth must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma, general educational development (GED) certificate of completion, or the equivalent
  • Be enrolled in or accepted to a postsecondary or vocational school program
  • Be making satisfactory progress, with a minimum of a 2.0 grade-point average (GPA) if the youth is currently in a postsecondary or vocational school program and provides a copy of a transcript verifying his or her GPA
  • Have been adopted or entered kinship guardianship at age 16 or older or was in an out-of-home placement and left foster care at age 18 or older

To be considered for ETV funding, an application must be completed. When an application is submitted, all school and training expenses are considered. The youth must submit the following documents with the application:

  • A one-page essay describing the youth's qualifications for a scholarship based on academic performance, financial need, and plan for education
  • A copy of the acceptance letter from the college or vocational school
  • A letter of support from a child protection services (CPS)family services specialist, other representative if foster care placement was through an agency other than CPS, or adoptive or guardian parent
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test, American Collegiate Test, or Test of Adult Basic Education test scores, as required by the school
  • A copy of the Free Application for Student Financial Assistance, if appropriate
  • A 'cost-of-attendance' form completed and signed by the financial aid officer

If approved for funding, the youth must reapply every semester. Requirements include the following:

  • A transcript of the prior semester's grades
  • A minimum 2.0 GPA
  • If the program does not use grades to document progress, a letter from the program verifying that the youth is making satisfactory progress
  • A letter describing how the money was used and why continued financial assistance is needed

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Dept. of Soc. Ser. Website

The ETV program provides funding to assist youth with continuing education and training after high school or obtaining a GED certificate. ETV funds are financial assistance grants that can aid youth in achieving their goals and successful independence through education and training. If eligible, a youth in foster care could receive up to $5,000 a year to attend college or vocational school or to learn a trade.

ETV funds can be used to help pay for the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Room and board
  • Tools and uniforms
  • Tutoring
  • Parking permits
  • Meal plans
  • Transportation costs
  • Employment-related necessities
  • Child care