Access to higher education has become increasingly essential to obtain economic independence and success in today’s world. The following resources provide information about accessing higher education opportunities and financial scholarships for youth in or aging out of the foster care system, including State and local examples.
College Access and Success for Students Experiencing Homelessness: A Toolkit for Educators and Service Providers (PDF - 6,267 KB)
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Includes a toolkit for educators and service providers that describes interventions and information about working with students in college who are experiencing homelessness.
College Financial Aid Resources for Former Foster Youth (PDF - 337 KB)
Voice for Adoption (2013)
Provides information about potential financial aid opportunities for students and their adoptive parents. Some of the resources pertain to adopted youth while others are targeted to youth who emancipated from foster care. Offers information about each States’ financial aid eligibility requirements.
Educational and Training Vouchers for Current and Former Foster Care Youth (PDF - 176 KB)
U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid (2013)
Provides information about Educational and Training Vouchers (ETVs) that can help youth currently or formerly in foster care pay for college or vocational training.
For the LOVE of Success: An Educational Toolkit for Philadelphia Foster Youth (PDF – 1,331 KB)
Juvenile Law Center, Youth Fostering Change Program (2013)
Includes a toolkit created by foster youth to serve the needs of fellow foster youth in Philadelphia. Describes tips on graduating high school, finding and applying to colleges, and creating short- and long-term goals to map out a plan for success.
Foster Care to Success
Connects youth transitioning from foster care to college with financial and academic resources, including tuition grants, living stipends, academic coaching, care packages, and internship opportunities. This organization also coordinates the Educational Training Voucher programs for several State child welfare agencies.
Interactive Tuition Waiver Map
Transition to Independence (2016)
Provides an interactive map detailing each State’s waiver program, including State-specific qualifications required to receive a tuition waver at colleges and universities.
National Foster Parent Association Youth Scholarships
Provides scholarships for youth in foster care who wish to further their education through college or university studies, vocational and job training, or correspondence courses, including the GED. The website also includes tips for scholarship applications and links to other scholarship and financial aid opportunities.
Resource Guide to Higher Education Campus Support for Alumni of Foster Care (PDF - 476 KB)
Western Michigan University, Fostering Success Michigan Higher Education Consortium (2012)
Highlights the diversity of higher education programs and support offered to youth and alumni of foster care in Michigan. Contact information is provided for each institution.
School: Shelter from the Storm
Youth Communication, Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care (2012)
Discusses the challenges facing former youth in foster care in completing high school and college and demonstrates how school can serve as a haven for this population.
Students in Foster Care
U.S. Department of Education (2014)
Provides information on relevant laws, guidance, and technical assistance materials related to educational support for students in foster care.
Yes, You Can Go to College: Making Higher Education Happen for Youth in Care
Child Law Practice, 33(7)
Shares programs, policies, resources, and laws that remove barriers and support higher education success for youth in care. The article summarizes strategies for promoting primary and secondary school success, promoting higher education success, and increasing college readiness.
NC Reach: Education Assistance for Adoptees and Foster Youth
Offers State-funded scholarships for students adopted from North Carolina Department of Social Services foster care after age 12, or who aged out of North Carolina foster care at age 18. The program provides comprehensive student support, including Virtual Mentors, Care Packages, and internships.