Extended foster care eligibility: attending school as a participation condition

Q:  My foster child will be turning 18 in the summer and wants to attend community college. Will that qualify him to be eligible for extended foster care?

A:  In order to be eligible for extended foster care, a youth must meet with one of five participation criteria. One of the five criteria is being enrolled in an institution which provides postsecondary or vocational education. In order to satisfy the criteria, a nonminor dependent must be enrolled at least half-time. In most institutions, including the California public college and university systems, this will consist of enrollment in at least six semester course units or quarter course equivalent.  As stated in ACL 11-69 on page 10, “a nonminor dependent on summer break from school is still considered participating as long as they are enrolled for the following semester.”  (Scheduled school breaks do not affect the eligibility status of nonminor dependents). There is more information about the post-secondary or vocational education participation criterion starting on page 23 of ACL 11-69.

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3 thoughts on “Extended foster care eligibility: attending school as a participation condition

  1. Lois Keiser says:

    We have recently learned about the new federal law going into effect 7/1/12 that requires a youth to have either a high school diploma or GED (not a Certificate of Completion) to be eligible for Bogg Grants, Pell Grants, Chaffee Grants or any federal scholarships (I believe). Can you give us more information about this?

    • John Burton Foundation says:

      Debbie Raucher provided the following information in response to the question about the new federal law:

      Under the consolidated appropriations act one of the provisions eliminated the “ability to benefit” test for financial aid. Previously, someone attending community college could pass the ATB test or complete 6 units and qualify for federal financial aid without a high school diploma or equivalent. As of July 1, 2012 the option for passing the ATB test has been eliminated. Now students must have a diploma or equivalent to qualify for any aid under Title IV (including Pell grants). Here is a link to a fact sheet on the changes: https://acrobat.com/#d=3s5jjT6a5-eWP-BEuz8odQ.

      Here is a link to all the Title IV grants: http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/about/title4_programs.html. Youth who do not have a HS diploma or equivalent can still enroll in CCC and are still eligible for the Board of Governors’ (BOG) fee waiver (state funded).

  2. Lori-anne Elinsky, Supervisor - Children and Family Services- San Bernardino County says:

    The answer above does speak to the eligibility of the young adult you have in your home, but the details you may be looking for are:
    Is he currently enrolled at Community College? Not yet, and maybe not for a few months- unless he is still in High School at age 18, he does not meet criteria because being enrolled is according to the definition of the school.
    Is he planning to enroll, is he applying for admission, and financial aid, getting his courses in order? Yes! He meets criteria (on page 26 of the ACL)- the ‘safety net’ category. Please consult with the social worker on documenting the activites he will need to complete to remain in this eligibilty category before he is *officially* attending college.

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