Eligible students in foster care are able to get tuition and fee waivers through an education program called Missouri Reach. This program is made available through a state statute. To date, money has been provided to continue supporting the legislation.

This program is offered in partnership with the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Priority is given to:

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for Missouri Reach if you:

  • Are a Missouri resident
  • Graduated high school within the last three years or passed the GED exam
  • Have been in foster care or other residential care through the Department of Social Services as of:
    • The day before your 18th birthday
    • The day of your 14th birthday, if you were also eligible for adoption on/after that day
    • The day you graduated from high school or received your GED

To be eligible for a waiver award, you must:

  • Apply to and be accepted to an institution no later than:
    • Three years after you left foster care
    • Three years after you graduated high school or received a GED (whichever is earliest)
    • Your 21st birthday
  • Apply for other student financial assistance, other than student loans
  • Apply to the coordinating board for higher education for a determination of eligibility
  • Complete a minimum of 100 hours of community service or public internship within a year beginning September 1 each year you receive a tuition and fee waiver award

How do I apply?

Foster Care to Success, a national non-profit organization, provides administrative services for the tuition waiver program. In order to apply, you must visit Foster Care to Success and complete the online application.

Older Youth Transition Specialists will verify eligibility once application is made. The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) will approve applications based on the priority criteria; however, all youth eligible per the statute requirements are encouraged to apply.

Foster Care to Success will review your transcripts to determine academic standing, confirm your tuition and fees with the college or university, and work with you to develop a community service action plan that will be verifiable and outcome based.

If you are accepted, you will be notified as funding is available on behalf of MDHE. Continued participation in the program will be determined by academic standing, community service participation, and funding of the program.

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