AB 12 Question of the Week: Education Series

College Benefits for Youth Who Re-Enter Because of a Failed Adoption or Guardianship

Q: If a youth re-enters foster care after 18 because of a failed adoption or guardianship (as provided for by Assembly Bill 2454), do they qualify for priority registration and/or independent status on the FAFSA?

A: Yes, they qualify for both. On the FAFSA, students who respond yes to question #53 (At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?) qualify for independent status. Once they reenter foster care, they will meet this requirement regardless of what age they originally exited foster care. Note also that any youth who is or was in legal guardianship can also qualifiy for independent status by responding yes to question #55 which asks, “As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?”

Priority registration is available to anyone currently in foster care, so once a student reenters, that student is considered to be currently in foster care and would therefore qualify.

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