Monthly Archives: September 2020

Can Foster Youth Students Who Don’t Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Receive Financial Aid?

Q: If a foster youth student is not meeting a college’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, are they still eligible to receive financial aid? For the answer, please follow this link.

Students may not meet SAP for various reasons, including having a low grade point average (GPA), not completing enough courses, or taking too long to reach the number of courses needed to graduate. Each academic institution has their own SAP policy, but, generally speaking, most forms of federal financial aid only allow students to not meet SAP for two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters before becoming ineligible for funding and needing to file an appeal with their financial aid office to potentially have it reinstated.

As a result of SB 150, however, which went into effect on January 1, 2020,  foster youth students in California receiving the Chafee Education and Training Voucher can fail to meet SAP for four consecutive semesters or five consecutive quarters before losing their Chafee funding. After the second consecutive semester (or third quarter), students must meet with an on-campus advisor to develop a Student Success Plan that addresses both academic and non-academic barriers they are facing in maintaining the required GPA and working towards graduation. If a student continues to not meet SAP for four consecutive semesters (or five quarters), they can file an appeal with the financial aid office to have their funding reinstated based on .

SB 150 also applies to students who may have disenrolled from an institution after not meeting SAP. Under the provisions, students who do not meet SAP and subsequently disenroll should have their Chafee funding reinstated upon re-enrollment. If the student who seeks to re-enroll did not meet SAP for two or more consecutive terms, the academic institution has the discretion to immediately reinstate their Chafee funding or require the student to complete a Student Success Plan or file an appeal (if SAP was unmet for four consecutive semesters or five consecutive quarters).

To learn more about the SB 150 provisions and review sample templates that academic institutions can utilize, .

Foster youth should also submit an appeal to have other financial aid reinstated. Students should visit their campus website to determine the process for submitting an appeal and can also visit SwiftStudent for guidance.

Do Unemployment Insurance payments impact foster care benefits?

Q: Some youth in foster care in our county are receiving unemployment insurance after losing their jobs or having their hours reduced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Do these payments impact their foster care payment or their eligibility for placement or services at all?

A: No, the Unemployment Insurance being provided under the CARES Act does not have a bearing on foster care benefits. Unemployment Insurance is unearned income, which does count toward certain means-tested benefits, however the federal Children’s Bureau has advised the California Department of Social Services that CARES Act unemployment payments are not be considered income or resources when determining Title IV-E eligibility.

Citation: California Department of Social Services, All County Letter 20-81 (July 9, 2020). https://www.cdss.ca.gov/Portals/9/Additional-Resources/Letters-and-Notices/ACLs/2020/20-81.pdf

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