Youth in New York foster homes will receive help to continue their university studies

The alcalde Eric Adams and the commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Jess Dannhauserpresented this week the program “College Choice”which will provide college students in foster care with greater support systems, including financial aid so they can attend college.

The ACS-backed incentive will help pay the remaining costs of college tuition, up to $15,000 each year, plus any room and board expenses not covered by a student’s financial aid package. College kids in foster homes will also receive a $60 daily spending amount per year, which can be used for food, clothing, transportation, and more.

In addition, all foster youth will be able to continue the training they already receive through the program. “Fair Futures”which has provided thousands of young people ages 11 to 21 with dedicated coaches and tutors in their academic preparation since 2019.

The Adams Administration recently included “Fair Futures” for youth ages 21-26. It was found that the organization New York Foundlinga nonprofit social services that supports youth in foster care, will also provide students with tutoring, career counseling and other related services.

Chances of success

“College Choice will provide college students in foster care with the support they need to successfully complete their college education and attend the school of their choice, regardless of cost,” Mayor Adams said.

“No student’s chances of success should depend on factors beyond their control. Now our foster youth can attend a community college, CUNY, SUNY, Ivy League, HBCU or any other school they dream of without worrying about how they will pay for their education,” added Adams.

“This program is truly extraordinary. College Choice will provide the opportunity for youth in foster care to pursue their goals and dreams, with reliable, realistic and sustained support,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams Isom.

“New York City is making sure more doors of opportunity open for foster youth, and the College Choice program is just one more way we’re doing that,” said ACS Commissioner Dannhauser.

From the City Council to the State Legislature, various officials have expressed that this initiative is a great option for these disadvantaged students.

“As someone who has planted leadership roots since my early days in public higher education, I cannot overemphasize the importance of making education accessible to all,” said Assemblywoman Yudelka Tapia. “Throughout my life, I have seen firsthand the effects that poverty and lack of parenthood have on many people and their chances for college preparation and career placement. By funding the College Choice Program, the Mayor is ensuring that many overlooked and invisible New Yorkers have the opportunity to thrive.”

For his part, Senator Gustavo Rivera mentioned: “I am very proud that our city is investing in children in foster care who deserve support on their path to higher education. I look forward to seeing these students succeed with the help of assistance paying tuition and living expenses.”

Councilwoman Marjorie Velázquez said: “The average student already faces challenges while pursuing a college education, and the financial burden for those in foster care is already considerable. The supplemental financial support will help close the gap and allow students to focus on academics instead of balancing a job with their studies or worrying about how much is in their meal plan.”

keep good grades

All full-time college students in foster care will be eligible for benefits as long as they have applied for financial aid, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, and participate in any academic support programs for which they are eligible.

Benefits will be available for a maximum of three years for an associate’s degree or five years for a bachelor’s degree.

The benefits

College Choice will offer all full-time college students in foster care the following ACS-covered benefits:

  • Mandatory tuition and fees (up to $15,000 per year), which are not covered by a student’s financial aid award.
  • The cost of room and board.
  • A stipend of $60 per day to cover food and other expenses while in school. This benefit is also available up to six months after you graduate from college.

Students attending a college or university in New York City may choose to live in housing sponsored by that college or university, or in one of the following six housing options:

  • The Towers at the City College of New York
  • The Summit at Queens College
  • Hunter College Residence Hall (for students attending Hunter College only)
  • New York International House
  • Residence 92Y
  • Outpost-Club Student Housing in New York City

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