Monthly Archives: January 2016

Verification of Foster Care Status for Financial Aid

Q: I understand that Assembly Bill 592 gave the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) the authority to provide foster youth with written verification of their foster care status. I am working with a former foster youth to complete her Chafee application and we need this verification.

My question: Has an All County Letter (ACL) been issued about how this former foster youth can get written verification of her time spent in foster care?

A: You are correct, Assembly Bill 592 authorized the California Department of Social Services to provide foster youth with written verification of their status. A draft ACL has been issued and the final version is expected to be issued shortly.

However, CDSS has stated on several occasions that a youth may request this verification at any time and that they do not need to wait for the ACL to be issued.

To make this request, the youth should contact the California Foster Care Ombudsman Office at 1-877-846-1602.

Differences Between High School diploma, GED, and CA Certificate of Completion

Q: Are there any differences in the eyes of college admissions offices between graduation with a High School diploma, GED, or a “CA Certificate of Completion”?

A: At both the CSU and UC systems, students must have a high school diploma, pass the California High School Proficiency Examination or a proficiency examination from another state, or have a General Education Development (GED) Certificate. A student must also meet the Subject (A-G), GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements specified by the system and/or campus. As such, a CA Certificate of Completion does not alone qualify a student for university admissions however a GED would, assuming all other admissions criteria have been met. If a student decides to apply as a transfer student by going to a community college for 2 years, there is no high school graduation requirement. For an overview of admissions criteria click here for CSU and here for UC.

California Community Colleges do not require a high school diploma for admission, however a diploma or its equivalent (e.g. California High School Proficiency Examination or GED) is required to qualify for federal financial aid.

Finally, it should be noted that with the passage of Senate Bill 172, which suspends the requirement for passage of the high school exit exam (CAHSEE) in order to obtain a diploma, some students who previously received a Certificate of Completion may now be eligible for an actual high school diploma. For additional information about this, click here.