Free money for foster youth for college or career training

Q: I am working with a foster youth who will be applying soon to college. He told me that once he goes off to school he doesn’t want anyone to know he is in foster care. Are there benefits he may miss out on by not identifying himself?

A: Yes. While it is understandable why a youth may make the choice to not identify as a foster youth, it may have a cost. For example, foster youth who identify themselves as in foster care after the age of 13 do not have to report parental income on financial aid forms. Additionally, some foster youth are eligible for additional financial aid of up to $5000 based on their foster youth status through the Chafee Education and Training Voucher. Foster youth also have access to priority registration. Finally, foster youth support programs housed on campuses can provide additional academic, personal and financial benefits. He can also be told that the college staff have an obligation to keep information about his foster care status confidential.

One thought on “Free money for foster youth for college or career training

  1. Jean Vilmenay says:

    I am not sure if framing it this way will help, but what I tell my foster youth is ” up until now you have endured being a foster youth and now you are at a point when being a Foster Youth becomes a benefit for you.”
    It truely is in your youth’s best interested to identify himself as a foster youth. Even in their admissions essay, many colleges are very intentional about recruiting foster youth. With this in mind I always encourage my youth to tell as much of their story as they feel comfortable sharing. This demonstrates their ability to overcome hardship and difficulty which is what many colleges are looking for in their student.
    Much success to your youth and I hope they get into their dream school!

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