The California Foster Youth

FAFSA Challenge: Why it Matters

Successful completion of the FAFSA (or California Dream Act for undocumented students) is the single most important step in ensuring foster youth receive financial aid and subsequently enroll and persist in college, including career and technical education programs provided by California’s 114 community colleges. Data shows that 90% of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA go on to enroll in college within 12 months as compared to just 45% of high school seniors who do not complete the FAFSA. With education a key driver toward financial stability in adulthood, and receipt of financial aid crucial to enrolling and persisting in college for youth from low-income backgrounds, foster youth need and deserve to have the same access to financial aid as their peers.