Educational Supports for Youth in Foster Care - Virginia

Date:

Support for Completing High School

Citation: Child & Fam. Serv. Man., § 13.6

In policy: Academic supports 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, and study skills training
  • Literacy training
  • Help accessing educational resources

Education financial assistance is a payment that is paid for or provided by the department for education or training, including allowances to purchase textbooks, uniforms, computers, and other educational supplies; tuition assistance; scholarships; payment for educational preparation and support services (e.g., tutoring); and payment for GED and other educational tests.

Planning for Postsecondary Education

Citation: Child & Fam. Serv. Man., § 13.6

Postsecondary educational supports are services designed to help a youth enter or complete college, 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
  • Other supports, such as college tours paid for or provided by the agency

Eligibility Requirements

Citation: Ann. Code § 23.1-601; Admin. Code Tit. 8, § 40-180-20; Child & Fam. Serv. Man., § 13.11

To receive a grant for the payment of tuition and fees, a Virginia student must meet the following criteria:

  • Meets either of the following:
    • Has received a high school diploma or has passed a high school equivalency examination and was in foster care or in the custody of the department or is considered a special-needs adoption at the time such diploma or certificate was awarded
    • Was in foster care when he or she turned age 18 and subsequently received a high school diploma or passed a high school equivalency examination
  • Is enrolled or has been accepted for enrollment as a full-time or part-time student in a degree or certificate program of at least 1 academic year in length or in a noncredit workforce credential program in a comprehensive community college
  • Has not been enrolled in postsecondary education as a full-time student for more than 5 years or does not have a bachelor's degree
  • Maintains the required grade-point average (GPA) established by the institution at which he or she is enrolled
  • Has submitted a complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for Federal student financial aid programs for which he or she may be eligible
  • Demonstrates financial need
  • Meets any additional financial need requirements established by the institution at which he or she is enrolled

In regulation: In order to apply for the program, the student must do the following:

  • Submit the FAFSA by the participating institution's priority filing deadline and complete the verification process, if applicable
  • Be accepted into an associate degree-granting public institution of higher education or baccalaureate public institution of higher education
  • Ensure that a document on official department letterhead providing dates in foster care, and if applicable, an adoption assistance agreement verifying special needs adoption, is sent to the institution's financial aid office

To be eligible for an award, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a child in foster care, as supported by documentation from the department that includes either (i) dates in foster care or (ii) assistance received for a special-needs adoption
  • Have at least half-time enrollment in an eligible program
  • Be a domiciliary resident of Virginia
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Have not been previously enrolled as a full-time student for more than 5 years
  • Not hold a bachelor's degree
  • Demonstrate financial need

In policy: Youth ages 14 to 26 who are eligible to receive vouchers under the Education and Training Voucher (ETV) program must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Have had their most recent foster care episode provided by Virginia
  • Be eligible for services under Virginia's Chafee program (or would otherwise be eligible except that they have reached age 23)
  • Have received their high school diploma or equivalent, or GED certificate
  • Have applied for financial aid through the postsecondary school or training program, if applicable, they wish to attend or participate in
  • Make satisfactory academic progress by maintaining at least a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or have an academic standing consistent with the institution's graduation requirements for the Federal student financial aid program

Financial Supports for Postsecondary Programs

Citation: Ann. Code § 23.1-601; Admin. Code Tit. 8, § 40-180-30; Child & Fam. Serv. Man., § 13.11

Each comprehensive community college shall and any other associate degree-granting public institution of higher education or baccalaureate public institution of higher education may provide a grant for the payment of tuition and fees, except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials such as laboratory fees, for any Virginia student who has been in foster care and meets eligibility requirements.

In regulation: Community colleges must provide awards, when combined with other gift aid, sufficient to cover, at a minimum, tuition and mandatory fees. Richard Bland College and baccalaureate public institutions of higher education may provide awards, when combined with other gift aid, sufficient to cover at a minimum tuition and mandatory fees.

Awards are subject to the following restrictions:

  • The award, when combined with other gift aid, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance.
  • The award, when combined with other tuition-only awards, may not exceed the student's tuition and mandatory fees.
  • If an award recipient's enrollment is below half-time as of the institution's census date, eligibility for the grant is lost and must be refunded to the institution.

A student who receives an award and who during a term withdraws from the institution that made the award must surrender the balance of the award. In determining the earned portion of the award that the student may retain, the institution shall apply the percentage of earned aid resulting from the Federal return to title IV formula to the student's award amount.

A student who has a change in enrollment, such as adding or dropping one or more courses, must have his or her award reevaluated by the institution to ensure that the award conforms with the restrictions of this section.

In policy: The purpose of the ETV program is to fund goods and services designed to assist eligible youth in successfully completing a postsecondary educational or vocational training program by covering up to a maximum of $5,000 or the total cost of attendance (whichever is less) per State fiscal year of the following expenses:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Rental or purchase of required educational equipment, materials, or supplies (including computer, software, and computer-related accessories)
  • Allowance for books and transportation
  • Required residential training related to an educational or vocational program
  • Special study projects related to education
  • Child care
  • Other related expenses