Over 30 counties have signed on for the California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge! Launched by John Burton Advocates for Youth in partnership with the California Department of Education’s Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, the campaign aims to increase the number of foster youth who are prepared for success as they matriculate from high school into college by ensuring that foster youth are accessing financial aid.
JBAY provides technical assistance and support, outreach materials, incentives, and other resources designed to boost the number of high school seniors in foster care who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or for undocumented students the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
Completion of the FAFSA or CADAA is crucial to ensuring foster youth receive financial aid and subsequently enroll and persist in college, including career and technical education at California’s community colleges. Data show that 90 percent of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA enroll in college within 12 months as compared to 45 percent of those who do not complete the FAFSA.
Local efforts are led by FYSCPs in collaboration with community partners. High school seniors in foster care in participating counties who complete the FAFSA or CADAA will be entered into a drawing for $500 scholarships. FYSCPs have until December 31, 2017, to register. To learn more about the Challenge, and see which counties have already signed on, visit the Challenge web page.