California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge

Every year, billions of dollars in federal financial aid go unused because eligible students do not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). While the number of the state’s high school seniors in foster care who completed the FAFSA is unknown, the rate is estimated to be lower than the statewide average of 61 percent, given that only half of foster youth enrolling in community colleges last year received a Pell Grant, though nearly all of them would have qualified had they completed the FAFSA. The California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge is a statewide campaign launched by John Burton Advocates for Youth in partnership with the California Department of Education and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The goal for 2017/2018 is that California’s high school seniors in foster care complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act application at or above the 61 percent rate of the general student population. Local efforts are led by County Office of Education (COE) Foster Youth Services Coordinating Programs (FYSCP) in collaboration with local partners. Students from participating counties will be entered into a drawing for thirty $500 scholarships and counties with the highest completion rates will be awarded $1000 grants and publicly recognized for their success.

How to Register

FYSCPs can join the challenge by completing a short registration form HERE. The deadline to register is December 31, 2017, however, it is highly recommended that FYSCPs register and begin activities in November. Partner organizations wanting to support the effort can use this same link to provide their contact information, and JBAY will connect them with their local county contact.

For more information on financial aid for foster youth, follow this link to the California College Pathways site.

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