Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Utah

Date: April 2020

Support for Completing High School

Citation: DCFS Prac. Guidelines §§ 303.7.1; 303.7.2

From the practice guidelines: Academic supports and counseling include the following:

  • Preparation for a general educational development (GED) diploma, including assistance in applying for or studying for a GED exam
  • Test preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT)
  • Tutoring
  • Help with homework
  • Literacy training
  • Graduation expenses

Transitional support funds will be individualized to cover unique needs and focus on short- and long-term needs that will assist a youth to become a successful adult. Examples of appropriate use of these funds include field trips, college visits, incentives, graduation expenses, tutors, and ACT/SAT testing.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: DCFS Prac. Guidelines § 303.7.1

Academic supports and counseling include the following:

  • Help accessing educational resources
  • Counseling about college
  • College visits
  • ACT/SAT testing
  • Information about financial aid and scholarships
  • Help completing college or loan applications
  • Tutoring while in college

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 53B-8d-102; 53B-8d-103; Admin. Code R512-306-3

A 'ward of the State' means an individual who meets the following criteria:

  • Is a person who is at least age 17 and not older than age 26
  • Is a person who had a permanency goal of long-term foster care while in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services
  • Is a person for whom the custody of the division was not terminated as a result of adoption

A State institution of higher education shall waive tuition for each ward of the State who meets the following requirements:

  • Applies, qualifies, and is admitted as a full-time, part-time, or summer school student in a program of study leading to a degree or certificate
  • Is a resident student of the State
  • Applies to the division for a waiver of tuition and provides evidence satisfactory to the division that the applicant was in the custody of the division for an aggregate period of no less than 24 months
  • Applies for the first time before age 22
  • Is certified by the financial aid officer at the higher education institution as needing the tuition waiver in order to meet recognized educational expenses
  • Maintains satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the institution of higher education, for each term or semester in which the individual is enrolled
  • Has not achieved a bachelor's degree and has received tuition reimbursement for less than 124 semester credits or 180 quarter credits at an institution of higher education

In regulation: To be eligible for the federally funded Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Is an individual in out-of-home care who has not yet reached age 26
  • Is in out-of-home care and has not yet reached age 26
  • Is no longer in out-of-home care but reached age 18 while in out-of-home care and has not yet reached age 26
  • Was adopted or entered guardianship from out-of-home care after reaching age 16 and who is not yet age 26
  • Has an individual educational assessment and individual education plan completed by the division
  • Submits a completed application for the ETV program
  • Has applied for or been accepted to a qualified college, university, or vocational program
  • Applies for available financial aid from other sources before obtaining funding from the ETV program
  • Enrolls as a full-time or part-time student in the college, university, or vocational program
  • Maintains a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or equivalent, as determined by the educational institution

The individual may participate in the ETV program until any of the following occur:

  • The individual completes the degree or vocational program.
  • The individual reaches age 26.
  • The individual has completed a maximum of 5 years in the ETV program.

The individual must provide ongoing documentation of full-time or part-time enrollment, satisfactory progress as detailed in the individual education plan, additional requests for funding, and any changes in total costs for attendance or other financial aid to the division in order to continue receiving benefits under the program.

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 53B-8d-103; 53B-8d-104; Admin. Code R512-306-3

A ward of the State is eligible for a tuition waiver under this section of not more than nine semesters.

Tuition shall be waived under the following conditions:

  • After the individual has applied for financial assistance, including scholarships and Pell Grants
  • Only to the extent that the tuition is not covered or paid by any scholarship, trust fund, statutory benefit, Pell Grant, or any other source of tuition coverage available for a waiver

An institution of higher education shall waive tuition only for courses that are applicable toward the degree or certificate requirements of the program in which the student is enrolled.

Upon receiving an application, the division shall determine whether the applicant and the courses for which tuition waiver is sought meet the requirements of § 53B-8d-103 and, if so, shall approve the application and notify the higher education institution that the application has been approved.

The division shall reimburse the State's institutions of higher education for any tuition waived under this chapter.

In regulation: An individual may receive vouchers up to a maximum amount of $5,000 per year through the ETV program. Amounts are determined by the cost of tuition at specific educational institutions and enrollment status. The total amount awarded may not exceed the total cost of attendance, minus expected contributions from the individual's family and estimated financial assistance from other State or Federal grants or programs.