Post Secondary Educational Opportunities for Foster and Alumni Foster Youth
The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 signed into law December 14, 1999, established the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, referred to as Chafee. The passage of this Act offered important new help to young people transitioning from foster care. In addition, the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001 added another purpose, Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) to the Chafee program. ETV allows states to provide funds for youth to attend post-secondary education or training programs.
Early and on-going support for education is extremely important in preparing youth for self-sufficiency. Setting, monitoring and incorporating educational goals as part of their permanency plan will assist youth in understanding the importance of having a vision of educational success. The ETV Program gives the Children’s Division the opportunity to provide educational and training funds to assist eligible youth interested in pursuing a higher education to reach their goals. The Missouri ETV program is administered by Foster Care to Success.
Those eligible for ETVs include:
- Youth currently eligible for Chafee services; and
- Youth who were adopted or obtained legal guardianship from foster care after their 16th birthday;
- Youth participating in a higher education program on their 21st birthday remain eligible until age 23, provided they are making satisfactory progress;
- Youth must have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- Youth must demonstrate academic success or motivation in school (generally a “C” average or its equivalency or as otherwise agreed upon with the plan) or in a training program;
- Youth must be accepted to an accredited or pre-accredited public or non-profit college/university and vocational school or certified training program;
- Appropriate scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance must be explored and utilized; and
- There must be reasonable assurance the youth will graduate from the educational or training program.
- Personal assets (bank account, car, home, etc.) are not worth more then $10,000.
- Youth must be aged 18, 19, or 20 when first applying to the ETV Program.
Youth may receive up to $5,000 per year or the total “cost of attendance.” The cost of attendance includes:
- Tuition and fees.
- Room and Board for former foster youth who left care at age 18 or after but have not reached age 21. Room and Board assistance may also be available to eligible youth 21-23 if they are enrolled full-time in a post-secondary educational or training program.
- Rental or purchase of required equipment, materials or supplies (including a computer).
- Allowance for books, supplies, transportation, etc.; and
- Special study projects.
Eligible youth may apply for post secondary education/training assistance by completing the application online at https://www.statevoucher.org and submitting the required forms:
- ETV Student Cashier Statement;
- ETV Financial Aid Release Form;
- Federal Financial Student Aid Application (FASFA)
All applicants must have an active E-mail account which can be created for free through the ETV website. ETV assistance will be reviewed and made on a semester basis. Students must reapply online for every new school year. Every term, they must complete and submit a new Financial Aid Release Forms and Cashier Statements.Older Youth Transition Specialists assist with eligibility determination once a student has applied on-line.