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Dec/Jan 2003Vol. 3, No. 10Improving Higher Education Opportunities for Foster Youth

As many as 17 States have now implemented programs to help youth in foster care earn college degrees. These programs, including tuition waivers and scholarships, have helped hundreds of young people receive an education they may not have attained without assistance.

  • In Oregon, 13 students received scholarships to attend community colleges, public universities, and private colleges in 2001, the first year of that State's program.
  • Kentucky offered 124 youth tuition waivers in 2001 for children to attend public and private institutions in the Commonwealth.
  • Florida has been providing tuition waivers to youth in the foster care system for 15 years. In Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys, a full 80 percent of students in the program complete their studies.

Depending on State guidelines, assistance is available to youth in care, former foster youth, and children who were adopted from foster care. Most of these programs require students to apply for Federal and State financial aid and to maintain a minimum grade point average.

The National Resource Center for Youth Development website tracks the status of tuition waiver availability in each State. Visit:

Find a comprehensive listing of scholarship, grant, and tuition waiver resources for foster or adopted youth on the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support website at (This link is no longer available.)

The Child Welfare League of America recently released a monograph, Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth in Care, that addresses these and other programs to help youth in foster care achieve their education goals. It can be ordered on their website at

Related Items:

Read other related articles from the following issues of Children's Bureau Express:

  • "Tuition Waiver Availability for Foster Care Youth" (June 2000)
  • "Scholarships and Mentoring Available for Foster Youth" (July/August 2001)